I am beginning to talk myself into deciding to make a ‘one off’ [one copy only] stab binding book of Cyanotype prints from my trip to Suwannee with Diana. I don’t think I will do more than twelve prints or so. To ‘test the waters’ I set out to make a bunch of test prints this afternoon. I had two kinds of Arches cp watercolor paper, Arches Cover and Arches 140 lb cp, and I wanted to see how they might work. I am extremely partial to the feel of Arches Cover, and basically my tests this afternoon, because they were kinda sloppy, where somewhat inconclusive. Both papers seemed to work fine, with a slight edge going to the 140 lb paper.
A word about the photos in this post. They are strictly ‘quick and dirty’ snapshots. In the one above, the paper is not completely dry and hence the blueish cast at the bottom & right.
While I like to print my Cyanotypes so that the brush marks show, in doing that for book pages my problem is that I invariably splatter some emulsion on the paper where it should not be, and thus the page is ruined. Making a template to surround the image area helps a bit, but has it own pitfalls, and using drafting tape also has problems, one of them is that I don’t really want a clean edge, and I still manage to splatter outside the tape. One solution might be to ‘paint’ the whole page with emulsion. I did not try that this afternoon.
Here are some snapshots of my high tech production set-up. First up a shot of the properly exposed [7 minutes full sun] print coming out of the contact printing frame. I keep running across the statement that with Cyanotype prints one can ‘expose by inspection.’ That is, crack open the split back contact printing frame and judge by looking at the print as to whether it is properly exposed or not. After careful consideration I must say that I consider that statement utter nonsense – or perhaps I should say that I have never been able to correctly judge the exposure that way. Next up a couple of prints drying. One in the dish drying rack and a couple on the [cold] stove top.