This magnificent artisan - finished book contains exceptional original photography celebrating the Highlands of Scotland and has been created over a 16 - year period.
The book will be an astonishing visual delight, comprised of over 250 image driven (35cms by 40cms) pages, printed in a landscape format, with double page spreads measuring 35cms by 80cms. Included in this are 14 half-gatefolds placed throughout the book, when opened these measure 35cms by 103cms. Our aim is to have the book exquisitely produced and published, using the finest quality materials and specialist techniques. The greatest care and attention will be paid to every detail, at each stage of the production process. Quite simply this book will be a work of art.
"As day recedes and rest beckons, the sky lights up with its own blue cloud - tartan, heralding the rise of a vast Harvest Moon." Roberta Edwards
Weekly Blog Spotlight
SPLENDOUR MYSTERY & MAGICK
Welcome to Splendour Mystery & Magick, the story line for this beautiful book centres around a magnificent Ball and is told through a selection of intriguing stories featuring some of the characters who have been invited.
It begins with an invitation
Met-a-Ascension, the most elusive society in the world have sent out invitations to their magnificent Event Horizon Ball, held once every thirteen years. Each invitation is unique, the only thing they have in common is that they are all completely secret.
Each person or creature chosen to attend knows only that they have been invited, they have no idea who else will be present.
The method for sending and receiving these invitations varies greatly and it goes without saying all who have been invited, accept.
To attend the Ball each of the invitees has to follow the instructions on their invitations. They must arrive in disguise, wearing a mask and costume and they must also bring with them a special gift. The gifts do not have to be valuable, but whichever gift is chosen it has to be something that is considered personal and precious to the bearer. These gifts along with their invitations allow them entry to the Ball.
Dreams Of Diamonds is one of the most spectacular books to be published in recent times and is acknowledged as an outstanding work of art.
“Diamonds have always been credited with great spiritual clarity, their brilliance and hardness symbolic of the human soul and higher self. Each diamond is unique, waiting within the rough stone to be set free. Allegorically each one of us is unique, once we realise this and explore the process of individuation we enter into our true selves.” Dreams Of Diamonds extract from Foreword
Captured In Palaces Of Glass
These images were shot in mid July 2018 and form part of a new collection of beautiful, still life work. As well as shooting on conventional digital, we also decided to specifically shoot each image on a traditional 5x4 Horseman Camera using 13 year old black & white Polaroid Film P/N55. A challenging, but very rewarding task.
This collection of work is for our new book ‘CAPTURED IN PALACES OF GLASS’. The book will contain 27 different images, each one will be a double page spread, with 5 of the images also having close up sections photographed and occupying 2 DPSs each.
The story of the book centres around precious, family memorabilia and nature, collected from the distant past to more recent times. Each image has a selection of objects arranged inside of, or around a glass container. These containers come in many shapes and sizes. Some images just show one container and selection, others have multiples of each.
The idea of the glass container being referred to as a ‘palace’ dates back through time. We preserve and protect many things in glass. It allows us to see through it, to reveal the contents inside. Glass can be blown into many fabulous shapes and when light passes through it beautiful and mysterious shadows are cast. Our own homes have glass windows which do all of these things.
The memorabilia in these images is very precious, some items are over 100 years old and belonged to beloved family members now long gone. For us it felt only right and natural to give these memories the proper respect and care they deserved. Glass was the obvious choice and the title ‘CAPTURED IN PALACES OF GLASS’ is a perfect description for this collection of images.
As well as the images the book will also contain a short essay and a contents list of image titles.
A New Portfolio
WINTER SNOW STORM OVER LOCH NESS AND FORT AUGUSTUS
Photographed - Friday 1st February 2019
Until very recently the winter of 2018/ 2019 has been mild throughout the United Kingdom. However this all changed a few days ago, particularly in the Scottish Highlands and Devon and Cornwall, the extreme ends of the country.
For a few days the temperature dropped dramatically - at times down to minus 10 degrees - so the snow remained white and crisp. For most of Friday 1st February, the snow fell constantly forming a beautiful white blanket across the landscape and we took the opportunity of re-photographing some of our favourite scenes around Fort Augustus and Loch Ness.
The portfolio of work you see before you is the result of that shoot.
We set off during a snowstorm which continued in varying degrees of strength throughout the shoot and we focused our attention on one of our favourite views of Loch Ness and the surrounding Great Glen. We were shooting digital captures, sometimes using a tripod, other times hand held. Because a reasonable amount of snow had already fallen, the images appear to be ‘mono chromatic’ although they were obviously shot as colour.
We are delighted with the images. They possess a beautiful atmospheric quality, slightly subdued, with a very muted tonal range and minimal post production. Quite a departure from our normal work. The images also possess an air of antiquity, similar to the old photographic printing processes eg; platinum/palladium or photogravure.
This portfolio of work consists of 10 Limited Edition Prints, signed, numbered and dated and will be available for purchase later in 2019.
Alastair and Christine
The beautiful collection of work you see before you Treasures Of The Sea comprises of eleven unique Polaroid Transfer and Emulsion Lift images. Each one has been bejewelled with Swarovski crystal and five of the images have also been bordered with 24 carat rose, yellow and antique gold leaf. This collection has been a true labour of love. In the late summer of 2017 after nearly 25 years from creating the image to attaching the last crystal Treasures Of The Sea was finally completed and ready to present to the world.
