My beautiful picture— cuz that’s what i have been doing of late. before i made my recent trip up to colorado i ordered in a negative reader– something i can put all my old analog slides and negs into and digitise the images, making it possible for me to reproduce older images, and if i find enough stuff i may even bite the bullet and buy myself a good printer, make some real copies of shots– both new and old. maybe this will even serve as an inspiration to me, to take the 6 rolls of exposed infrared film currently residing in my fridge and develop them. nothing is easy though, as chemicals are getting difficult to get hold of. hmmmm.sunset, canyonlands parkso many plans and so few rances.

anyhow, it took me a while to begin the process, as i had plenty of other stuff on my plate to keep me busy. not diving, nossirree bob– it is the lowest of the low here, and only occasional tanks to be done, but even so…. more on this later. but finally i pulled the gizmo out of the cupboard i had placed it in and tried to figure out how it worked. fairly easy instructions. one of the first things i realised is that the viewer is slightly out of line, meaning i slice off a thin strip of every photo. this means i have to flip the negative around (not physically, there are buttons to do that in a virtual sense) sometimes, and at others it just sucks. oh well. if i still lived up in the land of the big PX i could just send this sucker back to the good folks at wolverine– name brand– and perhaps they could send me a new one, but we all know that’s not possible here in mexico without a lot of hassle, so we just do what we can. there may yet be ANOTHER negative reader in my future sometime though. this slight misalignment also means i cannot read up the light change values in the adjustment area, and so have to keep these light values remembered. easy enough most times, but i do get distracted, and then i have to turn it off and begin all over again.My beautiful pictureand sometimes it works out so well– i found my old negs and slides of a bunch of my old pen and ink drawings– from the early 80s til maybe 2002-3 i worked a great deal in this medium. unfortunately, most of these negs and slides are really degraded– all the greens have been sucked out and it leaves mostly a red mass. but sometimes i can tweedle around with the knobs and bring something to life once again.

it took a dog’s age to work through all the color negs, and what was surprising, along with all those old memories suddenly jump started was– the missing ones. i am boggled at how many photo negatives, whole rolls i guess, are just not there. maybe some day i shall stumble across them, maybe not. keeping my fingers crossed. now the huge slough of B&W images is before me, like a huge quagmire threatening to suck me down and drown me. patience, patience i advise myself– slowlee slowlee catchee monkee they say.trunkfish double design

but meanwhile back at the ranch– there were some tech divers on a boat i was working on, and one of them commissioned me to create a piece of jewellery for his wife. he liked my trunkfish, but wanted two of them, kissing. so i made a little drawing and cut a cookie cutter shape of the piece for him to approve.trunkfish design 2 - Copy

i cut master waxes for him to approve, making minor changes in the appearance of the work, improving from the original i think, and proposed putting in a quarter carat diamond to give the kiss a little cachet, along with the smaller diamonds i would put in the eyes. not only did it look pretty decent in wax form, but i could see that, with a little finagling, i could use the waxes to make a 3-D trunkfish for future inventory.

and then i cast the piecetrunkfish double cast 2.jpg (2)

next step was to bring the separate pieces to a point where i could make molds of them for future use, and also to provide my client with a little taste of what his design might look like, primitive though it may still be. then i did the molding up.trunkfish double mockup.jpg (2)

a few days later i was able to cut the molds apart, retrieve the pieces, and go on to put everything together. this turned into a very technical piece of work, a lot of separate soldering operations, much stress and sweat. i had to plan everything out to the last detail– what grade of solder, which order, when to use yellow ochre (a paste that inhibits the solder’s melting) and when to just plain gird my loins and GO FOR IT!! but the gods were with me, and it ended up looking pretty snazzy i think.trunkfish double w diamonds, polished

i do believe i am going to put it into inventory, along with the 3-D version. the pendant has made it north of the border now, and if all goes well it will be delivered to the client around 10:30– happy anniversary, you two!!

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