Summer is the season for cyanotype! Cyanotype is a sunshine-filled simple, and satisfying project to experiment with using washi.
Follow the instructions for the cyanotype process as directed in the product you choose. We’ve used Jaquard brand Cyanotype which comes in convenient kits that you merely add water to make the solution needed for paper coating. Paper coating should be done in dim lighting and the coated paper must air dry in the dark.
You can do a direct solar print with objects, called a photogram, or use a negative transparency of an image. Digital transparencies make it easy to output negatives from photoshop or your local copy center. Or, use old film negatives! If using transparencies, you’ll need sheet glass (old frame glass is fine). Time of exposure varies (1-30 min) based on light intensity and the density of your negative or the object you are making a photogram of. Coated paper is a chartreuse color and turns to bronze with adequate exposure. Process prints in a bath of cool water and wash out the cyanotype for at least 5 minutes. Air dry. For the next 24 hours the print color will deepen as it oxidizes.
Here are some recommendations for papers that worked best in our tests – note that application and retention of solution varies depending on individual use and outcomes will vary.