June 29, 2012

Fun Friday: Ukiyoe art from an antique glass negative

Sorry I haven't posted much, but I have been both busy and it's been really hot here. June is traditionally the hottest month here but the heat is taking the motivation right out of me! So I have had no interest in dressing up (no where to go this time of year except out for sushi) or even taking photos of coordination.

But I do have a fun item to share! I found this amazing item on ebay earlier this year and finally decided to do something with it today. It's virtually an antique, from the late Meiji or early Taisho. It's a glass photographic negative of a Ukiyoe woodblock print. Photos were probably taken of of original prints for reproduction purposes.
6-1/2 minutes, using Bostick & Sullivan's cyanotype printing kit

The glass itself is small, only 4.5" x 6.5" and very fragile. I bought it because one of the art-forms I enjoy dabbling in is alternative photographic processes, particularly cyanotypes.  Earlier today, I coated some paper with emulsion and did some time tests, seeing how long it would take to get a good print. The best print was 6-1/2 minutes in the sun. I'll play with this some more next week, but at least I know I can get a good print. So what to do with these? It's the perfect size for a greeting card and I can hand-color them if I want. Or collage it. Or just use it as is, put it in a cute little picture frame and sell them. It this proves to be something of interest, I might hunt down some more on ebay.

I enhanced the contrast and cropped it in Photoshop so you can see the details a little bit better. I think it's a pretty amazing little piece! Let me know what you think!
Have a wonderful weekend,

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