Re: The value of the handmade

Date: 03/15/05-02:27:24 PM Z
Message-id: <>

argon said:

>Add to this the assinine use of masks in photoshop that make the borders of
>an injet print look as if it were a print made on a brushed on emulsion or a
>polaroid transfer...corny as hell.

I feel somewhat qualified to comment on this because I've been printing
platinum/palladium for more than two decades and in all that time I never
once included brush marks on my pt/pd prints. It wasn't that I didn't
like that "evidence of process" look in other printers' work. It was
because I'd migrated from a silver gelatin world where it felt more
natural (and handsome) to fall from the image area onto clean, white

Nearly four years ago I began printing pigment-over-platinum in which I
combined digitally applied inkjet pigments with handcoated
platinum/palladium. Color was finally exciting because digital had
addressed the two horrible limitations of color: fugitive dyes and lack
of control. Wanting to anchor this new color work in the handmade world,
I decided to tap into the classic metaphor by including the brushed
border around the image. This was not a Photoshop border, but rather
hand-brushed precious metals I applied (with a real brush) in the
chemical darkroom.

Fast forward to the present where I'm also producing pigmented ink prints
that have never seen a lightsource, a negative or a tray of chemistry.
I'm including the "border look" in these machine-made prints. And so far,
none of the borders are from "masks in Photoshop;" I'm scanning my
handmade, pigment-over-platinum prints and using those borders (that I
painted myself in the darkroom) around my non-handmade ink prints. Funny
how the old and new find ways to coexist isn't it?!

Just yesterday I was lecturing at a University in Indiana and was asked
about the borders on my pigmented ink prints. I explained that, because
my color work found first fruition as pigment-over-platinum prints (in
which the border was that "real" handcoated effect), I was continuing
that "look" in my newest ink prints. There seems to be some logic of
continuity lurking there. But I added that I was going to play with doing
away with the border, returning to the "clean" borderless look. I really
don't know how the work will be presented a year from now!

It's funny how "traditions" are born and adopted. Much like "lawns" that
were first used as ground cover on the cleared area around castles to
deprive enemy of cover.

Finally, I still love the darkroom and feel all's fair in love and art.

Received on Tue Mar 15 14:27:45 2005

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