New Darkroom Update - March 15th

March 14, 2016  •  2 Comments

It is already the middle of March and we are only days away from the first day of spring.  I love this time of year and I am anxious to get out and spend some quality time outside.  

I want to first thank my loyal supporters and friends that continue to encourage me with positive emails and messages as I continue building my new off-grid darkroom.  I think I am about 45 days from being operational, so that makes me very excited and happy.  I will create some videos and photos once the new darkroom is up and running.  

I have had several questions about what it means to have a darkroom "off the grid".  What that means to me is that I don't have utilities supplied to me, so I have to create my own electricity and create my own source of water, heat, etc.  Both electricity and water are very important elements in a working darkroom.  

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I designed and installed a solar-powered system that will provide all of my electricity.  I know the system will work because I designed and installed a similar system in my house a few months ago and it works perfectly.  In regards to water, I plan to continue to use distilled water for all of my development processes, so that doesn't change.  The biggest challenge is for print washing and I have a good solution for this as well.  I have a 300 gallon water storage tank that I have for the darkroom and a 12V DC pump that creates pressurized water on demand.  I keep the water storage tank filled from my rain catchment system and top it off with water that I haul in from town.  

I am building an office in my new darkroom and a well-organized storage area as well.  This is my third darkroom that I have built over the last 35 years.  This one will probably be the last one, so I am taking my time to do things the way that I really want.  No space is ever perfect, but I have learned a lot of things over the years that I am applying to this new darkroom.  

I am really excited to get back to work and focus on the things that I love most.  Because this project has taken all of my time and energy, I haven't been able to finish some training courses that I have under way and I plan to do that very soon.  

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.  

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Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Matt, thanks so much for your kind words and your comments. This is exactly why I love publishing articles. I love the feedback and I get to learn new things that I otherwise may have never been exposed to.. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. I have a new awareness now in regards to the lumber, so thank you for your insightful comments. I am very happy with the areas that I have been able to make progress in and there is always more to learn. Thanks so much and stay in touch.
Matt O'Brien(non-registered)
Kudos to you on the solar power. Presumably concerns for the health of the environment were a consideration in that decision. I see lots of projects where the people put lots of effort into energy and water conservation systems and are very pleased with their environmental efforts, yet they completely neglect lumber!!! Lumber comes form forests, and in North America we are loosing old growth forests and the life they support at a frightful rate. I see that image of brand new 2x4's turned into blocking-- ouch! What a heartbreaking waste. 2x4's are the easiest salvage lumber to find. I would encourage you to use salvage lumber for the rest of your construction. You'd be surprised what you can find at salvage yards, dumps, and construction sites where wasteful lumber practices are the norm. It might take a bit more effort than sourcing it all from a lumber yard, but isn't it worth it?
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