sabato 19 settembre 2015

Fire Printing

If the medium is the message, the subsidium is part of the meaning and mastering a technique is the language. T.G.

Silvia Celeste Calcagno - from: La fleur coupée, 2015 - fire printing

The photographic image is suitable for many kinds of support, in this case the artist merged her knowledge in the field of ceramic with the the know-how of ancient photo-techniques: the result is stunning. 

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Silvia Celeste Calcagno - Je t'aime, 2015 fire printing

Silvia patented her own technique to print on the ceramic and called it: fire printing gres.
I talked to the ceramist/photographer to make her an interview, but she refused to speak about every theme was not about a conceptual nature.
I appreciate the artistic work of Silvia, but I find that if the same idea was fixed on paper, for example, the final result would not have been so strong, so meaning, so beautiful, so interesting and so precious. 

Silvia Celeste Calcagno - Rose 2015, fire printing

Silvia Celeste Calcagno
Detail of Rose

Silvia Celeste Calcagno is the winner of the international ceramic prix: Faenza 2015

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Silvia Celeste Calcagno portrayed herself on these very small tiles and in all her works

"The project Internal 8 - La fleur coupée builds a story related to a very current social and political dimension. The female figure has declined in its fragility and intimacy, it told through opposing trends that blend images with a distinctive emotional perspective. The work manages effectively the different contemporary languages such as performance, photography, sound installation and environment, structuring a complex layering narrative that takes the form of a ceramic research of an experimental nature, where all 2,000 small pieces sublimates the representation of single detail in an abstraction of the whole."

Selfportraits in searching of an identity

An interior of the Officine Saffi, the gallery in Milan where is possible to see the exhibition: La fleur coupée

The works showed in this exhibition are sold between 800 and 14,000 euros.

Final consideration
To be a person who does not consider important the technical aspect, Silvia seems to be quite frightened after the question: "How did you make it?" Maybe, she thinks there is more interest to her secrets than to her artistic creativity? Or, behind her works is there any industrial application of what she makes?
I do not know what to think or what to tell you about it, I can only say that there are many ancient techniques to attach a photograph to ceramics, such a result could also be achieved by coating the gum bichromate on clay.
Of course, there is much work behind the tiles of this Ligurian artist and it is understandable that she does not want to talk about their tricks, but it seems also plausible that before opening the bag to buy something that costs a lot of money, everybody would like to know what he is buying, how it is made and how it reacts to the passing of time. It is normal for every collector asking to himself what you have in return for his trust, as well if his confidence is well placed.

For a more exhaustive reading on this subject, have a look at the Tony Graffio's article in italian language

lunedì 14 settembre 2015

51st Edition of the Castel San Giovanni photographic antiquity and second-hand field

Yesterday, I went back to Val Tidone to see to find new curiousities and interesting people to present in these pages.
As usual, I got up early to be on the place as soon as the doors of the market were open.

 Choosing the right bargain

Filotecnica Milano 8X30, around 1940, serial abraded

After seeing the interest they have aroused, in my last article among the binoculars collector, I thought to resubmit also this time to your attention some rare pieces for the connoisseurs. The Filotecnica of Milan had binoculars as military ordinance of the Italian Royal Army, those who appropriated these tools took care to erase the serial number not to be traced back as those who had stolen them.
Despite not having the quality and value of a San Giorgio (valued also 800 euros), we are still facing with a piece of value that costs more than 300 euros.

1905, the Dialyt, were the first binoculars to use roof prism

A detail of the Dialyt

Two new front mattes of  a Rolleiflex 3,5 F 1st type and of a Rolleiflex 3,5 E 3rd type

Some far-sighted traders have already bought some of these new parts of the rarer models of Rolleiflex, they replaced them and magically the value of their old and worn cameras has skyrocketed giving belief to those who bought them to have in their hands the pieces of great value.
Indeed, if the cameras have also been revised to perfection, you can dispose of old cameras in very good condition that can last for a very long time.

 Leitz Cutter for 35mm film complete of shaping folding knife and bag for it

A time films that were inserted into the old Leica screw mount were trimmed to have the certainty of being able to not clog the loading mechanisms.
I do not know how many photographers actually do this operation. Probably, this manual cutting was quite recommended, especially for those using remains of cinematographic film; of course I find the Leitz cutter an accessory already quite rare to see.
Finding this piece in new conditions, must mbe a nice surrise to the collector who needs it for his pre war Leicas.

A sympathetic character well known by everybody: Arturo Rebora, 76 y.o., retired precision mechanic

Among many beautiful things are hidden cameras little known that attract the attention of any kind of passionate

Ricoh Auto Half, an automatic selenium's cell film spring wound. Half means half format: 18X24 mm (70 euros)

Matteo Capaia

Matteo Capaia, from Genoa, came to the market organized by the Photo 90s associacion hoping to find some old accessory, camera or anything that might be useful for its activities of photographer who engages with collodion. In this photograph, he is holding one of its "Half plate".

A curious shot in wet collodion from Matteo Capaia

The old gear sometimes is side by side of the last digital equipment

Behind every cabinet, having the patience to look well, you can see a rare camera, something hard to find, and why not, a chance to take home a good piece for a fair price. This Canon 7 rangefinder it was offered to me by a friend at an affordable price, only for the day of the fair. Knowing that if I had bought this Canon then probably I would have been in search of the legendary Canon 50mm f 0.95, I decided to keep going and pretend nothing happened. Tony Graffio

martedì 1 settembre 2015

Classic and rare: Ambico camera caddy

Now that the best cameras of the silver age are quite bergain compared to the original selling prices, every real fan of the film era is obviously looking for the camera he dreamt for years.  Such photographers  are also tryng to distinguish themself from the others film cameras lovers chasing the perfect gadget  for their photographic gear.
I had the opportunity to find a new old stock camera strap so I immediately catched this old fashioned psychedelic stlyle wonderful item from a friend of mine who "plundered" an old camera shop in Milan, Italy. I payed it about 20 euros, and I was quite happy to became the owner of a camera caddy extremely well done,  made of natural fibers like cotton and leather.
The model I bought is 2 inches wide and has a bright yellow dominant colour in a geometric pattern typical of the late 1960's and of the beginning of the 1970's: it's the style 711.
Of course, there were many styles available, so the possibility to personalize your item is quite wide; there were also different types of carriers having narrower straps, or a sort of incorporated 35mm film holder, like a cartridge belt.
I opted for a simple large strap because the mechanical flagship cameras of the seventies were quite heavy, expecially if furnished with a sport viewfinder or a big photomic.
I also wanted to enjoy the graphic of the pattern without hiding it with the 35mm cartridge holders, so I avoyded the optional cylinders on the strap.
The other practical good point of this psychedelic gadget is the possibility to unhook quickly the camera from the strap. 
If, as often it happens, you have bought a wonderful second hand SRL and you discover the shop, or the man sold you the camera has removed also the couple of rings where you could fix your neck strap to the camera, with the Ambico camera carrier this is not a problem, because this genuine american firm supplied also the rings to complete the carrier. Who would do it nowdays?
This is why I feel to say to all the Tony Graffio's friends: <Ambico Carrier? Nevermore without it>

Ambico Style 711 - Made in USA in the 1970's

Eden with a Canon F1 (old) around the neck and a bright new camera caddy

Part of the original packaging of the casual carrier