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Cyanotype photography & designs

I've only been creating cyanotypes over the past few months. I used the process last year to create the Art in Poundbury's

'Sea of Talent' Christmas Exhibition artwork and poster designs, as it gave me the strong blues I was looking for for the designs.

My Mum then asked me if I'd create a Christmas card for her. Rather than get a card in festive reds, greens and golds, she got a cyanotype - which she rather liked, which I then supersized and made into fine art prints...and haven't stopped since. 

This, combined with the sea-themed artwork I did for Art in Poundbury - has spawned (or 'prawned') a whole new design avenue....with artwork and cards going as far as Singapore, Japan, and North America.

The cyanotype been around for a while - invented in 1842 by Sir John F. W. Herschel, who intended it to be used for reproducing mathematical tables - and technical drawings. Otherwise known as blueprints. Many people also used the process to create photograms of flowers, plants and seaweed.

Creating a cyanotype is a very simple camera-less technique - from laying an object,  a cut-out design or acetate drawing on art paper painted with a solution of iron salts; exposing it to sunlight for a few minutes, then washing under a cold tap to be left with white and Prussian Blue images.

With my designs I've added to that process - I either do an entire design on acetate, or lots of hand-cut individual parts,  create the raw cyanotypes then photograph them, cut out each piece and piece them together like a jigsaw on my computer. This allows me to digitally alter the colour balance of some of the pieces to create pops of colour. These layers are then flattened and printed on Fine Art Hahnemule Rag paper to make the most of the blues.


It's certainly not an exact science as you never quite know what you're going to get. And it doesn't always goes to plan!  But when it does it's very satisfying.


I hope you enjoy them as much as I do creating them.


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