Cyanotype is a form of very early photography, invented by Sir John Frederick William Herschel in 1842. The “Prussian blue” colour of the prints is a result of the chemical processes at work in this technique. In early photography this colour was thought to be too strong for landscape photography, and so at the time the cyanotype process was mostly used for reprographic copying purposes. This led to the term “blueprints” for architectural and engineering drawings. However, the cyanotype process was also used by British botanist Anna Atkins, to produce her celebrated books of photograms of algae and other plants.
Cyanotype printing is a simple and non-toxic process, which, beyond the cyanotype chemicals themselves, requires no specialist equipment or facilities. The process uses sunlight as an ultraviolet source to expose the prints, and tap water to develop them.
In the Croydon Arts Store workshop, participants will use the cyanotype chemicals to prepare blueprint paper, and then will go outside to use the sunlight to expose the prints. Participants are asked to bring small objects that might crate interesting shadows to use for their cyanotype prints. This might include plant matter such as leaves and flowers (including weeds), or household or stationary items such as paper clips, etc.
Note: as direct sunlight is required for the cyanotype process this part of the workshop will be dependent upon the weather conditions.
Free workshop, everyone welcome