CYANOTYPE PRINTING

1 or 2 Day Workshop 

This one day workshop will be an introduction to the Cyanotype printing process. You will learn the history, production techniques and safe handling of chemistry and how to prepare papers ready for exposure. Once you have collected some natural or found materials to work with you will contact print these to your prepared papers and expose them either inside a UV box or outside in sun light. The beauty of this process is that once the chemistry has been applied and dried, you only require water to develop the exposed images.

 

You will be encouraged to experiment with your compositions and to see what is possible with 2 and 3 dimensional objects without the use of a camera. You will also be encouraged to bring printed negatives, photocopies and any other materials with you to work with.

If you choose to do two days, you will have the opportunity to experiment with different substrates such as fabric, wood or metal, onto which you can print a design of your making. Furthermore we would use the ultra violet exposure unit to experiment with different negatives: digital, film and hand drawn negatives on glass.

In a relaxed setting, this workshop will be both informative and instructive and is an accessible introduction to chemical based alternative photography.

Cost

£90 for one day, which includes materials. Numbers of participants are limited to 4. Individual tuition is £200 per day. Dates on request.

All prices exclude VAT.

History & Process

Invented in 1842 by Sir John Frederick William Herschel, an English polymath, Cyanotype is one of the earliest forms of photographic printing. The light sensitive chemistry is based on the salts of iron. The greatest proponent of the process was Anna Atkins (British 1799-1871) the first known female photographer, who created a number of volumes of cyanotype prints recording British algae, ferns and other fauna.

A sheet of paper, cloth or other substrate is brushed with solutions of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide and dried in the dark. Once dried the substrate is light sensitive and either exposed to sunlight or ultra violet light with objects and materials on top or lain under a negative and contact printed. What is delightful about this process is its ease of use; once exposed to light the substrate is simply washed in water and dried.

A variant of this process was used for a number of years to duplicate architects drawings and known commonly as a blue print.