Cyanotype photography, summer holidays craft activity

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Cyanotype photography is the use of light sensitive emulsion to create an image.

We have had great fun experimenting with this technique whilst staying at Kelling Heath – there are distinct advantages when staying at a large campsite including free craft activities!!  Adam Shawyer led a workshop, encouraging all ages to join in and have fun exploring the shapes made with a wide selection of materials.

Variety of materials

Objects are placed over the top of the paper coated in light sensitive emulsion, and then exposed to daylight. The objects block the sunlight leaving the paper white, where there is no object the paper changes colour thus creating a print.

The tot decided to place as many objects as he could on his piece. I particularly like the pattern the netting has created.

Experimenting with design

My daughter used paper shapes, natural plants and a couple of metal shapes to create a picture of flowers.

Once they had created their designs the materials were placed on the paper and a sheet of acetate clipped over the top to hold the items in place.

materials held in place with acetate

Next step to expose the paper to daylight (we were fortunate with a break in the rain!) for eight minutes. Finally, the paper was washed in water.

rinse exposed picture

Our mission – to buy some light sensitive emulsion.

Cyanotype photography details

I highly recommend attending workshops led by Adam Shawyer – a great tutor for all ages. Plus a big thanks to Kelling Heath for supporting local artists as part of their ethos. This is the first time we have taken advantage of day time activities, despite staying many times before. Let’s just say it was a rather rainy holiday:)

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Ps I have discovered Amazon sell Cyanotype paper (affiliate link)

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4 Comments

  1. August 10, 2015 / 12:08 am

    What a cool thing to do! I’ve heard you can do something similar with old xray sheets too.

  2. August 10, 2015 / 6:21 am

    What a great idea, so different. Smaller versions would look great on cards

  3. August 10, 2015 / 8:31 am

    What a lovely activity, I can imagine your children were really excited about their finished pictures.

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