Yesterday, I got a call from Steve Silipigni, an excellent wood craftsman and wet plate photographer from Rochester, whom I’d met at John Coffer’s Jamboree. Steve is making my darkbox for wet plate collodion field use; and he wanted to let me know that it was ready to be shipped. I’m so eager to begin working with it. After seeing several of Steve’s darkboxes at Jamboree, two of his own and one that he had made for Todd Harrington, I was convinced that they were well-constructed and would provide maximum convenience in the field.
My darkbox and accesories are really beautiful pieces. The pegged box is pine, supporting table top is pine with an oak edge (legs are oak), while the sunken silver nitrate bath is made of walnut. Each component is finished with an English chestnut stain. There are cast iron handles on each long side of the box and one on top for easy portability. Weighing in at 44lbs., the box will accomodate plate sizes up to 8 x 10. However, Steve does make a smaller box for up to whole plate, which is somewhat lighter. The box opens by a small latch on the side; and there are removable supports to hold the red shroud securely in place when working with plates inside. In addition to the darkbox and table, I ordered a fixer bath, drying rack and storage box for whole plate – all walnut. Steve made the jpegs below prior to shipping.