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Workshops with Made and Making in Hassocks, West Sussex

Cyanotype printing - Made and Making

Card Making Festive Workshop 10th November 2022 Tom Foolery Coffee Company, Shoreham by sea. Click below for tickets  

Festive Winter Cyanotype Card Making Workshop. Tickets, Thu 10 Nov 2022 at 18:30 | Eventbrite

Cyanotypes – a very brief intro

Cyanotypes were Invented by British Astrologer Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) in 1841. He was trying to find a way to duplicate his notes.

Herschel managed to fix pictures using hyposulphite of soda as early as 1839.

The cyanotype process was a low-cost method to produce copies of drawings for engineers well into the 20 century – commonly known as blueprints.

He also invented the words photography, negative, positive, and snapshot!

This process was popular in Victorian England but as the photographic process became more sophisticated the photogram/cyan print was used mainly by artists.

 Anna Atkins, British Photographer and botanist helped to bring the process its popularity. She was the first person to produce an illustrated book (British Algae: Cyanotype impressions - 1843) using photographic illustrations, back then they were known as shadowgraphs.

In modern times we make cyanotypes by combining two chemicals: Ferric ammonium citrate (a green powder) and potassium ferricyanide (red crystals). This substance when mixed is sensitive to ultraviolet light (sunlight). Once exposed the paper is then simply rinsed off and settled in water resulting in Prussian blue prints.

Further reading

The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the first book of photographs – Fiona Robinson 2019

www.alternativephotography.com

Blueprints to Cyanotypes – Exploring a historical alternative photographic process – Malin Fabbri and Gary Fabbri

www.blueprintsonfabric.com