Last weekend I had the great fortune to hold a private in depth two day work shop with one student, and not only did we have the best time, but she created some amazing work! I like the two-day intensive approach, because it works so well in getting a lot of work done. The first day we spent preparing the paper with the cyanotype emulsion. It was quite hot that weekend so they dried quickly while we went and gathered plants and had lunch. After lunch, we (well, she) prepared the wet cyanotypes, using both plant matter and some of my transparencies, and experimented with additives, like washing soda and baking soda for the "wet" part of the wet cyanotype process. We put them out into the sun and let it start to do its magic!
Most of the cyanotypes were left outside overnight to get a really good long exposure. It's so much fun to see the joy in someone's face as they take off the glass and start to reveal the print! Washing them, of course, brings change and it's enjoyable to see how what you started with when you lifted the glass changes colors so dramatically! A few we experimented with a dash of vinegar in the bath to bring out the green tones.
The lumen prints worked so well with the workshop because as we brought in and processed the cyanotypes, we used the glass for the lumen prints. I've amassed a large haul of expired photo paper, so my student was able to experiment with multiple sizes and types, RC papers and fiber based papers. I cannot believe our good luck with the weather that weekend; with Portland one never knows! However, the weekend stayed hot and sunny, so the lumen prints were exposed and ready to process quickly; some we toned with selenium, some not.
An added bonus was that I made a quiche for lunch that weekend and it was quite possibly one of the best I've ever made! I make them often, as they're a good way to sneak some vegetables into our diet, but although they're usually always good, for some reason this one just rocked it!
I'm planning to offer another two day intensive wet cyanotype and lumen print workshop in August, if there's enough interest. 3 people can fit comfortably into my studio, so it'll be a small intimate group. There is so much joy in making these prints! I'm thinking August 11 and 12 or August 18 and 19, whichever works best. If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll provide more details!