Harry Taylor: The Studio

Harry Taylor specializes in Civil War era tintype and ambrotype photography. He shot our engagement photos a few weeks ago and let me assure you....he is a complete badass! Matt is working on some video footage of Harry at work, which I'll share in the coming months. Until then, here's a behind-the-scenes look at our shoot and his studio located in historic downtown Wilmington, NC.

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It's all in  the details...

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For the last few shots of the day, we ventured outside to the cypress tree-lined shore of a nearby park. It was lovely!

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 A sneak peek at our tintypes on a drying rack, shortly after developing...

A sneak peek at our tintypes on a drying rack, shortly after developing...

 

Shooting with Harry was an unforgettable experience because it was more than just posing for a shot; it was like being actively involved in a science experiment. In an age of fast-paced technology, witnessing the process of chemicals and light combining to reveal an image on a piece of tin was like magic. Having a physical artifact that you can hold in your hands made the process even more meaningful. These days everyone has thousands of photographs floating from memory card to computer screen, rarely being printed. In our case, we have only one example of each photograph, a precious yet sturdy object that can be handed down for generations. Like in the olden days! For art connoisseurs/photo nerds like ourselves, this is all kind of a dream come true. Stay tuned for the final photographs!

 

Reupholster Project!

Six years ago, I acquired a ratty old stool covered in white vinyl from a friend who randomly picked it up at an Express store that was going out of business. I loved the square shape and height of the stool, so my intention from day one was to reupholster it...but life happens and I let it slip my mind. Besides, the cats are OBSESSED with this thing for some reason so one of them has basically been parked on it since I've had it. Because of this "wear" on the stool, the vinyl started cracking and peeling back, revealing some kind of mold growing underneath it (ewwww!). So, it obviously became a priority to fix that baby up! Matt and I happened to be visiting his family in Wilmington, so his lovely and extraordinarily crafty mom (Mimi) and I decided we were up for a reupholstering project. Let me also say that neither of us have a clue how to "correctly" reupholster, so this is by no means a "how to" post. We just went with what seemed like would work...and it did!

First, we tore off all of the nasty vinyl and the molded cotton lining and padding underneath of that. We didn't get photos of this process because it was just too gross :P Next, we fitted and attached some new cotton batting.

We flipped it over and plucked out dozens of rusty staples using pliers, and removed some of the particle board and old trim they were attached to.

After that, I took it outside and scrubbed the legs with steel wool and Bar Keeper's Friend in an attempt to remove some rusting...I was only partially successful! But it was worth a try.

We pre-cut the material, laid the stool on top, and prepared our "tool board."

Thanks to Mimi's "German hands," we folded perfect hospital corners then secured each corner with black steel carpet tacks. Pulling tightly, we hammered in additional carpet tacks all the way around - one about every inch. This was my favorite part because I looooove hammering stuff!

Last, we hot-glued some beautiful vintage braided trim around the edge, and BOOYA! A revamped classic piece.

Mimi also made me a matching slipcover (not pictured) that is washable, since we knew the minute the stool was back in our house both cats would be all over that business! And they are! Luckily, they are front-declawed...

Super excited. On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Pillow-making!

I have been making ridiculous pillows embellished with inside jokes. The first method I tried was hand-sewing the felt letters I cut out onto the pillow, which worked fine except it made my fingers black and blue! So for the second pillow, I opted for permanent fabric glue to adhere the letters - it took significantly less time and looks more a bit nicer, but without the stitching it loses some of the homemade charm.