Monday, December 5, 2011

Some commissioned work- Gibson Guitar

My good friend Chris Grooms- an English professor at Collin College who also happens to be an amazing guitarist.  He's one of the world's foremost experts in traditional Welsh folk music.

This is one of the prize guitars from his personal collection- one of the last truly hand-made Gibson acoustics from the 1920's.

Wetplate is not very sensitive to yellow, so the guitar body ends up looking much darker than it did in person, but I love how that made the whole body have the thin outline around it from the edging.

Tintypes record everything backwards, horizontally, so the writing comes out reversed.  The letters are actually mother-of-pearl inlay.  This guitar is beautiful.   It was a pleasure to get the chance to photograph it.

 Chris also snapped a few pictures as things were progressing-

The general state of my studio.  Note the foamcore softbox!

Coating collodion on the plate, letting the excess pour back in the bottle

One of the true magical moments of the process- seeing the image come up in the fix.

Linda and I inspecting the plate in the first wash.

A good way to spend an afternoon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pretiosissimi Sanguinis

An edition of images I made last week for including in the 500X Holiday Sale.

Pretiosissimi Sanguinis- 1 through 4

The title is from "Litaniae pretiosissimi Sanguinis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi", or "Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ."  A litany that may be read in Catholic services, it dates from 1960.

I'm not Catholic, but I have a great respect for the power of Catholic symbolism.  The concept of the Eucharist - the ritual transformation of the simple matter of bread and wine into the the body and blood of Christ, to then be ingested as a means of communing with the divine - is fascinating to me and I can't say exactly why.  As a non-believer I can't follow the belief that the bread and wine are literally transformed in the process of consecration- but I am also somehow envious of those who do believe it.  To literally ingest your savior seems like a kind of intimacy that would feel incredibly powerful to those who do.

Perhaps I am just a spiritual tourist and it's not right for me to dabble with other people's sacred rituals, even in so oblique a fashion.  But I do find the symbolism of the Catholics very deep and resonant.  After two-thousand odd years of practice, they did do a few things right.