August 25, 1998
Hello fellow daguerreotypists,
Last year in DC we tried doing our thing at the trade fare. While we sold a few and added a new chapter to "Adventures in the Dag Trade," that particular venue just doesn't have the refinement and dignity our work deserves. All that pawing and clawing and fists full of Franklins is just--well, gauche. Not that we are averse to exchanging a little lucre for our work, but decent decorum and a civil amount of time is due before we grab the money and run.
You've no doubt seen the list of The One Hundred Greatest Books of the Century and The One Hundred Greatest Movies of the Century. Well, the GEH is getting into the act. They have been dredging through the vaults and gathering and sifting and blowing the dust off of their many gems. The sluice of time has long since separated the nuggets from the neggets and they are stacking up only the créme dag la créme. When we show up this Fall for the 10th annual Daguerreian Society symposium, on display will be the best 75 (seventy five) of their vast daguerreotype collection. More inquisitive minds than mine might mull over that magic number. It probably has to do with a more subtle form of daggadocio found among the movers and shakers piloting the elite collections--the Getty exhumed 76 (seventy six) for The Silver Canvas, Daguerreotype Masterpieces from the J. Paul Getty Museum. Whatever, it gives us an opening to fill in the blanks, you might say, and show our stuff. Like the Atlanta show, we will shine with the best of them. Details later.
The angst never ends in our never ending search for a decent plater and I don't care to rehash the bad trips. So, some time ago I did an internet search and came up with 6 or 8 possibilities and ended up trying somebody new. They charge $125 minimum and I sent them 20 5x7s ($6.25 each). This compares to $17.50 each (no charge for the pits) from Theis. The plates came back looking great. I worked with them couple weeks ago and they are my best plates ever. Initially I had a problem with what seemed to be a very hard surface. However, I broke through the hardness with 3M Brand 3 micron finishing sheets and after that everything went smoothly. They are Metal Finishing Technologies, Inc., 60 Wooster Court, Forrestville, CT 06010 860-582-9517 and I talked to Doug Wentworth.
I mentioned the 3M finishing sheets before but the product is worth another endorsement. The sheets come in 1, 2, 3, 9 and higher micron grades. The 9 micron equals 1200 grit sand paper and 1 micron equals 8000 grit. The 9 and 3 can be used to repair copper--the 3 is pretty gritty for silver. The 2 micron erases fine scratches easily and the 1 is quick work for those pesky gobs of gook from stick rouge. Call Rio Grande 800-545-6566. 3M also has wet or dry polishing paper which I've tried but the backing is very stiff and not very easy to use.