About this project
NEW GOAL! $5000
Since we have 3 more weeks of fundraising to go here on Kickstarter, we have set a New Goal: $5000! Reaching for the stars!
What will this extra funding pay for, you ask? Even more AWESOMENESS, of course!
* Solar panels to power the lights, fans and electrical on the Tin Gypsy
* BIG Beautiful Plates! We'd love to be able to afford an upgrade to an old 8x10 camera and the wet-plate supplies to be able to make big beautiful tintypes and ambrotypes...
* A small stipend for our fantastic assistant + student intern, Lindsey
Thanks for your support!!! The Tin Gypsy will be ready to roll soon!
Be our friend! ----> http://www.facebook.com/pages/TinGypsy-Project/178110872244175?sk=wall
The Tin Gypsy began her life as a tiny vintage travel trailer made in 1961. When I found her, she had been long unused, watching the weeds grow up around her in someone's backyard. This project will provide funding for the ol' girl's rehabilitation and retrofitting for a new life as a fabulous Travelling Photographic Studio and Darkroom. The Tin Gypsy will be specially designed to facilitate the practice of antique photographic processes dating back to the 1850s. The processes that we plan to focus on include the making of tintypes (images on metal plates), ambrotypes (images on glass plates), as well as salted paper and albumen prints (images on paper coated with salts and albumen from egg whites).
This project takes its inspiration from the earliest practitioners of photography, who were as much scientists and inventors as they were artists. They used creativity and lots of trial and error to devise ingenious techniques for making photographs. What really draws me to the practice of early photographic methods, like Wet Plate Collodion and Albumen Printing, is the process. It's a slower, more intimate and handmade experience than many modern photographic practices. There is a feeling of mystery and magic and a little bit of danger... mixing chemicals, coating plates, watching the images slowly appear on the metal or glass as the developer works- it's all really amazing to me.
One of these early techniques, the Wet Plate Collodion Process (invented in 1854) must be completed within just a few minutes, before the light-sensitive collodion solution dries on the metal or glass plate and renders the image impossible to develop. In order to successfully execute this process, the photographer must have his or her darkroom nearby. In the 19th Century, some photographers wanted to take the wet plate process outside of the studio and into the field, so horse-drawn carts and buggies were retrofitted as mobile darkrooms.
Traveling portrait photographers were then able to wander the country with their mobile darkrooms, making photographs of people in the small towns and cities they traveled through. These portrait photographers produced small albumen and tintype 'cartes de visite' and cabinet cards that were very affordable and wildly popular for a time. Traveling darkrooms were also used by documentary photographers who wanted to travel onto the battlefield to photograph the soldiers and scenes of the Civil War.
It's been an amazing experience for me to connect with the historical beginnings of photography through the study and practice of these antique photographic techniques. I love the distinctive appearance of the tintypes, ambrotypes, and albumen prints and each unique process of creating them. Each time I make a new plate or coat another sheet of paper to make a print, I know that the resulting image will be absolutely one-of-a-kind and handmade. And that's totally awesome.
So friends, with your donations and support, what I would like to do with the Tin Gypsy is this:
First of all, we need to get her all fixed up and ready to roll. The ol' girl is pushing 50 years old and she is definitely showing her age. We need to replace rotting wood on the frame, add insulation and new wood paneling, repair the electrical, repair the linoleum flooring, patch the holes and leaks in the aluminum, remove the old paint... the list is pretty long.
We'd also like to give her a little bit of flair. She needs a new paint job and some decorative flourishes: flocked wallpaper in dark tones to line the interior, red gel material and dark curtains to block out daylight when working in the darkroom, new upholstery...
The next step is to retrofit the inside of the trailer as a darkroom and stock it with the necessary supplies: assorted photographic chemicals, tin plates, glass plates, safe lights, plate holders, art paper, contact printing frames, developing trays....
And finally: The Maiden Voyage! In August, we will be travelling throughout the Pacific Northwest with the Tin Gypsy. We will start in Portland, Oregon and meander our way up to Bellingham, Washington, stopping in small towns along the way to make photographs of the people we meet and the unique places and things we discover.
Your kickstarter contribution will help pay for the needed repairs and upgrades to the trailer, as well as for the darkroom set up and the various expenses of the road trip- gasoline, camp sites, etc.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your part in making this dream project a reality!
Fabulous rewards will be handmade with love and care for you...
Here are some links to examples of my work in antique processes to give you an idea of what your reward will look like (**These are NOT the actual plates or prints that will be made for the rewards, the reward images are still in the development stages and progress will be updated on the blog as the project unfolds**)
Albumen/Salted Paper Prints:
For more information and details about the project and the rewards, please visit:
Many many thanks to my fabulous collaborators on this project:
Final Cut Pro/Video Editing Amazingness: Rubina Martini> Find her at Rubinamartini.com
Photography Co-Conspirator: Lindsey Rickert> Find her at http://delusionalphotography.carbonmade.com/
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