Well, unless one is trying to be a period-correct Civil War Reenactor, there are safer substitutes. You can't get away from some ether in the collodion, but most of the ether can be substituted with grain or denatured alcohol. And, sodium or ammonium thiosulfates are perfectly adequate fixers that can replace the cyanide. It is also not necessary to make the nitrocellulose (guncotton) since collodion USP is available readymade.
Check the link in my signature for more info.
And Carmen, John Coffer holds workshops near Watkins Glen, NY. He's the contemporary grand master tintypist. I've taken workshops from both John Coffer (http://johncoffer.com
) and Michael Mazzeo and recommend both of them. Also strongly recommended is John Coffer's "Do-er's Guide to Wet Plate Collodion Photography" collodion manual and DVD set.
My "Getting Started in Wetplate Collodion Photography" article:
2008 Wetplate Collodion Workshop schedule:
On Apr 10, 2008, at 7:53 PM, Dan Haygood wrote:
Tintypes, as in nitrocelulose, ether, potassium cyanide, etc.?
Make sure the grandparents are OK with babysitting after Mom is gone, too!
Seriously, there must be safer techniques after 160 years...can someone
post a rundown of the process used today?
Hi All, I am looking to take a tintype workshop. It
could be in New York or Texas. Can anyone recommend
one? (grandparents are in both states , so I have free
baby sitting for my kids!)
Thank you kindly,