Three little Projects. Film and Dip Nibs and a Bear!

Two small projects. The Royal Mail postal service here is a little disjointed. They are striking and deliveries are therefore delayed. So it was nice to finally get some waited for’s. 7 new nibs, the Black Forest carved Bear dip nib holder for old fashioned pen to paper values and my cloth ‘dark room’ negative camera film developing bag. You put the developing tank and film to be developed inside it, zip it up, shove your hands and arms into elasticated sleeve type holes and fumble around getting the negative film onto spools and then into a ‘darkroom equivalent’ tank. Then safe to take out the bag and develop in normal light. The film protection at early stage is vital. It will be looked at in a future blog. I’ve done this task about a hundred plus times over the years. Not always plain sailing though! 

This morning it was nice to dig out the developing tanks, thermometers, clocks and winding spools. Gave them a decent wash in preparation for some old films I used and found under the stairs and ready to develop. Six films of 35 mm and three 120 mm film rolls too. 

Going to try the various chemical free processes of natural products on these. The photographs on these negatives were taken years upon years ago now. So experimentation with out of date film and a new tank process should be fun. There are very many ways to develop film using a phenol base and table salt to fix the negatives. Phenol base found in many sources for developing the film and bring the inherent latent imagery to negative visual reality. Phenol found in coffee, various plants, etc. Many internet sources show many different methods. Mainly Caffenol-C. Coffee, Vitamin C, washing soda (sodium carbonate) and water. This alternative natural process is novice land for myself presently. So naive step by naive step to seek answers.

Please tap on individual photographs to enlarge.

Secondly. The hand carved wooden Bear nib holder is so tactile and light. Beautiful carved work for something so small! All ready for a bit more dip nib trials. The four new nibs delivered this morning are new to my experience. Never heard of these makes. See photographs. So interesting to check performance. Two look like tiny ended fine fude nibs. And one with an unusual ink reservoir inherent by a cut shape in the nib itself. Fude nibs are slightly upturned at writing end and produce various thin to thickened strokes in the letter lines. So will be very experimental and hopefully visually adaptable.

See where these little additions go. More information regarding film and nibs to follow

12 thoughts on “Three little Projects. Film and Dip Nibs and a Bear!”

    1. The bag looks like a t-shirt spread out. The short ‘sleeves’ being elasticated strongly to grip around your forearms and let no light in. You have a double layer of material that lets no light in whatever. Your film (which you prise out of the little metal canister with a bottle opener once inside), the plastic tank and those cream spools are all inside. Once the film is wound into the spools it goes inside the tank, lid screws on and it then becomes protected from any light whatsoever. You bring the whole thing out and ready for developing. I used to have a ‘development dark bag but it went to a charity shop with a bunch of clothes. It was mistaken, ironically, for a t-shirt! Looking forward to trying Caffenol-C technique. Coffee! Who’d have thought. Phenol is in other natural sources too. I have a fair few nibs with different sized circular fude ends used for drawing. I haven’t used those in earnest yet. Did watch a guy drawing with them on YouTube and it was fascinating. But have used the fude writing dip nib by Brandauer. The Clan Glengarry. That is like a medium equivalent and writes beautifully with an ink reservoir attached. It takes both upper and under ink reservoir attachments too. I have about 20 of them now after finding one amongst a job lot of nibs in a charity/thrift shop. I bet you would love to try that one knowing your doodling interests. Cheers and all the best.


    1. Wise with words chosen. There may be a local postman reading this blog! 😆 When the darkroom was running for a few years I always felt strange and ill at ease about chemical use. So, now photography is a small part of future interests it is more of a relaxed and experimental nature. Thing is though. Film price nowadays! So will have to proceed wisely and carefully. Choose subjects to catch with the lens with much considered thought. I do have a few out of date film rolls bought a few years back. A cheaper and unworried way to practice. I think it’s about £8 a 36 exposure roll presently. Used to buy bulk film back in the day, which you load into a dispenser and load your own cartridges. May check that one out. But it may mean taking out a second mortgage. All the best. Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I ran a darkroom workshop in social services after I was asked to oversee it due to the co-worker who set it up going into hospital for an operation. I got hooked. I have never used or use a digital camera. Bit of a vintage fan I suppose. The iPad camera is vital for blog images. Film and all it was about was a bit of a culture and cult adoption. Fascinated by David Bailey, Bill Brandt, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, Sebastião Salgado, W. Eugene Smith and many more. That’s why vintage fountain pens, vinyl records, clothes and the 1972 VeeDub Bus are of interest too. Vintage is a cool culture to follow 😊. Cheers Brenda. 👍


      2. I read your blog on that. When I was a cardiac rehab nurse for about a year, I lost weight by cutting out bread, sugar and cholesterol driven butter, chocolate, etc. Ate a lot of stuff from my wife’s shop. I had to lead the exercise programmes in three sports centres so didn’t do the same exercises as the people on the post cardiac surgery or heart attack plans. But did do a bit of the circuit training and resistance band and gym equipment exercises. The fitness coaches told me to cut out the foods I have just stated. It did work. Bread and sugar was a massive ward work related issue for myself. Families say ‘Thank you’ with tins of sweets, cake and biscuits. Your clothes from the 80’s would be post punk. So should be wearable for nowadays 😆. Good fortune with your psychological programme. Sounded fascinating.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Your interests will blossom. You have a great reply content from your followers and you have an active mind it seems. People can inspire and guide one’s hopes. That’s why blogs are so productive. I have gained many insights from the knowledge of others. All the best in all you future find on that horizon of opportunities. Cheers.


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