In the late 1970's I had access to many delicately handcrafted lace and cutwork tablecloths at a specialty laundry owned and operated by my wife's grandmother. Once the tablecloths were washed and starched, they would be placed on wooden stretchers and leaned on a wall and left to dry. This process kept the fabrics from shrinking and also from needing more than touchup ironing.
I used a 4"x5" view camera for the project, sometimes focusing on a small section of the tablecloth, and at other times backing up to photograph the entire piece. Over the period of this project, I made nearly 200 negatives.
Unfortunately, the negatives turned out to be too difficult to make good photographs with standard darkroom procedures, so I put the project on hold. It wasn't until recently that I realized that I could scan these negatives and use Photoshop to make digital images that that I could then print on my Epson printer.
This series was begun in 1998 when I joined a group of photographers who were allowed access to the historic Gladding McBean clay plant in Lincoln, CA. This plant has been in continuous operation since1875 and makes clay pipe and also high quality architectural terra cotta for historic buildings undergoing renovating.
Since that first visit, I have returned several times each year, always finding new subject matter. This includes the interior and exterior of the plant buildings, various types of machinery, beehive and shuttle kilns, as well as drying clay products.
Lighting conditions inside the plant can range from very soft to extremely harsh. Exposures can run to many minutes, especially inside the beehive kilns, where the only light comes from several light bulbs suspended from the top of the dome.
"Train Art" features vivid designs spray painted on the sides of railroad freight cars. Usually you see them speeding past you as you wait at a signal to cross the railroad tracks, but I found these parked in various railroad sidings in California's Central Valley near Stockton and Tracy. Who knows in what part of the country they originated and how many miles they have traveled? I find them to be a striking art form.
In 1973 I saw Don Worth's stunning images of succulents and other plants. Since then I have been fascinated with plants myself. In 1980 I began making yearly visits to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA where I have spent hours upon hours primarily in the Desert Garden with occasional forays into the Palm Garden. Of course, I also find plant subjects anywhere that I go, so these in the gallery are not exclusively from the Huntington Gardens.