Friday, April 29, 2016

Blogging for Freya: Fun with Food

Transference #2 – Orange juice, rice, milk, flour
Ugh, I'm getting so bad at this, Spiders! I'm supposed to blog for Thor! But I forgot entirely last week, and this week I was at game night. Sorry, Thor. At least Freya alliterates well with this week's topic! And, as a fertility goddess, she's more suited to a post about food!

My thesis project is going well. I've hammered out an artist statement that's concise and meaningful, I've produced a good start on a body of work, I've got lots of new places to go with that body of work, and I'm enjoying my work!

In short, I'm making 'chemigrams' with food, or the ingredients of food. Playing around with different bits of food science, baking, and cooking to produce chemical reactions that cause photo-paper to change color under sunlight. So, they're 'lumen prints' in that they're made on darkroom photo-paper exposed to sunlight, but they're chemigrams in that the only thing used to make them are chemically active, not negatives or inert objects. The paper does really react to the chemistry. Acids, bases, oils and salts all have distinct effects on the paper, aside from simply altering how much light reaches the surface.

The biggest problem has been that I have classes and work during the day, so I tend to leave home soon after getting up, and get home shortly before the sun goes down. That's made it extremely difficult to get much printing done. But the weather is finally turning sunny, and classes are almost over. I hope to get a TON of work done this spring and summer! I'm finally really excited about my projects, too. That's so important, because now I'm actually motivated to do work.

The failed baking soda / vinegar volcano print
My latest experiment was building a baking soda and vinegar volcano on a sheet of photo paper... it didn't come out super well. The baking soda worked fine, even created some nice patterns, but the vinegar turned the paper an unpleasant poo-like brown. I have some ideas on minimizing that, so I'll try the experiment again. Probably later today!

The next idea I have to work on is creating a webwork made out of the stringy bits on bananas (I'll have so many bananas left that I'll probably make banana bread) and the smaller stringy bits found on orange slices. The challenge will be to use the right paper. Since the banana strings and orange strings are so thin and small, it needs to be a paper that reacts to light quickly. Otherwise, I'm afraid that the light will burn through these small objects and leave a very low-contrast, poorly-defined image.

I may also give a shot at printing an image that's immersed in boiling water. I've done underwater prints before, so I know they work. Making the water boiling could be fun! I'll probably do that with something that I suspect will react strongly with boiling water. Maybe milk or yogurt, which may begin to curdle and burn? Or cheese, which may melt? It'll be fun! I could even freeze the paper ahead of time, and then pour boiling water on it while it's still frozen. I know if you do that with film it can shatter the gelatin base, causing a crackle effect. I don't know if that would be visible on photo paper, but it's worth a shot!

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