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Artisan D.I.Y Cyanotype Kit.
Cyanotype is a beautiful, versatile process yet it’s simple enough to be accessible to people of all skill levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this Kit Suitable for Children?
YES. Cyanotype is non-toxic and does not present any significant health risk or danger. That said, care should always be taken to avoid ingestion, inhalation and contact with skin when handling the cyanotype chemicals. Adult supervision while mixing the solutions is highly recommended. The light sensitive paper you prepare is safe for all ages to use and makes a great 'home learning' experience.
Can I Make Prints on Cloudy and Rainy Days?
Yes, but it will take longer and you may lose some contrast. Consider putting your project in a window, conservatory or greenhouse. If you do leave prints in the rain you will still get interesting tones and shades (see below under ‘Wet Cyanotypes’)
What Paper is Suitable for More Prints?
Good quality watercolour paper gives the most consistent results (but ensure it is ACID FREE) however any porous paper will be suitable. Just remember it must be able to withstand the washing stage and extra thin paper will need patience, and a steady hand. Printing on top of patterns, pages of books, newspaper, etc. is a great way to create a layered image.
What Happens if I Spill the Iron Solutions?
Careful that you don’t spill anything on your clothes or furniture as it will leave indelible blue stains! However, not if washed immediately ~ mop up the excess solution and then soak fabric with a detergent containing phosphates, and before any exposure to sunlight. Wash hands thoroughly after handling and avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Can I Cyanotype on any Surface?
Any natural surface can be treated with the cyanotype sensitizer, including silk, cotton, wool, hemp, linen, canvas, leather and wood. Like a dye, cyanotype is transparent, so anything beneath the blue of the print will show through. Printing on coloured substrates will have an additive effect instead of blue and white (for example printing on a yellow fabric will produce a green on yellow print & printing on red will produce a purple on red print, etc.)
Can I Wash my Fabric Cyanotype Print?
Keep washing to a minimum if possible. We recommend hand-washing in cold water using a NON-PHOSPHATE detergent that does not contain Bleach or Sodium. Test wash a small piece of fabric before you clean the entire pillow cover, quilt or t-shirt. Fabric can be dry ironed (reverse side) but make sure your iron will not eject steam or water which will mark the print.
Think everything but the kitchen sink and let alchemy take over.
Prepare your paper in the usual way and leave to dry. Then use a spray bottle filled with ordinary water to lightly mist the paper. Add a sprinkle of your chosen substance (try turmeric, chilli powder or other colourful spices, lemon juice, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, salt, various cleaning sprays, soap bubbles and that’s just a few suggestions) We found that limiting oneself to one or two additives led to better results.
Now compose your print as usual adding another spritz of water and the chosen substance(s) on top of the object, before placing a layer of crumpled cellophane on top. Top with the glass and clip in place, as you would with a normal cyanotype and leave in the sun for an hour or so, when the visible paper is light brown and looks dry, you can wash the wet cyanotype. Leaving your wet print to develop for much longer than this will produce yet more unusual effects.
How Should I Display my Cyanotypes?
Cyanotype Prints are archival however, like any good quality painting or print if you leave your cyanotype print in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, it will fade. However, unlike oils and watercolour paintings this is only temporary. Simply place your "faded" print in a dark place for a few hours and your print will return to its original beauty. Yellowing may occur if prints are exposed to phosphates or alkaline environments.
Can I Paint Over my Finished Print?
Your finished print can either be re~coated again with mixed solution and re~ exposed to UV to give a double exposure effect; or try embellishing prints with dyes, paints or markers which is a great way to add colour to a cyanotype. However, if the paint or dye has a high pH, the blue colour of the cyanotype beneath may fade or disappear completely. Experiment with different media to see what the different effects of over-colouring are.
Can I Make my Print Something Other than Blue?
An unadulterated cyanotype will always be blue. However, there are many methods for toning finished cyanotype prints to other colours using household materials like tea, coffee and soap. Cyanotypes can be toned to a variety of browns, blacks, yellows and more.
Can I Order Re-fill Chemicals and other Resources?
Yes you can here at Bloemen & Blue
What is World Cyanotype Day?
World Cyanotype Day is a yearly event that takes place on the last Saturday in September. Started by Judy Sherrod and “shootapalooza” (A collective of photographic artists, mostly women, who gather every so often to share creative photography, experiences: a self-termed “murmmuration of artists”) in 2015 to celebrate and connect with others by making cyanotypes. So, everybody, grab a friend and make something blue!
Share your creations on Instagram using the #bloemenandblueDIYcyanotpe for a chance to be featured in WCD 2021.
Blurry prints: This is a contact printing process. Transparencies and negatives must be firmly in contact with the prepared light sensitive surface. Place the print perpendicular to the sun for even exposure (particular necessary on very sunny days).
Streaks Brown on back of print, dark line on front. Fabric or paper not well rinsed. Rinse again immediately.
Dark blue prints: Black areas of transparencies not dense enough, too little toner or ink. Too long in the sun, reduce exposure time. Not well rinsed, and print continues to expose.