"Everything you want is a dream away. Under this pressure, under this weight, we are diamonds taking shape" CHRIS MARTIN, COLD PLAY
The GIA museum’s “Dreams of Diamonds” exhibit featured more than 4,000 carats of diamonds, and marked the U.S. debut of Alastair Laidlaw and Christine Marsden’s like-named book – a 160-page, 33-lb. tome. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA
The GIA museum’s glittering “Dreams of Diamonds” exhibit drew a record-breaking number of guests to the Institute’s Carlsbad campus for two weeks in May 2015, with more than 1,000 members of the public, trade and press attending the once-in-a-lifetime display.The exhibit, which featured more than 4,000 carats of diamonds, celebrated the mystique of a gemstone that continues to fascinate gemologists and inspire designers and artists around the world. It also marked the U.S. debut of “Dreams of Diamonds,” a 160-page tome that, at 33 pounds and approximately three feet wide when open, is the largest book ever published on the subject.
“The creators of ‘Dreams of Diamonds’ were able to capture extraordinary diamond pieces in enchanting, ethereal settings,” says GIA Museum Curator Terri Ottaway, adding that the book and exhibit were “an ode to the wondrous world of diamonds.”
The team behind the book, British photographers Alastair Laidlaw and Christine Marsden, showcase images of loose diamonds and diamond jewelry in fantastic, dreamy settings. The diamonds – many of which were graded by the GIA laboratory – and jewelry in the book represent the work of a dozen of the most venerated designers and diamond houses in the world.Ottaway, along with McKenzie Santimer, manager of museum exhibits, showcased the oversized book in the Carlsbad campus rotunda, filling the surrounding display cases with 25 spectacular pieces of diamond jewelry. Seven of the book’s international contributors, including Adler, Chatila, Chow Tai Fook, Diacore, Diarough, Mouawad and MUNNU The Gem Palace, loaned their jewelry pieces for the exhibit.
The displays ranged from simple to intricate, including an exceptional 50-carat D flawless diamond on a rotating base and a stunning sautoir made from 1,400 carats of diamond crystals and polished gems.
“It was the highest-value exhibition we’ve ever had, and it was overwhelming in popularity,” says Santimer, who said that visitors from the public and gem and jewelry trade came from all over Southern California. The exhibit, which opened with an invitation-only gala on April 29, even generated buzz on campus, where staff and students are accustomed to walking past beautiful displays of gems and jewelry every day.
“The students were floored,” Santimer said. “It’s pretty surreal to experience such a unique exhibit dedicated to diamonds while you’re studying at GIA, the creators of the 4Cs. It was a wonderful mix of diamonds, from 300-year-old diamond jewelry from the Mughal period to innovative, present-day cuts and tiaras. There were gold boots encrusted with more than 38,000 diamonds and fabulous colored diamonds, including a 54-carat Fancy Intense yellow diamond.”
Though the exhibition had a short run, GIA visitors will still be able to enjoy the heart of the exhibit in the Richard T. Liddicoat
Gemological Library and Information Center. Laidlaw and Marsden donated two copies of the book, valued at $10,000 each,
to the library’s collection. One copy is housed in the library’s Cartier Rare Book Repository and Archive; the other is available by appointment for public reference and viewing.
“We are so grateful to Alastair and Christine, who took six years to create this remarkable work of art,” says Library Director Dona Dirlam. “The book has already become a favorite highlight of the tour for our visitors, and the oversized photos are making it possible for GIA students to see a level of detail and craftsmanship that is rare. ‘Dreams of Diamonds’ is truly a special, valued addition to our collection.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jaime Kautsky, a contributing writer, is a GIA Diamonds Graduate and GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional and was an associate editor of The Loupe magazine.
THE MILLENNIUM STAR
ALFRED DUNHILL CENTENARY COLLECTION
A special look back on these wonderful images on the 125th year anniversary of the company.
We have always been fascinated by the alternative printing processes. The desire to push the boundaries of creative techniques to inspire has always been present in our fine art work and when possible we’ve also aspired to combining these techniques into our commercial work. On several occasions, specialist commissions afforded us the opportunity to do this, the most notable of these was the body of work we were commissioned to produce for the Alfred Dunhill Centenary.
We were approached by Alfred Dunhill to photograph and create a special collection of work for their Centenary. This was to feature many of the most important iconic pieces from the Alfred Dunhill archives. It was a truly outstanding commission and we were very honoured to have been approached to be part of it. They wanted the photography to reflect the age and vintage qualities of each piece, therefore it was decided that we would shot the images as 10 x 8 inch Polaroid Transfers.
It proved to be a splendid choice of technique and we produced one of the most important photographic collections of work of our careers. These images then went on to win multiple awards around the world.
THE POLAROID TRANSFER TECHNIQUE
This is a technique were the process of producing a Polaroid is interrupted early and the backing sheet is removed before the inks can transfer onto the Polaroid film sheet. The backing containing the inks that produce the image is then pressed onto watercolour paper and the image is transferred onto the paper. The technique requires skill and patience, particularly when dealing with images of this size. The effect is very beautiful, the images resemble watercolour paintings and each one is unique.