Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cyanotype Photo Printing

Hello! I just finished reviewing a Jacquard Cyanotype Set. That means that I got a sheet of instructions and 2 black bottles of dust. The instructions provided were concise, but included links to a website that had more information and helpful tools. I've been interested in "blue printing" for a long time, but I've never had any experience with it until now. The only thing I think I've ever seen are those sun sheets that come pre-treated. My daughter did those at summer camp one year.

Anyway, I got the set and I was intimidated, but excited. So I started working on all my pre-print stuff like picking an item to make, deciding what kind of image, etc. I'm not going to go over the whole thing here because it will be up on Cut Out + Keep, but there was an emotional craft fail along the way and I changed the original project. Initially I was trying to do a men's shirt refashion and that just did not happen. I am still planning to do the refashion at some point, but I'm not sure if it's the right item to combine with a cyanotype print.

I had a minor craft-tastrophe followed by crafter's remorse and then I pulled it together. I took some time to think, salvage my work, and move forward. Beyond all that though, this is a process that I think should be explored more. I've thought of a lot of possibilities for cyanotype printing, most of which would require greater skill with the process than I currently possess.

Unfinished panel from the tutorial

Test Samples


The first print that I exposed was large and once it was processed, I discovered a lot of mistakes. After I looked at the first exposure, I started over, but I added test pieces to experiment with. I discovered that smaller pieces of fabric were definitely easier to work with. That probably should have been obvious, but some how it wasn't. I was much happier with my test pieces than I had been with the first attempt I made. I have some more fabric cut and treated so I think I am going to back to those eventually and see if I can correct the first mistakes.

In the lace print example above I used decorative packing tape. I would like to make a pattern using this and find some other prints. I'm thinking I could also use painter's tape and create a striped pattern. The palm print is from a section of the photo negative I used in the first exposure. I wanted to make sure that the problems I saw in the image had to do with the way I had coated the fabric and not because I had a bad negative.

This photo is of the samples again, but also includes a piece of fabric that some of the mixture dribbled on. I was looking at the "water mark" on the fabric and started thinking that the chemicals could be used to create a gradient painting or even a tie dye type of print. I am not a painter, but my husband is so I'm thinking I'll give him what I have left of the sensitizer so he can experiment.

So what do you think? Have you tried any of the other uses I've suggested? 

sun exposed

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