Studio News – Autumn 2021


Since moving studios in January 2021, we have been without a UV light source and unable to make any platinum-palladium prints or polymer photogravure plates. The old lamp was far too large for the new space and so we ordered a new unit. Unfortunately the 6 weeks I was told turned into more than 5 months, although at that time I had enough other things going on with the new darkroom build to keep me occupied, but ultimately I was let down.

Enter Jon Cone and his new LED exposure units. We immediately ordered a 22×30″ model with the fastest 4x speed setup and built-in vacuum frame. A few weeks later it’s now up and running in the darkroom and is a wonderful, truly well made piece of equipment and a pleasure to print with. I’ve already calibrated it for platinum-palladium negatives and printed a small portfolio of prints for a client, so the next step will be calibrating it for the polymer photogravure process.



Now that I have the new UV lamp and vacuum frame installed, and once I finish calibrating everything, I’m considering offering small (1-3 max.) workshops in both platinum-palladium printing and polymer photogravure. The pandemic has naturally curtailed many of the opportunities for people to learn these processes, and I’ve had an inordinate amount of people asking me if I’m offering classes or private tuition. They will likely take the form of one or two day weekend classes in the studio in NE Minneapolis.

Hopefully MCAD will start offering the polymer photogravure class once again and that I’ll be teaching it there too, but meanwhile, if you’re interested in either process, email me and let me know which you’d prefer –



Nick Cave’s Notebook

Now that I the darkroom is up and running well, I’m back making prints for photographers both locally, nationally and internationally. In need of a new, quality notebook? Nick Cave is and I make those too, as well as boxes and cases.

If you have a project you think I might be able to help with, email me or call +1 (612) 701-9671 (voice and text)

Studio News

The Darkroom is Finished

Dept. of Military Aeronautics Photo Darkroom Trailer

The last piece of the puzzle is an amazing custom-built LED UV lamp and vacuum frame that’s been ordered from Jon Cone. The quality of the workmanship, from the video I’ve seen, is amazing and I can’t wait for it to be delivered and to start using it. In the meantime I’ve been making lots of portfolio cases for clients and getting ready to start printing my own work in silver-gelatin once again.

Beth gave me the photo of the military darkroom under construction when we found out we had to move studios, and it now hangs in the new darkroom.

Many Waters: A Minnesota Biennial

This summer I have three images, all printed in platinum-palladium, in the exhibition Many Waters: A Minnesota Biennial opening at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul towards the end of July.

“The exhibition is a look into some of the imaginative and dedicated ways that artists and culture bearers from across the state are engaging with water.

A theme that runs through the exhibition is a concern for the environmental impact of human activity on bodies of water. The work fosters conversation, awareness, a sense of care, as well as new ways of thinking about water and water stories through many different lenses, including ecological, social, political, historical, spiritual, and creative.”

Minnesota Museum of American Art
350 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55101

July 24th – October 2nd, 2021

New Darkroom Update

This has been a slow week for darkroom construction as we’ve had to wait for city inspectors to sign off on the construction and the electrical wiring, and because of the pandemic these are taking longer than usual.


The inspector from the State Department of Labor and Industry (wonderful!) came by for the electrical work and was quickly satisfied. “A darkroom, this should be simple.” 30 seconds later, “OK, cover it up!” But then we had to wait for the building inspector to approve the framing and support as we have a storage area above. He came by a few days later and took a look at the plans. “OK, so you’re building a darkroom, this shouldn’t be a headache.”  A couple of minutes later and he’d signed off too. Now it’s a question of getting the drywall installed and painted, the electricians back in to wire up the outlets and track lighting and the plumber to do the sinks. Simple..

New Studio!

W. Eugene Smith in his darkroom — © Sherry Suris, 1978

We’ve moved studios! We left our home of 25 years in south Minneapolis and have moved to the arts district of Northeast Minneapolis. I’ve lived in Northeast since leaving London and coming to America back in 1996 so I’m going to love the short bike or car ride from my home. The area is full of other artists, great restaurants, distilleries and breweries and, importantly, home of Art-A-Whirl, the largest open studio weekend in the country.

Waterbury Building

Situated right at the junction of Broadway Street NE and Central Avenue, the building is home to many small businesses, video editing, tv production and marketing companies.

It’s amazing how many artists I know who are moving studios right now, and I’m sure many of them have the same feelings I do, that the whole process is scary and daunting but also exciting and invigorating. But this has been a whirlwind couple of months; from knowing we had to vacate the old studio to finally moving into the new was exactly 9 weeks.

The new darkroom construction will be finished soon and it won’t be long before we stop packing and unpacking boxes. I’m really looking forward to making prints and portfolio cases once again and, once the pandemic is under control, seeing many of you at the new studio!

Mailing Address

Studio 137
1121 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 701-9671 voice/text

The Perfect Paper



I’ve been printing a lot in gelatin-silver lately, both for myself and for clients. For my work I’ve found I’m moving away from the pure matte paper I used to love, Ilford Multigrade Matte, and more towards semi-matte or glossy papers. In an ideal world I’d like a paper surface that looked like the glossy unglazed prints we made in the 1970s and 1980s.


For a lot of prints I’ve settled on Adox MCC 110. A wonderful paper, much like the old Agfa Multicontrast Classic that dries with a gloss finish but not overly glossy or shiny. When processed in Ethol LPD the colour can be tweaked from cool to warmish too. I just wish it dried with a finish akin to that of the old Record Rapid.


Its sibling, Adox MCC 112, is a paper with a semi-matte surface that I thought I would really like when I read about it, but the blacks aren’t anywhere near as deep as I’d expect, even from a semi matte paper. And the surface I find a little strange. I won’t give up on it yet (I have the best part of a box left) but I am a little disappointed with it.




Then there’s Fomatone MG with its chamois surface. I love this paper. The surface is amazing and perfect for a lot of my work but the paper base is very warm, so it’s not for everyone. I’ll likely dry mount the prints, trimmed to the edge of the image, onto 2-ply museum board using the archival and reversible dry mount tissue Fusion 4000 (above).


If I could buy a paper with Adox MCC 110’s neutral image colour and this chamois surface it would be everything I’d want from a paper.