Cyanotype Workshop

Cyanotype is a way of printing negatives to create a monochrome positive print. The prints are a distinctive blue colour, although that can be modified. It was first used around 1840 and was still in use until around 1960 for making ‘blueprints’, which is where the name comes from. Cyanotype is sometimes known as ‘sun printing’ since it uses sunlight to create the image.

A big advantage of cyanotype printing is that you don’t need a traditional darkroom to be able to do it, so it is much more accessible. You do need to store prepared paper in the dark, usually in a lightproof bag kept in a box. The other advantage is that you only need cold water to develop the image – no darkroom chemicals.

In this workshop, we will look at how you can make your own cyanotypes and you will have a chance to make your own prints to take home.

You will make a photogram using items like leaves and flowers.

The day workshop will include several demonstrations of more advanced techniques which you can experiment with at home. This will include a demonstration of how to make a digital negative and several different ways you can prepare your own cyanotype paper for your own projects.

Materials & Equipment

You will need to bring some materials to make your cyanotype photogram. Suitable items are leaves, ferns, flowers. Don’t use anything bulky as it needs to be covered with a piece of glass and then held together in a frame.

Other materials such as pre-prepared cyanotype paper will be provided.