Jul 16, 2008

So a few weeks ago my friend Michelle's friend Rob, who teaches photography at Penn State, took a whole morning and showed me how a dark room works and how to process film and make a print and so on, and he also showed me old-timey techniques like wet slide collodion and cyanotyping (I think) -- all this for noir research -- and it was AMAZING, and very generous of him, and then Monday this guy Cody came and demonstrated the wet plate collodion process, which was invented in 1855 mind you, for Rob and me. It is so so cool, and Cody first did one of me, using a piece of red glass that he coated with collodion and then immersed in silver nitrate, then taking that glass and inserting it into a plate holder and then a very old large format camera, then exposing it and taking the image, and then developing it with developer and stopwash and fixer.. and then drying it over an oil lamp and varnishing the sides. It was SO COOL watching this all happen, like magic as the image emerged on the glass... and as, over the oil lamp, it became more and more crisp.. And then Cody let me do one myself.

Here is some of Cody's work using this process. LOOK HOW COOL IT IS: http://goddard.smugmug.com/gallery/5251254_a7djc#319367250_uh9T2

And here's the one he did of me, tho a crappy photo of it using mah cell phone.

I may look 50000 years old and like I'm about to kill you, and that glass may very well now hold a bit of my soul, but isn't it cool?


In other news, that night I had my first accordion lesson. I drove over 5000 mountains to get to Phillipsburg, where my teacher Clarice lives, a self-identified redneck who fell in love with the accordion as a kid and didn't care that all the other kids thought it was freaky -- her husband, she told me, also hates it.. she said she played it for him once when they were dating and he told her to never play it around him again! -- and she's this wonderful funny bubbly blond woman who snatched up my gorgeous accordion and then took it all apart and took out the packing stuff and fixed it all up and then taught me to hold it and make it play. AND IT SOUNDS SO BEAUTIFUL EVEN WHEN YOURE JUST PRESSING RANDOM KEYS. Then, to my great sadness, we put it away and for the next while it's just me learning the damn keyboard and how to read music. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Appalling!

Here is Clarice and my accordion:

And in other news, last week Barb drove Joi and me all around the countryside and we went to this Amish store in Madisonburg where I bought my best friend AOIFE the coolest baby cowboy boots:

Oh! And yesterday Barb and I bought tickets to Seattle, where we are going to the two-day The Bad Things CD Release Extravaganza, as they are the best band ever. I emailed said band to make sure the event would indeed be extravagant. They assured me it would be.

Here is what the website says. Admit you want to go!

First Night! Saturday, September 6th
An Evening of Drunken Revelry with the incredible Miss Mamie Lavona and her White Boy Band and, all the way from Los Angeles, The Peculiar Pretzelmen. Plus aeiral performance by the amazing Michele Frances and more to be announced!
Second Night! Sunday, September 7th The Bad Things present the best in Subterranean Cabaret! Acts to be announced!