November 29, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 57


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There were a few gorgeous, warm days in the beginning of November that just called out for some printmaking to finish up the season. Luckily, I had plenty of dried and pressed leaves set aside for just such a moment, and I was able to make three large panels on cotton sateen.
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I had chanced across some red mulberry leaves earlier in the fall, and was very excited about them. I've worked with the non-native white mulberry many times before, but these very large, native species leaves were new to me. For the first two prints, I used just the red mulberry leaves, and for the third I combined one with some sumac leaves and white mulberry twigs. Look at that size difference! When things like this excite you, you will never be bored,
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I used a combination of cyanotype chemicals and Jacquard's Solarfast sun-activated dyes. They are not really meant to be used together, nor to be used in long exposures, but with experimentation I've worked out a process that gives me results I like. Here are the prints after exposure, but before rinsing them out.
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This third image is a bit funky; the weather turned quickly at the end of the second day of printmaking and I brought this one in before a deluge of rain and took a quick picture of it inside.
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Here are the finished prints. All three are about 2 ft. x 4 ft. I am delighted with them.
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I have plans for them; they are joining a very long queue of projects. 
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This has obviously been a very weird and scary year to date, and I am somewhat disorganized and scattered, but at least I have some great prints to point to and think about. 
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November 23, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 56

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Still catching up on documenting the summer's prints sessions. This was the last batch of wet cyanotype prints on mineral paper, made in the last warm and mellow days of September.
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The first two are fern fronds from my garden.
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Followed by a maple twig, and a bit of the horribly invasive but good for printmaking Japanese knotweed.
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Here are the prints after exposure, but before rinsing and finishing.
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Once again, I am delighted by the way the chemicals move around on the slick surface of the mineral paper before settling down and permanently staining it. 
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Those rusty tones are spectacular but will rinse out, so I'm glad I always take a moment to record them at this stage.
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Here are the finished prints.
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So much swirly goodness!
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And nice crisp leaf outlines on the knotweed print. November has turned a bit dreary, as per usual, and it's good to have some summery goodness to reflect back on.
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