The Wet Collodion Process was one of the first photographic processes and turned out to be the most important one of the 19th Century. It delivers unique photographs on glass or blackened metal plates (Ambrotypes/Ferrotypes) or stunning negatives to be printed on salted paper or albumen. Almost all pictures known from the Victorian era, President Lincoln or the American Civil War were taken this way.
On this practical workshop you will learn how to make your own ambrotypes (direct positives on glass) which you can take home with you.
The artist/photographer Michael Schaaf guides you through the process; from the cleaning of the plates, the coating with collodion, sensitising, capturing a picture, developing and then finally the varnishing of the plate with historic varnishes made of gum sandarac and lavender oil.
Everyone should be able to make at least a plate. You will use Michael’s large format cameras and he’ll provide all the materials you will need as well as safety equipment. Special photographic skills or experience with large format cameras is not required.
We will work with silver nitrate which eventually produces durable stains, so you will need to wear something black or bring appropriate work clothes. Also please bring a box big enough to carry 7x5in plates.
There is limited parking at the centre, but there is on street parking available free on Saturdays and meter charges on weekdays. You are advised to bring a packed lunch as there are limited food outlets available in the local area.
Time: 9.30am – 5pm
School of Creative Arts
University of the West of England
Bower Ashton Campus
Kennel Lodge Road
Bristol BS3 2JT
The workshops will take place in the Dept. of Photography, which islocated on the third floor in Block B of Bower Ashton Campus. Directions can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/comingtouwe/howtofindus.aspxTimes: Classes will be from 9.30am to 5pm
Image: © Michael Schaaf