Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Exploring Cyanotypes with Kecia Deveney

Last week I took a 2-day class on using cyanotype fabric sheets. I dabbled in the medium last summer and really enjoyed experimenting with it. When I really embrace a process, I like to research it more to get a good idea of the possibilities. I had a great time watching videos and reading up on cyanotype. 


Cyanotype is a photographic printing process dating back to 1842. Once the medium is applied to fabric or paper (or you can order pretreated sheets), It is then placed in the sun and a chemical process occurs between the UV rays and the synthetic treatment. 


So many fun things can be used to create an image, such as botanicals, negatives, flat objects ( or slightly dimensional), and more. One of the things that caught my eye was to try stencils. So of course, I got very excited about experimenting with those. 


On a pretreated cyanotype fabric sheet, I placed a face stencil by Pam Carriker, a botanical image by Flora Bowley, and a flower by Traci Bautista. I laid it out in a way to create a scene that I knew I would later develop with embroidery floss. On the second sheet of pre-treated fabric, I laid out the four sacred hearts stencil by Laurie Mika. It was my intention to cut one of those out and add It as a separate layer to the final piece. 

After about 15 minutes, in good sunlight, your piece will be developed and ready for a rinse in bleach water. It’s the bleach water that really heightens the blue colors. From there you rinse well in clean water and dry. 


Once my fabric was dry, I ironed it and in my mind began developing ideas. I was working with some limitations with the main color being all blue, so I decided to make a limited palette of blue, white, and rust colors. I also knew it would become a wall hanging. I set about hand stitching on it and layering it with vintage fabrics.

Once I finished the piece, I decided to add a crystal inside the chrysalis for a double meaning. I am calling the piece, “Pure Energy”. 

Stencils Used: 

Traci Bautista’s - Deconstructed Zinnia Mask & Stencil (S290)

Pam Carriker’s  - Create Face (S646)

Laurie Mika’s - Four Sacred Hearts (L782)

Flora Bowley’s - Chrysalis (L390)


  1. Wow. The end result is spectacular. And yet another use for stencils!!


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