Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Beautiful New Year

We are very happy at the Antique Photography Studio family. Cheerful for our lives and togetherness, we are joyful spending our lives inspiring love to each other and, of course, we are rejoiced for having our family and friends in our lives and we are honored surrounded by their love. Therefore we decided to put our hands to work on the making of our Christmas cards, a warm and intimate way of showing our appreciation to our beloved ones.

It was a beautiful project filled with lots of fun, friendship and scholarship. We are convinced we can do infinite things with our hands and we want to share some of the moments we spent following the 20 Easy Steps to make one of a kind Christmas Cards.

1- Sketch your design on a piece of paper and 2- Look for the right envelopes to make sure your final cards will fit in them. 

3- Make the paper for the cards. With the help of our friend Ray, we used cotton fibers mixed with recycled paper to make a beautiful textured paper. 4- Convert your living room into a photo studio to shoot the family portrait. We used a white backdrop to make it easier inserting the autumn foliage on our final image.

5- Take a letterpress workshop to learn how to use this fantastic way of printing. The Englewood Depot is a great place to do so. 6- Printing on letterpress you'll be able to use movable types. 7- Or you'll probably prefer to use a negative in order to make a photopolymer plate.

8- Expose the photopolymer under UV light as shown by our friend Tom. 9- After exposed, washed and brushed, your plate is almost ready to print. 10- Now you have to place the plates along with any type on the frame and lock it ready to be mounted on the press.

11- Choose the letterpress that better fit your needs. We used a 1917 Chandler and Price press for our project. 12- After several position and color adjustments you will be ready to print on your previously trimmed cotton paper. The beauty of this system is in printing one piece at a time.

13- Now is the time to process and print the family portrait. And right after that, you have to trim the borders using special roughed scissors. 14- Use your sewing machine to stitch the pictures to the cards, avoiding the use of glue, which will damage the paper over time.

15- Finishing the seams is laborious and time consuming work, but working at home it becomes joyful. 16- The girl was very excited as well as she was helping with the positioning and glued of the ribbons. 17- Most beautiful time spent working together, dad and daughter.

18- And they’re almost ready. It’s time to practice your calligraphy skills, and get some good ink and nibs. 19- Now you’re ready to put the names of your loved ones on the beautiful envelopes you chose on step 2.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Lovely New Year, from the bottom of our hearts.
20- You'll never forget this magnificent experience.
These are News from the Antique Photography Studio.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Aboard the Letterpress Experience

To print is, in the most basic concept, to make our random thoughts become visible to others, and our ideas be preserved on a piece of something for an extended period of time. And what a myriad ways to do so. Since dawn of men, thoughts have been represented on every available surface, stone walls, clay tablets, textiles and garments, papers. History of printing, in fact, has been tied up with history of paper making for the last thousand years, and the development of printing presses has being part of the evolution of humanity for the last six centuries.

In modern times printing is a highly specialized science and there are plenty of digital ways to produce highly refined and precise pieces of printed material. Highly automated and every part of the process governed by computers, these systems no longer promote the friendly relationship between an artist and his prints, where personal touch was a signature on the final printed pieces in the past.

However, and probably just because of all that automation, there’s being a recent reborn of antique processes, and not just with elders and outdated craftsmen, young generations are avidly looking for learning these techniques and put hands to work, brains to process, senses to perceive and get in touch with dust and ink stains, putting away, even for a while, the world of electronic keypads. And it’s right here where movements like the Englewood Letterpress Depot are attaining great importance in our communities.

The Depot is a living museum of letterpress printing, typography, design, poetry and art; a working vintage letterpress printshop with space for exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, events and meetings. Located in Englewood, Colorado, in the Denver metropolitan area, it is housed in an original mission style railroad depot built in 1915 as the stop for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Designed by the Santa Fe Railways Company, the building was in use until the late 1970's and then moved, from it's original location at Hampden and Santa Fe to South Galapago and Dartmouth in 1994.

The Depot. Tintype by German Murillo ©2014
Just a few of these beautiful, filled with history buildings are still standing, after serving as passengers, freight, and other commodities stations along the railroad lines between the late 1800's and most of the twentieth century. Now, a handful of guys and gals got together to come aboard the first Depot Traveling Letterpress Workshop experience, a journey dedicated to explore the science of printing thoughts on paper using several kinds of letterpresses and movable types.

Aboard this loco-motive (crazy-motif in old latin) came Victoria Adams-Kotsch, Megan Duffy, Cristy Fernandez, Emily Lennon, German Murillo, Bradley Wajcman and Jen Wisler, along with Tom Parson, Ray Tomasso, David Ashley and Peter Bergman as conductors who, as a creative collective, worked together in the creation of a series of printed pieces evolving a Pro-Con concept. They designed several thoughts to be printed on papers; went through hundreds of type faces, managed different styles of type drawers, organized lines of text using composing sticks, set out pages on galleys, did hand set lockups with wood and metal type, mixed many ink colors, made tests on proof presses, and printed on Vandercook, Chandler & Price, and some other letterpresses.

The result of this four months, four sessions journey was a multi page portfolio, assembled on folders printed in metallic grey, and enclosing almost 20 printed multi sized pieces.

The Blue-Blast concept:
As inseparable as Pro & Con, opposites can’t exist without each other. As different as they are, day and night complement each other to the point where they coexist, covering each one a portion of the globe, and even getting melded every time that one transforms into the other. Blue and Blast are opposites at first sight, but emotions generated in blue are usually more powerful than the most powerful blast. In the same way, it is not rare to have a blast just in the blue. Euphoria and melancholia, rolling together and complementing each other. Each one wearing its own colors and playing its own music. It’s up to us to balance them, to live with them to harmonize them, and to be passionate for them.

