Text Cyanotypes

Cyanotypes are a photographic printing process that results in a cyan blue print. The blue is achieved as the chemicals you paint onto the paper are light sensitive. Your design is put onto the paper using acetate; drawing your design on with black permanent marker or UV pen. The acetate and coated paper is then placed onto a light box (usually for 999 light units). You then wash the chemical off, the area blocked from light, under the marker pen will become white after washing.

In a recent tutorial I had with Penny McCarthy; She mentioned how my original cyanotype, that was illustrated with handwritten quotes, looked quite ethereal. She described it as ‘one line in the empty blue’, explaining it looks like the text is written in the sky and how the words appear to look like last words. I was really struck with this analysis, and so used my own words and lyrics, to amplify the idea of text being lost in vast amounts of colour, or looking like it was written in the sky.

I’m really unhappy with these outcomes, I think the writing is too white and stands out way too much, similar to the issue I had with my voids. The original cyanotype’s font appears as though its fading. Another issue I have is that it looks very much like sky; I don’t see sky as a void, so I’m having an issue connecting to it. I still want to do something with these cyanotypes, as I don’t want to abandon them so quickly.


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