Daguerrean Dream is a series of 43 4x5in daguerreotype plates, which I worked on since the autumn of 2018. Consisting of four parts, the series was tentatively finished in 2020, but a few plates in Part III didn’t feel quite right, and I gave myself until my 44th birthday to create replacement images to replace those. In the end, I chose to switch out three plates, and so below are the three new daguerreotypes and the short stories behind them.
Innate creativity and innovation are for me preciously holy concepts, ones to meant to be protected and fostered. Concerted implementation of ideas yet untried joyously grants fantasy a tangible form. The image below came to me while pondering fragility inherent in the process of each truly original image gaining existence, and the artists struggle as they carry their creations forth along that rocky path. I have my lovely and very patient model Jozlynn to thank for providing the hands for this image.
As it happened, right after the series was originally released, the world plunged into the uncertainty and dread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Isolation became a major theme in lives of many, and I too spent a greater amount of time than usual in the calming solitude of my darkroom. Quarantining in a bubble while reaching out to other souls via electronic means, increasing the chasm between Nature and us with every keystroke and Siri request, we soldiered on, while our insecurities kept us constant company.
This last image was conceptualized about three months ago, but the technical challenge of superimposing myself unto the sky within a daguerreotype and without of course resorting to any digital means whatsoever was daunting, and took a good while to work out in my mind. In this image I wanted to pay homage to my humble workspace; the second floor studio and darkroom that I have been occupying now for exactly a decade. Floating in the ether of space, as if reflected there, I close my eyes and think of all the experiments and discoveries that happened there, all the chaos and uncertainty that occurred, and all the resulting intricate beauty. I close my eyes and tip my hat to this unassuming building, which temporarily hosted my spirit within its confines.
For those who may be looking at my daguerreotype work for the first time I'd like to mention that I never use any computer generated materials or aids in my work and none of the plates seen here have been hand colored either, it's all a part of the way I reworked the daguerreotype process. I will now wait a few more months before engraving the backs of all plates with proper information, such as names for those that have them and each plate’s placement within the series, and thus within the custom presentation box. Meanwhile I am excited to have finished two fuming boxes as well as ordered the last parts I need for the creation of 8x10in daguerreotypes (I needed to expand the gilding stand to accommodate plates of that size). I can’t wait to start working with that size, which I am sure will present a new set of challenges.