December 5, 2017

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 15

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 227
With the last few days of moderate weather on the horizon, I went foraging in my yard once again for scraps of leaves to use in yet another round of wet cyanotype printing. I clipped some bamboo and a viburnum twig, above, and sweetgum, comfrey, and viburnum leaves, below.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 228
The prints are on cotton sateen that I treated with cyanotype chemicals. Below are alpine strawberry leaves.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 229
I used a bit of diluted washing soda sprayed around the edges of the cloth, before spraying the whole surface with plain water. Below you see the washing soda starting to work on changing the pH and breaking down the chemicals. The leaves are garlic mustard, an invasive nuisance, but one that's very handy for my current purposes as it sets new leaves in the late fall.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 230
I put the prints out in bright sunlight for the short daylight hours. That night there was a hard freeze and the under surface of the glass covers got frosty. The bamboo print was the most dramatic:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 231
(All images enlarge when clicked.)
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 232
 The other ones looked pretty cool as well.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 233

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 234
 I brought them in at dusk on the second day. Again, these late season prints are not as dramatic and colorful as the ones from high summer, but they are still fascinating. Here are the un-rinsed prints:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 235

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 236
 Lots of dark mysterious colors.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 237
 The garlic mustard print looked amazing at this stage. I love the orange in the corners, but most of all I love that some of the delicate and intricate leaf patterning transferred to the print.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 238
 I have no way of knowing for sure, because there isn't a control in this experiment, but I suspect that the hard freeze added to this effect. This is just beautiful! A lot of the patterning inside the leaf shapes typically rinses out, because it hasn't been directly exposed to the UV rays of the sun, so I'm glad I take pictures and document this ephemeral stage.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 239
 And here are the finished prints:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 240
 Once again, I'm very happy with the results. I never quite know what I'm going to get with this process, but it's almost always interesting.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 241
 These alpine strawberry leaves are going to look great with some added stitching.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 242
 Best of all, a bit of the patterning remained in the garlic mustard prints.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 243
 Here's a detail. It's so pretty!
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 244
Now I really want to try another frozen exposure.

If you are new here, welcome! I've been detailing and documenting my experiments with wet cyanotype in great detail; you can read it in reverse chronological order by clicking the Wet Cyanotype tab in the top header, or click here.

And a reminder that I also post on social media:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

December 4, 2017

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 14

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 204
Once again, I had packed away my supplies, but the weather remained mild, and my obsession with and curiosity about the wet cyanotype process remains dialed up to 11, so here we are again. There  had been mild frosts, but no hard freeze, so there were still some scraps of leaves about. I had a warmish, sunny day on tap, but no treated fabric on hand. I realized I could experiment with really putting the "wet" in wet cyanotype, and start with fabric freshly painted with the cyanotype chemicals. I started with a 16" x 20" piece of cotton sateen and some sweetgum leaves, wood poppy leaves, and a christmas fern frond. I was gratified to see that the reaction began immediately upon exposure.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 205
Next I tried a 10" x 12" exposure of a sweetgum leaf:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 206
It also colored up right away:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 207
So I added a wood poppy/sweetgum print:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 208
A wood poppy/damaged pulmonaria leaf/holly fern:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 209
Some golden raspberry leaves:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 210
and wood poppy with big root geranium:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 211
The first four were set out on my deck with indirect sunlight, but the last two I set in the driveway in the direct sun. The immediate reaction was this lovely rich teal color:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 212
I like to leave prints out for 24 hours if possible, because overnight the moisture condenses on the glass and adds to the movement of the chemicals on the fabric. On this night the temperature dipped below freezing, and two of the prints which were up on a table got a bit frosty.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 213
It was exciting but (spoiler alert) didn't seem to change the resulting print in any significant way.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 214
Here are the finished, dried, but un-rinsed prints:
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 215

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 217
There's lots of deep, dark color in the background, and very subtle color shifting.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 217

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 218
The two that got direct bright sun immediately upon exposure also got a bit splotchy.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 219


Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 220
Here are the finished prints. I think they are quite lovely. You can click on any image to enlarge it.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 221
There is a lot of contrast in this batch. The masked, unexposed areas under the leaves are very bright and white.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 222
I think because the fabric was freshly treated, the chemicals in the wet areas under the leaves wicked out into the rest of the print, something like when I make a heliographic print with textile paints.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 223

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 224

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 225
In general I think I prefer the results from pre-treated, dried fabric, but this is a good trick to have in my arsenal and I'm quite happy with the results.

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 226

If you are new here, welcome! I've been detailing and documenting my experiments with wet cyanotype in great detail; you can read it in reverse chronological order by clicking the Wet Cyanotype tab in the top header, or click here.

And a reminder that I also post on social media:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

November 18, 2017

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 13

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 188
I truly thought I was done making wet cyanotypes for the season, but the weather in early November in PA stayed very warm, almost balmy, and I had the opportunity to do one more round so I took it. I collected fallen leaves and twigs on a woodsy walk, including these tulip poplar leaves above. 

The leaves below are making me crazy because I am not certain about their ID. I am tentatively calling them sour gum, Nyssa sylvatica, because the shape, size and habitat match up. Most online photos show them with red fall foliage, but I'm also seeing some with this shade of yellow. Ideas and commentary are welcome!

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 189
This one I know. It's hard to mistake a sycamore leaf.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 190
And the same applies to a sassafras. This is a double mitten leaf; single mitten leaves and plain ovals are all present on the same tree.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 191
Back in my yard, I finished my foraging with a painted fern and a fading hosta leaf. All of these were exposed on cotton sateen that I treated with cyanotype chemicals. I sprayed them with very diluted washing soda around the edges, and plain water over all, covered them with glass, and put them out in the bright autumn afternoon sun.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 192
I brought them in overnight because there was a threat of rain, and put them back out the next morning. The threat became a drizzle, then a slow steady rain under cloudy skies. I had some success with leaving prints out in summer showers, but here it was obvious autumn had finally arrived and this exposure was going nowhere. I brought them in again, removed the glass and leaves, and set them to dry off in the dark before rinsing.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 193

Here are the dry, un-rinsed prints. Lots of depth of color, and very little of the bright, colored breakdown I was getting on hot midsummer days.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 194

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 195

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 196
I really love recording them at this stage.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 197

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 198
And here are the finished prints. Again, very different from the hot summer prints, but equally gorgeous in their own way. They are a bit more reminiscent of a regular, short exposure dry cyanotype print, but with some mottling in the background, and a lot of interesting, subtle patterns and colors in the masked areas.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 199

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 200
Really beautiful, right?
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 201

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 202
I always have more ideas than I have time, but I think these four fall leaf prints could be the basis for a solid art quilt. I just need to ID those presumed gum leaves for certain.....
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 203
If you are new here, welcome! I've been detailing and documenting my experiments with wet cyanotype in great detail; you can read it in reverse chronological order by clicking the Wet Cyanotype tab in the top header, or click here.

And a reminder that I also post on social media:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/