Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Cyanotype short course


Though I taught myself cyanotype printing, there is always an opportunity to learn from someone else new skills. There was a short 2 day course at a nearby college on cyanotypes so I jumped at the chance to improve and learn some more about this wonderful early printing technique. 

Having only used cotton fabric before I wanted to expand onto different fabrics (though only works on natural fibres) and learn how to change the colour. It was also interesting to use paper which I've never done before.In the past I used images to print, this time I made use of objects such as leaves and feathers.
 A great advantage of going to a college is the use of their fancy equipment and when the sun don't shine, a screen exposure unit is a great substitute. There is a different quality to the images, more predictable and even. With the sun, you can move the image/ object around to get a ghosting effect and also shadows can be cast to give a 3D look.

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The thing I love about cyanotypes is the brilliant blue colour but you can remove this and tint it with tannin or tea for a sepia tone. There are definitely more ways to experiment with different coloured backgrounds and with other tints and over washes.
The image on the right was printed with natural light, see the shadow the sun cast? You won't get that using UV light.

Feather printed onto canvas using UV light.

Paper & fabric samples using UV light.

The blue is removed then dipped in tea.

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