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Mordancage for Tenebrae

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So back in February, one of the elders at my church asked if I’d be interested in contributing to our Tenebrae service for holy week this year. “Sure, what are you looking for?” The darker and more abstract the better. A dark and abstract photo…

So after brainstorming with some friends, Leah came up with the idea of trying out the mordancage process, and I have to say it was a stroke of genius on her part. The way the process works, the darker the image, the more distressed it ends up. The long and short of it is this – you drop the print in an acid bath and the blacks start to dissolve, but since there’s less silver in the whites, they don’t dissolve. But the cool part is that the dissolving emulsion lifts from the paper and forms curtains, sheets, parachutes that adhere back the paper when it dries. Super chaotic stuff. Perfect for Tenebrae (Latin for shadows or darkness).

Tenebrae Tryptic web

The idea was to try it out on a few different prints to see which worked the best, but it ended up turning into a tryptic. Which was just a shame, really.

After holding off judgment for a couple months, I feel pretty good about them. But my personality is way too detail oriented to easily accommodate¬†the process into my repertoire. I’ll probably mess with it again in the future, but it was incredibly frustrating to work with in the moment. Expectations adjusted…

tenebrae 1_small web

tenebrae 2_small web

tenebrae 3_small web

My friend Chris modeled for the photos.

Written by ryanstufflebam

June 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

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