July 23, 2017

Experiments in wet cyanotype - Part 6

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 Here we go with part 6! I was so intrigued/alarmed/amused by the daisy prints I achieved in part 5 that I wanted to try more flower prints. Something substantial seemed like a good bet, so I went out in the garden and clipped a yellow gladiolus and a stargazer lily.
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 I wanted to use the stamens, with their heavy load of pollen, just to see what would happen, but they were impossible to arrange with any sort of precision, so I clipped them. The stargazer lily flower petals are thick and substantial and lumpy, so I had to sort of smoosh everything into place with the glass cover.  Same for the gladiolus, it's got some heft. So I put these out in the early evening, with the plan that they would wilt a bit overnight before being hit by the morning sun.
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 I did two more snakeroot prints, this time using a blossom on one of them. For all four of these, I made a slight change in procedure. I didn't wet the foam board before layering the cloth and plants. I did spritz liberally with water after arranging and before topping with glass. So to some extent the cyanotype treated fabric is masked from the moisture by the plants; however, the plants have their own moisture, and the fabric will wick. I'm curious to see if it makes a difference.

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I pulled these after about 20 hours, when a thunderstorm threatened.  They were on the dark and murky side at this point, without a lot of  the striation I had in previous prints.

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 They were still really wet, so I set them to dry in the dark overnight.
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 Here's the finished, rinsed, and dried prints.
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 They have a much softer feel than most of my previous prints.
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 I suppose you could call them dreamy.
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 For my purposes, I would rank them as good but not great. I prefer a harder edge and more color shifts. If I live with them for a while I may change my opinion.
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So! This was a useful experiment. I think I get crisper prints when I wet the board before laying on the plants, and more of the color shifts I prefer if I put them in bright sunlight right at the start of the exposure. Onward and upward!


Franki Kohler said...

This was a great experiment. You may well want these very prints for a project in the future. 'Dreamy' can be nice.

Sue Reno said...

Franki, you are correct! And I save everything, for that very reason.

Robbie said...

You are inspiring me to try this again! I have some cyano fabric but think I need to review again how you achieved your results. Thanks for the share!!!!

Sue Reno said...

Robbie, you are very welcome! Have fun experimenting!