I had an idea I needed to test- and this is it!
I made a paper negative on 11x14 inkjet paper of a pinhole self-portrait, leaving a large area on top to do a Suminagashi pull. Suminagashi is an ancient Japanese style of marbling that uses water, ink, and a surfactant to keep the ink floating on the surface of the water. The design is then transferred to the paper when the paper is carefully placed on the water and ink surface.
I knew I wanted the photographic image to be positive so I printed the image as a negative, but because of a previous test, I knew that I wanted the sky area to be solid black with the ink design white, like spirits in the dark desert sky. The end result of the paper negative was half negative/half positive giving me the look I wanted.
To create the print I made a large contact print directly onto 11x14 fiber paper. I wish I could say it was super easy, but it wasn’t. It required split grade printing with some burning and dodging! These 3 editions are the good ones. When I get a good print, I usually try to print a couple extra when the print session is challenging and I don’t want to just have one from the time spent in the darkroom.
I’m filing this under “artist study” because it’s a close step towards what I hope to achieve in future printing with this method. I don't think I'll make this exact print again, so these are it!
Printed in my darkroom on 11x14 Ilford multi-grade fiber, I chose the matte surface for this project to match the image. Matte surface is what I would consider a soft black, it’s not that deep, intense black of glossy surface fiber, but the satiny-smooth surface is dreamy.
Matted 16x20, I sign the back of the print, the mat, and package it all with a backing board. The size is easy to find a frame for and I hope by receiving the print already matted, it helps you get it in a frame and up on a wall soon!
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