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Cyano-party!

Last week I filled my home with a group of super talented local artists and we made cyanotypes! World Cyanotype Day is coming up; every year as the last Saturday in September approaches I feel the urge to get people together somehow to make them. In previous years I have tried hosting a formal workshop, but I’ve thrown in the towel with all that business so I decided to spread the blue happiness by having a little art party instead.

The piece cooking closest to the camera is a test I made as a demo

The piece cooking closest to the camera is a test I made as a demo

I absolutely love sharing the process with people, and am pleased to say that the day was a total success all around! It gives me so much joy to see people’s reactions the first time they see the print in the wash.

Jennifer & Maria

Jennifer & Maria

Tracie photographing Katherine

Tracie photographing Katherine

The women who attended are artists in a variety of mediums, from painting and collage to photography, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, mandalas, and more! I knew their cyanotypes would be amazing; it was super exciting for me to see how everyone worked with the process to express their own individual vision and style. That’s one of the beautiful things about cyanotypes: they are really only limited by your imagination.

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Since my goal - besides just introducing the technique to people - was to encourage people to participate in World Cyanotype Day, we used cotton fabric from Blueprints on Fabric for all of the artwork that day. I find that to be the perfect way to get started with this process, since development times are longer than paper, since it can be left in the wash for a good long while, and since the material is very robust. Goodness knows I have plenty of trays for this kind of thing, and the back yard was a grateful participant.

I had one larger piece of fabric left from last year’s cyanotype making bonanza, so we used that to make a group piece. I didn’t do the best job of cutting it (details aren’t always my strong point) but it can be trimmed up for display. . . .

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Several pieces from that day, including the group piece, will be on display next month at A Smith Gallery, where you can celebrate World Cyanotype Day! Check them out and check out the WCD website for all the details.