Half size and Full size spreads expanding the Blue-Blast concept. The top one is perforated in the middle axis, the second one -at center- is perforated and threaded, as expressing individuality and conjunction.
Bottom: sewed spreads -left- and photopolymer plate used to print some of the pieces.  

For info about the Englewood Depot click here.
These are News from the Antique Photography Studio.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tintype Family Portrait Day

Denver’s Tintype portrait day was a little while ago, and it’s never late to share a little bit of this marvelous experience. It’s an anual event organized by the Colorado Photographic Arts Center to give people the chance of having their portrait taken in the old fashion way. I had the privilege of been invited to the Arts Student’s League beautiful building, as part of the three collodion photographers making wet plate collodion portraits, to share with community this marvelous alchemist process.

A painting classroom converted into collodion processing lab for three photographers

Jacqueline Webster, Dennis Russell and myself shared one of the painting class rooms converted into an effervescent collodion processing lab, with people avid for getting into the world of hand made photography. It was, no doubt a great experience working side by side with these two fellow artists and a lovely, super friendly group of sitters.

Very grateful with an excellent group of sitters

It was a very long day, exhausting and rewarding, and the most important, with hope in the near future. Looking that many people coming after these old processes where things are made by hand, one by one, with tools and patience, make me think there’s still a chance for new generations to get in contact with craftsmanship, to understand we can make things by ourselves, with our hands, away from main streams. That may makes us free.


It was a real Wet Plate Collodion Family Portrait Day

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Pinhole Wet Plate Workshop

What a great experience we had during our Pinhole Wet Plate photography workshop last week.
First day we met at a totally renovated 1800’s sheep barn at the Lakewood Heritage Center. We couldn’t have a better room to make our pinhole cameras out of recycled cardboard boxes and set them ready to start shooting next morning. We also had a good conversation about how passion can get lost due to how easy to make are some things nowadays thank to new technologies.
We fueled our passions by putting our hands to work, so we went back to the basics, examining how the camera obscura works and what is needed to make a photograph; a real one, made with light, silver and patience.

We started early next morning setting up our working station at the Semper historic preservation farm in Westminster, a farmhouse built in 1881 which also hosts the Allison community gardens. Great and inspirational spot allowed us to shot some really good pinhole pictures and also rewarded us with some fortunate, happy accidents resulting in wonderful images.

After postponing our third scheduled session due to weather conditions, we enjoyed a splendid autumn day for our final pinhole shots. In the end, what’s important, is we all left with a big smile in our hearts, new experiences in our souls, our fingers stained black with silver, exhausted after washing, finishing and varnishing our plates and of course after packing up the car again with all the equipment to get back. And, the best part, with many pictures made by ourselves using cameras made by ourselves.

Check our website for more info.
All images are copyrighted by the artists who made them. All rights reserved ©2014.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pinhole Photography Class

There’s one spot left in our special Pinhole Photography Class. This is going to be a one of a kind experience, not just because we will build our own cameras but because we will make pictures on aluminum using the wet plate collodion process. This will be a two and a half days workshop, with two full days of outdoor experience, taking pictures with our own cameras and developing on the field right away.

We will provide everything, including chemicals to sensitize and develop the the aluminum plates.
We’ll meet on June 27th, Friday afternoon, to build cameras and mix chemicals. Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th we will go on field trip, shoot photography and develop on site. At the end of the day all the photos you have made will be finished and ready to take home. An unforgettable adventure, for sure.  Cost all included: $300.

Reserve the spot.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Red Line Jurors Choice Award

We had very exciting news at the Antique Photography Studio last November, when our piece "New West and Nymph" got the Jurors Choice award at the 1sq Ft show at Red Line. The piece is a collodion photography based collage, that claims for the preservation of our memories.

Red Line is one of the most important art galleries in Denver, an urban laboratory where art, education and community converge. With over one hundred artists on the show, we are truly honored with this recognition.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

'Curating the Cool' is carrying our framed art

Curating the Cool is Boulder County’s best place to find unique new & vintage gifts. Located in Old Town Lafayette, they specialize in gifts, furniture, clothing, art, unique collectibles, and home-goods. And best of all, Z, its owner, is a very cool guy as well. Curating the Cool is the 2013 winner of 5 Best of Boulder East awards. You can find our framed ambrotypes and tintypes at the store or in their online store.

401 South Public Road
Lafayette, CO 80026
(720) 432-4292

Working with artists

It's great what can be accomplished when artists get together to work. I should take that back. It's wonderful what can be achieved when people cooperate to work. People together with a purpose undoubtedly means that wonderful things are about to happen. Somebody's work value goes beyond monetary measurements. It is the pleasure of just giving a little bit of ourselves in pursue of someone's dream. In this issue we want to highlight the work of three artists who have collaborated with us:

Ryan Dirksen at Where Wood Meets Steel uses a wide variety of materials from reclaimed and recycled wood and steel to unique slabs to produce custom furniture. Ryan is the artist who made the cover for the Antique Photography Studio book.

Ray Tomasso, printer, typographer, graphic designer, sculptor, is the artist, master paper-maker who in his newest exhibition "Forgotten Latitudes" shows, in monumental size, the magnitude of his 40 plus years of research in paper making. His paper cast abstract sculptures, saturated with no muted colors are truly impressive.
I had the privilege of working at Ray's Inter-Ocean Curiosity Studio making the paper used to create the Antique Photography Studio book.

Kiko Yamada is an artist who loves drawing, painting, and never stops creating. She is a classically trained artist and began drawing caricatures in 2007. She is passionate about caricature art and feels blessed being able to make a living doing what she loves. I like her energy and love her work.