imogen cunningham, "triangles," 1928 (copyright the imogen cunningham trust)
in continuing with the theme of "this has been the crappiest return to reality imaginable," i decided, after coming back from stockholm, that as my life had become sad and miserable there was no better time than the present to finally part with my darkroom. years ago i spent many, many hours in the darkroom and became an accomplished silver gelatin printer--i'm still very proud of the work i created at that time (the best of which i think was "bed pictures," done while i was pregnant with gus). all of my paper and chemistry have been extinct for 15 years at this point with no equivalent replacements, and with the prospect of moving all of that equipment yet again and probably not setting it up yet again, i decided to give away what i wanted to give away and just sell the rest.
those in the give-away category went to my sweet friend, chloe. chloe is also a photographer without a darkroom, however she has space for one (but lacked a massive sink, trays, measuring devices and other random accoutrements that one just acquires over the years). actually, she probably does have a lot of it somewhere in storage, but you really can't have too much...she does own four enlargers, so she had me beat there.
those in the to-sell category went to two places: a local camera store for the really heavy stuff like the medium-format enlarger and the cold light (still unsold, damnit), and ebay for the rest. the stuff i put on ebay was the cream of the crop--my zone vi archival print washer, my saunders v-track easels, my schneider componon-s lenses...stuff like that. again, things that took years to acquire to make my print production flow exactly right.
after listing on ebay, i received lots of emails about the items--most people wanted to negotiate a lower price and cheaper combined shipping; the usual ebay messages. one person, however, really wanted the washer and the easels (these are expensive, heavy, technical items), and clearly knew what she was talking about. i agreed to sell her everything and we embarked onto a lengthy process of negotiating a price for the objects and trying to figure out how to ship 100 pounds of photographic equipment to her.
in the beginning, i had no idea who she was or who she represented...but when i received an email from the IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM TRUST i just about fell off of my chair. i had been negotiating with meg, imogen's granddaughter, for articles for the trust's darkroom. i could not have ever even envisioned a better home for my remaining equipment if i tried. once i caught a clue we scrapped all negotiations for money and worked out a trade where i would pay for all shipping and just send my stuff to them. in return, friday in fact, i received the most beautiful copy of "triangles" i have ever seen, printed by meg's dad, rondal.
and thus ends my tale of the best ebay experience ever, complete with art and a new pen-pal. big, big smile.