Bill Rowlinson & Richard Nicholson at Photofusion

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Martin Reed

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Any 'traditionalist' with a few decades under their belt will probably remember Bill Rowlinson, or certainly some of the stuff he printed. He was the printer who made the evolutionary leap as a printer from hot chrome-drum sweatshop darkrooms into seriously hand-crafting his work, and pointed the way for many other printers.

Bill died last year, and bequeathed his print collection to Photofusion Darkroom & Gallery in Brixton, who are now putting a retrospective of his work on show;

http://www.photofusion.org/gallery/photography/exhibitions/current/default.htm

To add to this darkroom celebration, Richard Nicholson's project of photographing the remaining professional darkrooms is to be shown concurrently at Photofusion.

There are a number of discussion evenings & workshops to accompany this, & Steve Brierley, Sales Director of Harman Imaging will be hosting an evening with Adrian Ensor to discuss the evolution of photographic printing over the last 40 years. Silverprint will have available a 'podcast' of a recently rediscovered last interview with Bill about his work, recorded by Branka Jukic. See the Photofusion site for more details.
 

Bob Carnie

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I really wish I could attend.
Any 'traditionalist' with a few decades under their belt will probably remember Bill Rowlinson, or certainly some of the stuff he printed. He was the printer who made the evolutionary leap as a printer from hot chrome-drum sweatshop darkrooms into seriously hand-crafting his work, and pointed the way for many other printers.

Bill died last year, and bequeathed his print collection to Photofusion Darkroom & Gallery in Brixton, who are now putting a retrospective of his work on show;

http://www.photofusion.org/gallery/photography/exhibitions/current/default.htm

To add to this darkroom celebration, Richard Nicholson's project of photographing the remaining professional darkrooms is to be shown concurrently at Photofusion.

There are a number of discussion evenings & workshops to accompany this, & Steve Brierley, Sales Director of Harman Imaging will be hosting an evening with Adrian Ensor to discuss the evolution of photographic printing over the last 40 years. Silverprint will have available a 'podcast' of a recently rediscovered last interview with Bill about his work, recorded by Branka Jukic. See the Photofusion site for more details.
 

Mike Crawford

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Great opening last night for these two exhibitions and good to catch up with lots of people who were there. A trip down to Brixton to see them is highly recommended if you are in London or anywhere near.
 
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Martin Reed

Martin Reed

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Bill Rowlinson Podcast

Great opening last night for these two exhibitions and good to catch up with lots of people who were there. A trip down to Brixton to see them is highly recommended if you are in London or anywhere near.

There's a podcast discussion of the experience of working with Bill Rowlinson, between Bob Miller & Adrian Ensor, here;

http://www.silverprint.co.uk/index.asp

It's half the audio part of a longer videoed interview that will be shown at Photofusion on one of the discussion evenings. There's material from them examining Bills actual prints which doesn't come over in audio, so we left that off the podcast.
 

ooze

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Thanks Martin. I enjoyed the podcast.

Interesting to hear that he used nothing but 16x20 Ilford Multigrade. Is there a reason for this particular size?

Also, Bill is said to have washed his prints in boiling hot water. I presume warm water accelerates the washing process, but why boiling hot? I've never tried this. Does it impart some special quality (for the better or worse) to the print?

It would be great to also see some of Bill's prints. Did you videotape anything?
 
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Martin Reed

Martin Reed

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Thanks Martin. I enjoyed the podcast.

Interesting to hear that he used nothing but 16x20 Ilford Multigrade. Is there a reason for this particular size?

Also, Bill is said to have washed his prints in boiling hot water. I presume warm water accelerates the washing process, but why boiling hot? I've never tried this. Does it impart some special quality (for the better or worse) to the print?

It would be great to also see some of Bill's prints. Did you videotape anything?

I think Bill regarded that size as his 'canvas' and wasn't going to change sizes at his clients whim - if you're going to standardise then it's probably the best. With 16x20" there's more room to control exposure & processing, but it's not too difficult to handle as when going up to 20x24".

The boiling hot water wash sounds like a myth in the making to me - papers won't stand up to that sort of treatment consistently.

Yes, we filmed Bob & Adrian examining some of Bill's original prints, and that will be in the final video. We'll do it as a podcast from the Silverprint site when it's edited.
 

Mike Crawford

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The boiling hot water wash sounds like a myth in the making to me - papers won't stand up to that sort of treatment consistently.

Tend to agree about the boiling water myth Martin. As you know, Bill knew his chemistry very well and I think he was more enthusiastic about gradual careful washing and then very slow drying through lots of blotters than hurrying things along. Perhaps it was one occasion/experiment that he happened to relate to a client. Away from all the myths, I remember how encouraging and supportive of other printers he was which personally speaking meant a lot to me. Looking forward to the talk next week.
 

delphine

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The podcast was very interesting. Bill's darkroom must had been a sight, interesting that nobody ever got down there. Was it because he was very secretive about his processes?
I am very much looking forward to the talks next week.
 

delphine

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Awesome talk yesterday and podcast/video recording about Bill Rowlinson. I found it very enthusing and fascinating, and the annecdotes were very often hilarious.

The prints currently exhibited are amazing, and I am hoping to be back on Thursday early enough to see them.

Nice touch that a man's memory should be saluted over a glass of whisky...

A very enjoyable evening ... though for me, it was to become very quickly a little bit out of spirit as I had to break in at mine .. oh well.
 
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