July 20, 2017

Experiments in wet cyanotype - Part 5

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 It's time for more wet cyanotype fun! Here's another batch of experimental prints using the wet cyanotype method of printing on fabric. If you are new here, welcome, and feel free to look back at the explanations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. I've also added a tab to to the blog header that will give you all the relevant posts in reverse chronological order.

This time around I was working exclusively with cotton sateen that I treated myself with cyanotype solution. I spritzed a bit of water on the foam board base, added the fabric, placed the leaves, gave it another spritz, and covered it all with a sheet of glass.  I started with 'August Moon' hosta leaves, above, and an ornamental sweet potato vine, below.
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 Below is another hosta leaf that sustained some damage, and a wood poppy leaf. For these first three the first spritz of water had a bit of dye-na-flow pink color added; the rest were all plain water.
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 Here is a christmas fern frond. You can never have too many fern prints.
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Up next were two daisy sprigs. Using flowers in regular cyanotype printing, where the exposure is 10 - 15 minutes, can be a bit tricky, and the delicate petals are more translucent to light than the leaves, and its hard to find the right balance. So I was curious to see what would happen with the wet cyanotype process with these.
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Last up in this batch was a wonderful snake root compound leaf on a 16" x 20" panel.
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 All of these were left outside for approximately 24 hours. The weather was sunny, hot, and very humid. After exposure, they looked like this:
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 They were very dark and moody looking. I like taking photos as this stage because it is very transient.
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 I somehow skipped taking a photo of the fern at this point, probably because I got distracted by these daisy prints:
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 The flowers are fairly well represented, but the leaf impressions got melt-y, perhaps because of the moisture in the leaves and stems, or possibly it became a focal point for the condensation on the glass.
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 And the snakeroot print was really dark at this point.
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 After rinsing, drying, and ironing, here are the finished prints. Once again, I am just in love with the results this process produces. The golden mottling here is just great:
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 This one is a particular favorite:
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 And again, you can never have too many fern prints.
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 I'm not sure how I feel about these daisy prints. They seem somewhat unsettling to me. I can see how some stitch work to define and/or enhance some of those melt-y bits and the flowers could be really effective. Or not. I'm not sure I want to invest a lot of time in them. They will go up on a design wall so I can think about them for a while.
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 Last but not least, the snakeroot print turned out very lovely. I love the purple tones and all the shading in the leaves.
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I took a break from the printmaking frenzy at this point because I had run out of treated fabric, and I had other things I needed to attend too. But there will be more to come....

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!


Kathy said...

I first saw this on a FB post and am totally fascinated with the results. I had some treated fabric and tried it with some leaves and metal grids and the results were so beautiful. Your experiments are making me like cyanotype printing again!!!

pat arndt said...

These are so interesting to look at! Did the background of the larger focus plant print the background grasses?

Sue Reno said...

Hi Kathy! That's so exciting! I was inspired to try this process by others working in it, so I am happy to spread the joy.

Sue Reno said...

Hi Pat, there's no background grasses, the patterning around the focal images/plants comes from the movement of the cyanotype chemicals during the wet cyanotype process. It's unpredictable and fascinating.

Franki Kohler said...

These are just fab Sue. The daisies make me think of van Gogh -- not a bad inspiration. Looking forward to seeing more! Meanwhile, I sorting through eco prints and haven't even written about that process yet. Yikes. Time to get crackin'.