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Cyanotypes Printing

    Event start date: 25/05/2024

    Location: Bristol Folk House

    Start date: 25 May 2024
     Day: Saturday
     Course length: 1 Day Course
     Time: 10:00 to 16:00

    Course code: SA35

    Full fee: £67.00 | Over 65s: £60.30 | Benefit: £53.60

    Tutor: Martin Edwards

    Courses description

    Cyanotype is one of the earliest photographic processes, using the iron produced by iron compounds. Cyanotypes have a strong blue colour. In 1843 Anna Atkins published the first book of photographs, using the recently discovered cyanotype, or blueprint, process.

    In this workshop, you will try this technique out to produce bright blue cyanotype prints using negatives or found objects such as leaves and feathers. You will have the opportunity to mix the light-sensitive chemicals, coat the paper, expose and then develop it to give a lasting result on high-quality art paper.

    All equipment and materials will be supplied; chemicals, paper, etc, but you will need to bring objects through which to expose the paper.

    The paper itself will be around A5 in size, with a slightly smaller image area. The chemicals can stain so wear old clothes; non-allergenic gloves are supplied.


    Bring a selection of objects. Ideally, they will be translucent, thin enough for light to shine through quite easily. Hold them up to the light, and if they allow some light through in some areas, and are darker in others, they will probably be fine.

    Examples are flowers, leaves, feathers, drawings on tracing paper (good, solid lines and shading rather than light in tone), glassware with thick stems or patterns, cut-out shapes, and so on.

    3D objects can work well, but we can only print them on a sunny day, as they will not go in the UV exposure box.


    While it is not necessary to bring negatives, silver negatives or digital ones on transparency material can make good prints.

    Negatives of either kind would ideally be full toned with good contrast, without being very dense and black, or very thin and clear.

    Inkjet transparencies can be tricky to print on without overloading the ink and making them blotchy – printers vary greatly and this will need some trial and error with printer settings. I get the best results with Permajet Digital Transfer Film, it is pricey but has very good ink retention.

    Invert the positive black and white image, and flip horizontally, before printing the negative.

    Silver negatives are denser and can have longer printing times. The prints will be the same size as the negatives, so formats larger than 35mm are better if you can.

    The tutor will bring a selection of negatives for you to use, so that you can try a range of objects and negatives regardless of what you are able to make in advance.

    End date: 1:43pm on Sunday May 26th, 2024