Suns Out, Funs Out!
It wouldn’t be summer without Cyanotype!
Discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842, it is a process that uses light to expose treated paper or fabric producing beautiful monochromatic prints that capture lots of detail.
Cyanotype is perfect for everyone! You don’t have to be artistic at all! It’s great for all ages and skill levels. Collage carries several different cyanotype products for beginners and professionals.
Jacquard Cyanotype Fabric Mural 60 x 84 Inch, Pretreated packs of 10 or 30 8.5x11 fabric sheets. Or the two part set to mix your own solution, enough for sixty-five 8" x 10" prints on paper or fifty 8" x 10" prints on fabric. These produce a deep beautiful blue and capture fine detail.
For this project I used Solar Print Paper from Toysmith, includes 12 5x7 sheets of sun-sensitive paper and one print frame holder. The Solar Print Kit includes three blank note cards with envelopes, two preprinted stencil sheets, two frames, twelve 5in x 7in sheets of solar print paper and instructions.
Step 1. Gather your materials to print. Any object that cast a shadow will do! Flowers, leaves, found objects, cut outs, black and white images on clear acetate or use your whole body! Have fun and experiment.
Step 2. Set up your work space. You will need a darkened space where you can compose your picture. Flat surface outdoors in bright sunlight. A piece of plexiglass or glass from an old frame if it’s a windy day. Sink or a basin with clean water. I recommend having a basin of water near to wash print after exposure. The fabric sheets will stain, so use something that can get dirty. Finally, a flat surface to blot paper, paper towels or cloth to absorb extra water.
Step 3. Compose your picture, you have to work quickly in a darkened area. I used a flat box to set up my photos indoors and then moved outside to expose it. Having a clear piece of plexiglass is useful to keep items from blowing away or getting knocked off.
Step 4. Expose your paper in the sun for 1-3 minutes depending on how bright the sun is.
Step 5. Carefully remove the paper and rinse under cool water for about a minute. Blot excess water and let dry.
Experiment with materials to get cool effects! Combine 3D objects and flat objects, draw on clear plastic, have fun with different textures and shapes. Just like photography, sometimes you will have failures, but that is part of the process.