Sandy Bells

Wet Plate Collodion 2011-

Scottish Wet Plate Collodion Tintypes.
 
As an immigrant to the UK, I've been struck by the uniqueness of 'pub culture.' Something which goes beyond a local place for alcohol consumption, a place that has its own history. A community centre. 
 
Sandy Bells is this sort of special place. Its long and rich history as a world-famous folk pub is well deserved. I'm a believer that a space is made by the people who inhabit it. Regulars ranging from students to soldiers, taxi drivers to tutors, and of course musicians. The roles are constantly changing from staff to regular, to the performer. 
 
Wet plate and Sandy Bells are teemed for the reflective natures considering the social, contemporary & historical practice of the medium of wet plate, the making, distributing, and consuming of Real Ale and Whisky as well as the learning, appreciating, and contributing to the folk music community and sessions. This project aims to honour community, craft, and tradition.
 
All the images are scans of one-of-a-kind' plates.' The plates are aluminum coated in a solution of ether, alcohol, collodion, and silver nitrate. The term 'wet plate' comes from the short working life span of the materials which is limited to roughly 10 minutes while the chemicals are still wet. 
 
These plates were prepared, shot, and developed on location (I built a darkroom in the beer cellar. Thanks Steve and Mike!), on sunny days in between my shifts as a bartender. 

This in-progress project is currently on hiatus.