Alternative processes: cyanotype

November 11, 2019: I had hoped to use cyanotype as a background for the gum bichromate process. I am looking for the flat, painterly quality that the combination creates. These processes are labor intensive and depend on UV exposure as a fixing process. As I live at about 45 degrees in latitude, sunlight is not reliable during the fall and winter months, I am using a very old (1960s) single-bulb sunlamp which I clamped to the rafters above my clothes washer in the basement. If the sunlamp works, then I can work on cyantype or bichromate at any time.

The power of the tanning lamp. Foil covers the outside of the lamp to protect my eyes from exposure.

The sunlamp DID work and I am pleased. I purchased cyanotype chemicals on Amazan, and the two component parts are now mixed and in light proof containers in the basedment. I am using high quality water color paper (hot pressed 140lb). I don’t know why this happened, but I seemed to get some pooling of the chemicals on each of the sheets which created big blotches. I don’t know if I added too much fluid but suspect that this was the problem. These were just experiments, and I will try to prepare the other sheets more carefully.

Rinsing the print. The UV light fixes the cyanotype mixture to the paper. The remainder of the non-exposed areas become light after rinsing.

My first efforts were under exposed. I added an additional 30% to the time and I think that these results are much better. I do wish that I could get rid of the haze that the overhead plastic leaves on the image. I may need to purchase some of the more expensive “negative” material designed for this purpose.

Close up of a panel I created for the CityID Brief. It’s a sample and I was going for a blueprint look.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s