Saturday 29 September 2018

Overexposed! Experimenting with sunprinting

Recently I realized that Colourcraft had pre-treated fabric and paper for sunprinting! This is something that I think is really fun to work with so I decided we could hope for a few days of sunshine to test out a funky technique which works on both the fabric and the paper.

 The technical name for this technique is cyanotype. It's a photo process and one of the first ways that photographic images were made. The center image in the picture above is done in the traditional way which gives a beautiful rich blue color. The outer two images are done using the addition of water and overexposure, which adds the element of the unknown! And some beautiful results.

First to the traditional method.
It helps to have a sunny day, and a couple of sheets of glass (NOT UV protected-I use glass shelves) as well as your sunprinting paper or fabric, and some items to "print" with.
Remember! The chemicals used to treat the paper and fabrics are photo reactive, so you want to keep them in the lightproof bags as long as possible, and set up your print in dim light.
Here I have some seedpods, a fern and some bird shaped paperclips-ready!
I placed my paper on one sheet of glass, arranged my objects and placed the second sheet of glass on top. 
After about 20-40 minutes, I removed the items. You can see that a tiny bit of water got on my fern.
This is what my image looks like after I have rinsed it in cold water and let it dry. Pretty fun! Remember that the items placed on your paper/fabric act as a resist, that is, that part of the paper doesn't get exposed and stays the original color of the fabric/paper. You can use anything really to print with- I've even printed out images onto transparencies for more detailed photo images.(remember that what's black ends up white).
Here you can see a print of one of my cats onto fabric. I printed out the photo as a negative. It's amazing how much detail can be transferred with this technique!

So this is all really cool- but I like pushing the medium a step further which brings me to...
To do this technique, you start off pretty much the same way..but this time, you add a bit of water to the mix. I spray some onto the glass and smoosh it around to create small puddles.
Here I've placed my objects onto the paper.

Now I have added some water between the glass and paper, and added glass on top.
I let the print sit outside for quite a few hours, preferably overnight! 

Here is my print after sitting out overnight. I love how you get a variety of colors and effects!
Here are some that I've done on colored squares of fabric! These give you interesting effects because the base fabric is a color other than white.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's blog and try out the sunprinting or cyanotype products that are available at Colourcraft.  

Until next time! Happy creating!!


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