The wet plate process was created by Frederick Scott Archer around 1851.
The basic idea is to coat a glass plate (ambrotype), or sheet of '"Japanned" tin (ferrotype), with salted collodion and immerse it in a bath of silver nitrate to sensitize it. The sensitized plate is then placed in the camera wet, and must be exposed, developed and fixed before the plate dries out. Variations in light, temperature, and the age of the chemistry all contribute to make an image that is entirely unique, and no two plates will be the same. The imperfections in the process only contribute to the beauty and mystique of each image.
By the 1870's the use of the wet collodion process all but died out as dry gelatin silver plates became available. The new dry plates allowed the photographer to expose the plates and develop them later, thus eliminating the need to bring a portable darkroom into the field.
I make every effort to keep the process as true to the original as possible. This is not a modern "quick and easy" knock off of the authentic process, but the very same one used during the mid to late 1800's!