|Hand StencilGuts (limited availability)|
|Bird StencilGuts (limited availability)|
|Botanical Wildflowers Masks L774, Botanical Stem Mask L773|
As I mentioned earlier, one of the few limitations on making cyanotypes is that the substrate has to be able to withstand washing. Because collage material ideally is thin, this presents a bit of a challenge. Very thin paper simply will not hold up to this process (trust me, I've tried) and although heavy watercolor paper yields a beautiful cyanotype, its stiffness does not lend itself to collage, especially in an art journal. For these reasons, I decided to try cyanotyping on very thin silk. I had some in my fabric stash, so I treated some pieces and got to work.
With cyanotyping for the adventurous, or wet cyanotyping, the magic really begins. As above, you lay your substrate on the platform, and then your stencil or mask, but before covering with glass, try sprinkling some powdered turmeric (it contains a strong yellow dye) and spritzing with water. The turmeric and water will react with the cyanotype solution in unpredictable ways, leaving splots, dots, and blotches that can be absolutely gorgeous. Diluted vinegar will also make the chemistry go wild, as will inks and soap bubbles. Anything water-based will instantly effect the dried cyanotype solution. Some wet cyanotype artists leave their wet prints out to expose for many hours, which really does wacky things to the chemistry, and depending on the substrate - paper or fabric - the reactions will vary. You'll never get the same results twice.
|Different swatches of silk with the botanical masks - different exposures, different additions (water, vinegar, spray inks, turmeric) - showing unpredictable and unique results.|