Cyanotype Paper

$17.95

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PRODUCT INFORMATION
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PRODUCT INFORMATION

Cyanotype paper is commonly used to make "sun prints". This is a simple chemistry project suitable for all ages. A great way to spend a sunny day outdoors. Details about the procedure below.

Product Details:

  • Includes 10 sheets of 8" x 10" paper
  • 100lb to withstand rinsing
  • Smooth surface for crisp images
  • Double sided = 2x exposures
  • 100% natural and eco-friendly
  • Hydro-milled & archival quality

 

Procedure for use:

 1. Choose a design: Objects that lay flat against the paper make the sharpest images. Leaves, paper cutouts, and transparencies are good examples. You can also cut the paper down to smaller sizes if you need it to fit a frame.

2. Expose your image: Place your object on the paper and lay it in the sun. Exposure time will vary depending on the amount of sunlight. Longer exposure time will make the paper darker blue. Generally about 10 minutes is adequate time on a bright, sunny day but you may want to run a test print if you aren't sure. Tip: Both sides of the paper can be exposed, but make sure you do both sides before rinsing the paper. After exposure, remove the paper from the light.

3. Rinse your image: Rinse your exposed cyanotype paper under water for a few minutes until the water runs clear. The paper is made to withstand rinsing. Your image should begin to appear immediately. The paper will be cyan blue and your design will be white. Once you have rinsed the paper, the image is chemically set. Let it dry and you've made a blueprint!

 

More info:

You've probably seen cyanotype prints in the form of traditional engineering blueprints. Cyanotype paper, named after its cyan-blue hue, is type of paper that has been coated with a photosensitive solution. It was developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842 and its primary use was reproducing diagrams in engineering and architecture blueprints until it and other chemical printing methods became obsolete when Xerox photocopying machines became widely available.

The surface of the paper is coated with a photosensitive solution composed of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate that allows an image to be chemically transferred to the paper. This is done by placing a photographic negative or object atop the paper and letting UV rays “print” the image onto the cyanotype paper. The chemicals in the areas exposed to the light turn blue while the chemicals in unexposed areas wash away revealing the white paper beneath.

Anna Atkins used this paper for both biological imaging when she would place plant life onto this paper and used light to create its silhouette against the vivid blue. Check out her works!

 

 

further research
CYANOTYPE PAPER
Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.
HISTORY
The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered the procedure in 1842. Though the process was developed by Herschel, he considered it as mainly a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints. Anna Atkins created a series of cyanotype limited-edition books that documented ferns and other plant life from her extensive seaweed collection, placing specimens directly onto coated paper and allowing the action of light to create a silhouette effect. By using this photogram process, Anna Atkins is sometimes considered the first female photographer. Cyanotype photography was popular in Victorian England, but became less popular as photography improved. Another proponent of the craft was Washington Teasdale from Leeds. Numerous contemporary artists employ the cyanotype process in their art: Christian Marclay , Marco Breuer , Kate Cordsen and John Dugdale. 
PROCESS
In a typical procedure, equal volumes of an 8.1% (w/v) solution of potassium ferricyanide and a 20% solution of ferric ammonium citrate are mixed. The overall contrast of the sensitizer solution can be increased with the addition of approximately 6 drops of 1% (w/v) solution potassium dichromate for every 2 ml of sensitizer solution.
This mildly photosensitive solution is then applied to a receptive surface (such as paper or cloth) and allowed to dry in a dark place. Cyanotypes can be printed on any surface capable of soaking up the iron solution. Although watercolor paper is a preferred medium, cotton, wool and even gelatin sizing on nonporous surfaces have been used. Care should be taken to avoid alkaline-buffered papers, which degrade the image over time. Prints can be made from large format negatives and lithography film, digital negative or everyday objects can be used to make photograms.
A positive image can be produced by exposing it to a source of ultraviolet light (such as sunlight) as a contact print through the negative (traditionally, semitransparent paper) or objects. The combination of UV light and the citrate reduces the iron(III) to iron(II). This is followed by a complex reaction of the iron(II) complex with ferricyanide. The result is an insoluble, blue dye (ferric ferrocyanide) known as Prussian blue. The extent of color change depends on the amount of UV light, but acceptable results are usually obtained after 10–20 minute exposures on a dark, gloomy day.
After exposure, developing of the picture involves the yellow unreacted iron solution being rinsed off with running water. Although the blue color darkens upon drying, the effect can be accelerated by soaking the print in a 6% (v/v) solution of 3% (household) hydrogen peroxide. The water-soluble iron(III) salts are washed away, while the non-water-soluble Prussian blue remains in the paper. This is what gives the picture its typical blue color. The highlight values should appear overexposed, as the water wash reduces the final print values.
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Cyanotype Paper

Cyanotype Paper

$17.95
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