Simply Cyanotype – A practical workshop taught by Victoria Cooper & Doug Spowart

Simply Cyanotype – A practical workshop taught by Victoria Cooper & Doug Spowart

The Cyanotype Workshop will provide for participants an introduction to the creative potential of the process.
Topics will include:
·      Sourcing and mixing up your own chemicals
·      Selecting suitable subjects to image
·      Selecting the best materials to print on
·      Handcoating paper and cloth
·      Sunlight exposures as well as using UV exposure units
·      Processinng and drying
In this workshop the Cyanotype (The Blueprint), participants will make prints on watercolour paper, rice paper and cloth from opaque & transparent found objects (a list of resources to bring will be supplied to participants).
Some discussion will take place regarding advanced techniques including:
·      Making ‘wet’ cyanotypes
·      Toning cyanotypes
·      Photographic inkjet negatives

Victoria Cooper & Doug Spowart

Sir John Herschel discovered the cyanotype process in the early 1840’s. Herschel coated paper with a solution he had formulated, he then exposed this paper in sunlight in contact with a negative and finally washed it out in water. The result is a blue positive image. 
Anna Atkins was a scientific illustrator and in 1843 used this process to produce the book Algae of the British Isles: Cyanotype Impressions which is often refered to as the first photobook. Due to its blue colouration the process was not popular with photographers however engineers and draughtsmen subsequently adapted it, calling it blueprint, and used it for copying their plans and drawings. 
Today the Cyanotype is more widely used in the production of photographic art on paper and cloth.

Maud Street Photo Gallery, Newstead QLD. 2 February 2019.

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This article was written by
David Tatnall

David Tatnall is a Melbourne based fine art photographer.

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