Makeing the piece
for the piece i intended to make i wanted to experiment with casting light through a series of slides. in a similar fashion to the old style Victorian magic lanterns and slide projectors. initially this would have entailed a closed compartment to Chanel the light directly through to the view through the slides. although due to time restraints and my new experiences and induction into the metal facilities, this would have been quite a lengthy and skilled task to undertake that i didn’t have the skills to do so at the time. other items i was looking at that influenced my choice in design were a series of photographic Victorian plates i had found in a junk shop, depicting a family on a beach holiday. the black and white inverted images created a quite macabre atmosphere. and i liked the way the light shined through them. another short project i had done very recently before was the Cherry Kino workshop with Martha Jurksaitis. the workshop in brief terms involved shooting films in super 8 as well as the simple processing, developing and editing, using the most simple forms the final output was a inverted film with a ghostly and surreal like quality. this combination probably inspired me to make the piece that i did.
i began by looking for a simple process that would allow me transfer images onto plates of glass. this began in a simple fashion and i looked at ink as-well as printing onto sheets of acetate. these process worked rather well but lacked the ethereal quality i was looking for. the next process i looked at was to try and transfer layers of carbon onto the sheets of glass. this process for me was derived from smoking metal plates in preparation for acid etching, a process i learned at foundation.
to do this i took a small sheet of glass and carefully blasted it with smoke from an acetaline burner with no oxygen in the mix. this created a dirty flame that produced high amounts of carbon. after some practice i managed to manage both thick and thin layers of carbon that would stick to the plate.
despite this the carbon smoked plates were incredibly delicate objects and the slighted touch would remove all of the carbon. i had to be incredibly careful applying my image to the plates. another interesting aspect that came from this process was that the carbon completely blocked light and became almost more opaque than i had anticipated. the remaining light was very diffused and it took alot of experimenting to get the hard lines i wanted when the light was shone through.
the image i chose to transfer onto the plates was a literal translation of the “entre chien et loup” (somewhere between dog and wolf) and so i wanted to create a delicate, dark and murky image of that time of night where not much light exists so as you cant tell if the thing in the distance is a friend or foe. i chose on one plate to do a basic drawing of a dog/wolf like figure in a running motion. this was sandwiched between two place depicting a wooded area. the trees lack leafs to ad to the winter, darkness like feel of the image. and the dog is running to ad a sense of urgency and panic.
the frame was made in a simple, yet surprisingly time consuming fashion our of strips of copper. i chose copper as it added a rustic feel to the piece as-well as it being quite a soft metal making it easier to work with. its made by bending the strips of metal to form troughs and peaks for the frames to fit easily into and so as not to damage or disturb the very sensitive material on the plates themselves.