A great place to learn
Where else would the combination of jet lag, a 24hr diner serving great breakfasts a few doors down and round-the-clock shopping on the doorstep enable me to get such a flying start on the day?
Before 9am this morning, I’d had breakfast, done a quick trot around the block to drop into the drugstore for latex gloves and into Staples for some scissors and a couple of 4gb memory sticks currently on offer for $5 each. Fifth Ave was just getting started, the air was fresh from yesterday’s rain and the day was starting well.
By 9.45 I was sitting outside the Institute of Photography on 6th Ave, when Jordi arrived. I’d been watching the arrivals in the reception, wondering who might be taking the same class. What would our fellow students be like?
The answer was, people much like ourselves. Eleven women and one chap, two teaching assistants and Mary, our tutor. After brief introductions and a speedy outline of the class programme, we were started on our first, simple image transfer using hand santiser gel – who knew?
The institute is a fascinating place with every room crammed full of equipment and exciting art work. We’re working in a fairly empty studio for the messy bits and one of two rooms chock a block with computers, each connected to a large format printer and two enormous, stand-alone printers. There’s a library and this afternoon, we discovered another hive of activity when we went to dry our prints in the lab – a large room where a group of youngsters were mixing chemicals for some photographic process or other. Everywhere is clean, exceptionally well equipped and managed – I am very impressed indeed.
We enjoyed lunch in the sunshine on a corner of Bryant Park, mulling over what we’ve learned so far. Was it what we’d expected? Well, yes and no. Were we having fun? You bet.
After a short walk through the park – in search of ice cream! – we returned to the Studio to prepare our images for the afternoon’s first project. Into the computer room then, where the sheep were separated from the goats – all the computers were Macs and I’m a PC girl. Uh-oh. Fortunately, help was on hand and with a little encouragement and a bit of a workaround, my image was moved to the right place and was printed out along with the others.
The jury’s out on this one so far, because of the glossy, plasticky surface. But tomorrow, we have plans for taking it back a little and who knows whether it will be a triumph or a train-wreck afterwards? Watch this space!! (The image is a door lock in the museum, Cochin, btw)
The last part of the afternoon was spent preparing some substrates for tomorrow – a gel base which will eventually end up covering a 3D object and a more textured surface which will be more of a fresco in character.
After such a day, a super gourmet dinner was in store – or? Actually, a quick run up to Michaels to take advantage of an unusually generous money off voucher, followed by a pizza and pudding in WholeFoods next door. As we sat making plans for tomorrow, the heavens opened and we realised we were trapped, far from home with neither raincoat nor umbrellas. Jordi ran for her subway station as I ran for the bus shelter.
Now, all I have to do is to select some images to use tomorrow. I’m going to need a good strongly coloured one to print on some aluminium sheeting, and a couple of others to keep on hand for whatever else Mary might pull out of the bag. This is really such fun and, what’s more, so far we’ve done nothing that couldn’t be done at home. The possibilities are endless…