Friday, July 5, 2013

Heavy

As I have looked over my collection of vintage tintypes from the late 19th century, I have been struck by the fact that rarely is anybody ever smiling. Perhaps that is not surprising given the long posing-time necessary for early photographic processes. No doubt though, the models had a very full inner dialogue going -- as can be seen in this very rare, captioned tintype:


I started with a tintype of what looked to me like a big sister holding her little brother. They both look like they would rather be playing.


I used Spellbinders Curved Matting Basics B dies to shape the tintype,


...create a background from black cardstock,


...and cut a frame from a piece of Spellbinders Precious Metals foil.


Putting all the pieces together made the perfect substrate for the tintype.


Next I cut out two speech bubbles from Spellbinders Say What? die set.


And last but not least, I channeled their thoughts.


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With special thanks to The Hollies

Thanks also to all of you who visit my blog. And especially to those who have taken the time to read through this entire post and tutorial. I am offering this piece as a giveaway to a randomly selected reader who leaves a comment on this post by end of Day Monday 7/8. Please be sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you win.

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Supply List

Spellbinders Paper Art Supplies:

MMM-001 SpellbindersTM Artisan X-plorer® Machine
S4-398 SpellbindersTM Shapeabilities® Say What?
S5-172 SpellbindersTM Nestabilities® A2 Curved Matting Basics B
F-012 SpellbindersTM Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils

Other: card stock, adhesive, gel pen 

29 comments:

Karenliz said...

Seth, sooo funny. I have so many images like that too. No one smiles and I always look at their faces wondering what they would be saying. Love this piece! karenlizh@gmail.com

joy said...

Too, too cute! I love their expressions and your thought bubbles are spot on!! Would love to have a tiny piece of your artwork!!!

Johanne said...

It's fascinating to step back in time. When my children were younger, we visited Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, where we had our picture taken as a tintype. We got dressed up and posed... with our necks resting in a metal stabilizing sort of half ring so we wouldn't move. I was virtually impossible to keep smiling while we posed. It was a great experience and got us to understand why there are so many serious faces on tintypes!

bcap61 said...

Seth, I would kill to have your creativity! You have the ability to look at something, anything, really, and turn it into a terrific piece of original art. Kudos!!

Indira said...

Smiling for the camera is a much recent development and a western one, I think. In India, people tend to look solemn in photos. My wedding album is full of photos of people looking unsmilingly at the camera and that include both the bride and the groom. And, we were thinking very happy thoughts, I assure you!

Anyway, it is humorous to put our own spin on what is behind the mask and thanks for the tutorial.

Leslie said...

This is great, Seth. I have a collection of poker-faced tin types too.

A few years ago, I took a workshop to learn how to make tin types. Whew! What a process! I assure you, the photographer wasn't smiling either.

Stacey Merrill said...

What fun! Love the illuminating comments folks are leaving too

David Hayes said...

Yes...very fun! Looks like something I'd come up with! (Of course...my pun would be worse...)

Michelle O'Connor said...

Seth, I laughed out loud at the "conversation" you envisioned between brother and sister. Nothing better than a great sense of humor in art....and in life! Thank you for sharing this!

Maureen said...

There's an interesting piece about Civil War photography in today's Washington Post. It mentions the rare smile, and notes that subjects had to wear a neck brace (which "contributed to the formality and lack of smiling") to sit still long enough for the exposure. The rarity of being in front of a lens also influenced the decision to be formal.

PhotoBooth is a tintype studio that makes portraits in the old style. I think I mentioned once on my blog.

joannapierotti said...

That made me laugh Seth. Remember that song?

Jeanne said...

if you print a photo on ink jet transparencies and glue it onto that really thin copper that you can buy in the rolls at the craft stores you can get a fairly reasonable facsimile of a tintype

Renee said...

Love this piece! I'm so happy being photographed is not such a solemn, uncomfortable ordeal any more. Most of us look better when we smile.

Jo Murray said...

Tres amusant Seth.

marcy said...

Nice use of a great tin type!

Brian Kasstle said...

Too fun Seth! I love tintypes. I often wonder what their lives would be like if they were born today?

Nan G said...

Love your tintype! They do look a bit cross about having to sit still don't they? :) It would be fab to win this piece. Thanks for offering it.

Jane Wetzel said...

lol over here Seth :) Love this and tyou for the chance to win this!

angela said...

Imagine trying to get today's kids to sit like that.
What no d s game or tablet to play with ??? I love the tin type and would love to try this idea.

Saranne Valentine said...

This is awesome! Love your sense of humor Seth!

Ann said...

Thanks for the laugh--and tutorial!

Darlene K Campbell said...

I'm happy that I always read all the way through your posts because now I know I have a chance to win this! It is so much fun to put captions on old photos. Love your altering techniques.
Thanks Jeanne for your idea on tintypes. I'll ry it.

bluetwigstudio said...

Love the quotes you added. So cute. I have a lot of old images that I keep thinking I want to use but so far have only been collecting dust. dlprewitt@hotmail.com

Bill said...

I've always wanted a real brother. I guess a fake one would be better than none.

pat mcnally said...

I have collected a few of this cabinet cards, and tintypes- love them!! People say that about me too- never smile in a picture!! Imust have something in common with them!!! LOL Great giveaway. Am back to blogging - drop by if you get a chance.....

Cheryl said...

I'm intrigued that you use Spellbinders. I just bought my first one a few weeks ago. Having cut out shapes to add to my journal is so much fun.

cyndi cesare said...

You have no idea how many times I have thought about my "unhappy" relatives. My mother has given me tons of photos from the early 1900's and nobody smiles. In fact, they look downright angry. But this reminds me of something my niece said when she was 4 or 5. She had seen black and white photos of my grandfather back in the 50's. One day she told me that grandpa was so old that he was alive back when everything used to be grey! I ask her what she meant and she said that everyone used to wear grey clothes, drive grey cars, live in grey houses, etc. Then it occurred to me "why wouldn't she think that"? That's what she sees in pictures.

Christi Conley said...

I am SO happy I made it into this giveaway! I could write a ton more gushing about how I am inspired by your work, blah blah blah, but I'm hungry - so I want to eat instead :)

sf said...

LOL! I always heard it WAS solely a function of the "hold still" time...