Monday, 20 January 2014

Painting with the Sun :: Cyanotypes

Well I discovered something new today, how to make cyanotypes.   

We are really pleased to have been asked by Charnwood Arts to work on an arts for health project with them. We will be creating a series of artworks in a community hospital in Oakham. The theme will be "Sense of Place - Home from Home". We will be looking at what home means to people in relation to where they are at this present time.   

Jemma from Charnwood Arts thought that it would be really great to make a series of cyanotypes, with images from the local area we are working in along with ideas about what 'home' means, onto textiles.   I love the idea of working with the in-patients and hope they will be able to add some stitches to the prints we have made today.

In case you don't know what cyantypes are, it's like a photographic process where you paint a special, light sensitive, solution onto paper or fabric.  You then cover with a relief image such as an acetate with a photo/picture printed onto it, or solid three-dimentional objects such as buttons or keys etc.  then you shine UV light onto it (if it's a sunny day just leave it out in the sun) for about 10 minutes. Then rinse to fix and there you have it.  

You can find out, in more detail, about the 'in's' and 'out's' of making cyanotypes on wikipedia but below are pictures of our day today, making them.

Painting on the light sensitive solution onto fabric...
 Drying the solution with an hairdryer...
 Under the UV lamp...
 Waiting for the magic to happen...
 Removing the relief objects to reveal what lies beneath...
Rinsing and fixing the image...
Hanging out to dry...
I totally and utterly loved learning a new skill today and am really looking forward to seeing how these images are used in our installation .  A special mention goes to Jacqui whose beautiful photography was used in making these cyanotypes.  Watch out for more on this project.

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