SALT PAPER WORKSHOP

SALT PAPER WORKSHOP

The Salted Paper process was the culmination of several centuries worth of research by remarkable men and women studying the relationship between light and chemistry. However, the concept of a “photograph” only really came to life in the imagination of William Henry Fox Talbot in 1833.

While on honeymoon at Lake Como, Italy, Talbot considered how charming it would be to permanently capture the images he was seeing and share these with friends and neighbours upon his return. When the honeymoon was concluded, Talbot returned to England and set to work on a solution for his inspiration. In 1834 he came up with a significant discovery, and the Salt print was born. In his salt paper techniques’ earliest incarnation, Talbot coated a fine piece of writing paper, most likely a gelatine size rag stock, with a solution of sodium chloride (salt). The salted paper was then dried and sensitized with a second coating solution of silver nitrate. Talbot placed a selection of objects such as feathers, lace and botanical specimens onto the coated sheets of paper before exposing the sheets to the sun (ultra violet light). Once the paper was exposed and the objects removed they formed images on the paper and acted as negatives. Next, Talbot attempted to make a suitable positive print by repeating the procedure on another piece of sensitized writing paper. By contact printing the original paper negative he produced a positive print. Then, in August 1835 Talbot coated another piece of paper and in its wet state and exposed it in one of his 2-inch square mousetrap cameras. It was at this moment in history that the first camera-generated negative was created.

Step back in time and explore the Salted Paper process, one of the most historical of all photographic processes. Although the formulas we use today are a refined version of Talbot’s original process, the chemical principles and working methods are, in essence, the same as 180 years ago. All steps are demonstrated and participants create 2 x Salt Prints, toned in gold, in this practical workshop.

Duration: Half Day
Time: 08:30 –13:30
Class Size: Max 12
Skill Level: All levels