Finally – I am sure everyone out there is breathing the same sigh of relief – Spring is here at long last!!!
This meant I was able to put more paint all over the plate holder I created and paint the inside of the darkbox. That pesky stretch of plastic (Asperagus Foil) managed to arrive after a full 3 weeks wait as well…. now I can put the final touches on that Darkbox this weekend and hopefully start using it. The foil feels like a smooth thick plastic, it feels sturdy yet fairly lightweight, with a black and a white side to it. I am currently contemplating whether best to sew it into a funnel or tape it, how to incorporate an air shaft (going up like a chimney) to get a little air flowing on the inside, and whether or not to cloak the whole thing in cloth.
I did a bit of research on the chemicals I will need for my wet plate project – and the trickiest bit proved to be the correct translation before being able to find them in the online shops. I did try to be careful before just putting anything down – but please do not hesitate to correct me if you find any errors! You can find them here: http://www.classic-photographers.com/chemicals/
With this info, I managed to order pretty much all I need to get started, with a lot of time wasted browsing the minefield we call chemical suppliers and a little support from this blog written by my fellow Dutchie Indra Moonen in 2009 – 2010 (Thanks Indra, you’re blog has been invaluable!). A few of the Dutch Chemical websites require you to register with them first, noting a KvK (business registration number) and a BTW (tax) number before either getting back to you in about 1 days time (Antonides.com) or let you proceed straight away (labstuff.nl) IF they haven’t stopped taking orders due to a peak in sales. Rubbish! These sites are basically two parts of the same organization with a business and an individuals front end as Antonides pointed me to the other branch.
There is also Labshop.nl who seem to be dealing with their own kind of trouble – a website being renewed for months, illness of staff and burglary, including theft of the company PC – so they have been unable to provide me with any solid data on prices and chemicals they will be able to deliver. I did manage to find a rare gem in Hekserij.nl, where I found a whole bunch of the chemicals I needed for a reasonable price, although I cannot vouch for their shipping times….yet. Their Terms and Conditions do state they can take up to 30 days to deliver, and if my experience with that plastic from ‘het Vlaamse Zaadhuis’ is anything to go on, it WILL actually take 30 days to the minute. They were polite enough to take the time responding to my comments on the order – stating that normal delivery times are up to 1 week but due to their process being changes (more mail runs) it will speed up considerably over the next few weeks. That’s one piece of good news I didn’t see coming 🙂
Obviously it would have helped if I had this page to start off with, but then again, maybe not. I tried another possible supplier of Collodion in the Netherlands, fagron.nl – but they also require registration and an indefinite wait until you can go onto their site to spend your money. So I’m back to square one and thinking I should’ve gone with Indra’s suggestion and just go ahead and order it from Assink Chemie in the first place! It would have saved me quite a bit of time. But, being Dutch, and a cheapskate, their hefty price tag of €94,86 per liter or Collodion USP (you read that right my friends!! 9-4!) is putting me off a little. Apart from that, you really should make sure that your order is more than €150, or they charge you € 30 shipping. (Over €150 has free shipping)
So, I’m thinking I can be clever and order it from the USA. Bostick-sullivan.com in the USA are known to ship to Europe.
I tried ordering Collodion from their website – which is only $65 / liter (the injustice!!!) adding a few goodies to the order as shipping started at $60 anyway – but got a reply from them saying that even though it is not stated on the Collodion chamical page itself, all wet plate chemicals (being flammable or worse) will have to travel via Fed Ex Haz Mat – which in my case would end up costing me $350!! Crikey!!! Well, it’s back to Assink Chemie for me then, but unfortunately without the gas mask or aluminium plates I added to the order. *cries*
I ordered Silver Nitrate from Ebay.de – and it seems the stuff will need to come from Poland. Heck, at very nearly half the price I’ll wait a little longer (€12 / 10 grams instead of € 23 )
So, to make a long story short, these are the items I ended up ordering, please bear in mind that I’ll be using John Coffers ” Poor Boy” recipe, just in case you feel there are a few things missing on my list!
Potassium Iodide – hekserij.nl – € 18.00 for 50 grams
Potassium Bromide – hekserij.nl – € 6,00 for 50 grams
Collodion – Assink Chemie – € 94,86 for 1 liter (I ordered 2 liters to circumvent shipping charges, and to have some in storage)
Silver Nitrate – Ebay.de – €60 for 50 grams
Ferrous Sulfate – hekserij.nl – € 5,00 for 250 grams
Sodium Thiosulfaat – hekserij.nl – € 20,00 for 5 kg
Gum Sanderac – hekserij.nl – €6,50 for 50 grams
Lavender Oil – hekserij.nl – €15,00 for 50 ml
Calcium Carbonate – hekserij.nl – € 6,00 for 1 kg
Glacial Acetic Acid (plan on getting this from a supermarket/ pharmacy/ hardware store)
Denatured alcohol (plan on getting this from a pharmacy)
Distilled water (plan on getting this from a supermarket/ pharmacy/ hardware store)
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed the collodion won’t ACTUALLY take 10 weeks to get to me as the disclaimer in the order confirmation stated……….