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Mike Ware

Mike Ware “Fragment From A Crucifix” Argyrotype

Fragment From a Crucifix – Argyrotype
The Argyrotype process is a development of the late nineteenth century processes of Kallitype, Van Dyke, Sepiaprint, and Brownprint. These all originated from Sir John Herschel’s Argentotype discovered in 1842, the first iron-based silver printing process. The Argyrotype process was developed in 1991 by Mike Ware.  He found that by using silver sulphamate you could avoid problems of image loss caused by silver nitrate enabling mildly acidic working conditions. It allows a ‘single-bottle’ sensitizer solution that has a long shelf-life. Contrast is controlled by added acid, image colour is ‘fine-tuned’ by the humidity.  The resulting purplish-brown print of nanoparticle silver has a finer gradation than the traditional iron-silver processes, and good prospects of endurance for a plain paper silver image.

About Mike Ware
(UK) Mike Ware is a chemist and photographer, known and well respected for his work in alternative photographic processes. Mike is clearly one of today’s heroes in the handcraft of photography, sharing freely his deep understanding of the art, craft and science of these processes.

His website includes practical instructions for the Argyrotype (prints using iron salts as the light-sensitive coating), cyanotypeplatinotype (prints using light-sensitive solutions containing platinum), palladiotype (prints using light-sensitive solutions containing palladium), and chrysotype (using gold to form or tone the final image) processes. The site also includes papers on various technical issues, the conservation of ‘alternative process’ prints, historical essays, galleries, and extensive lists of links and resources.