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Home Journal Cyanotype
Cyanotype

Cyanotype

written by Susannah Stewart - published on June 02, 2024

The Snow Peak team recently hosted First Camp alongside Outsiders Store at the beautiful Bert’s Kitchen Garden on the Llyn Peninsula, North Wales. There we met Kat Wood, an artist from Derbyshire, who ran a workshop on Cyanotype. Many of the campers really enjoyed making their own designs in the sunshine. Kat explains the process for us.

The cyanotype process is a photographic printing process that creates a cyan-blue print. It was invented by English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel in 1842. This process involves using two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, which are essentially iron and salt. These chemicals are mixed together to create a light-sensitive solution, which can then be applied to a surface.

In the workshop, we printed this solution onto tenugui bandanas provided by Snow Peak. To prevent premature exposure, I coated the fabric in a blackout tent.

Next, we scoured the campsite for beautiful objects such as flowers, leaves, seaweed, pebbles, and even honeycomb. We then placed the objects we’d found on the coated surface and exposed the entire assembly to sunlight.

The exposure time varies depending on the light's intensity and the desired depth of the blue colour, usually ranging from a few minutes to an hour.

After exposure, the fabric was rinsed in the stream to stop the reaction and remove any unexposed iron and salt. The areas exposed to UV light turned a deep blue, while the unexposed areas remained white or a lighter blue, creating a negative image. Finally, we hung the fabric on a washing line to dry and admired our unique designs.

Images: Kat Wood

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