Late to the Party (again…)

World Cyanotype Day 25th September


It seems as though I missed World Cyanotype Day which takes place on the last Saturday in September. I didn’t even know it was a thing but then again it seems every day is World whatever day. Apparently it started in 2015 by a lady called Judy Sherrod we created “shootapalooza.” I’m not going to go into detail here but of you are interested there is a link further down.

Copyright SJ Butler Photography

I’m Blue – Eiffel 65

Cyanotype Cats

New Cyanotype Card in my Etsy Shop Now!


For the past three days I have been isolating as I am having an operation today. My right arm. I am right handed. So, I have been busy making some new Cyanotypes which I have made one of them into a new card available in my Etsy Shop.

J cat helping with the scanned Cyanotype

I have only made a few at the moment to see how they go. Take a look you might like them if you (or the card recipient) is a cat lover. Or you may want to frame one to hang on the wall.

Card for sale on Etsy

Starting to change colour from light green to dark green

From dark green to dark blue

Washing and drying the Cyanotypes
Some have come out better than others but that is the beauty of it – you never know what you are going to come out with!


New Cyanotypes


What may you ask, is a Cyanotype? Well put simply they are images developed by the sun.

Cyanotype is an early photographic process creating images without a camera.
Two chemicals, ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide are mixed together to create a photosensitive solution which is painted onto the surface of water colour paper and left to dry.

leaves or flowers are placed onto the surface of the treated paper, a piece of glass over the top keeps it in position. The paper is then exposed to ultraviolet light, either the sun or a UV light.


Each of my pieces are created with
plants and flowers exposed using only the
North Yorkshire sun
(when we get it!)

Wet cyanotype, introducing moisture, in a variety of ways, onto the treated paper before exposure. The chemical reaction produces interesting patterns and colours and create unique botanical prints in a different and painterly manner. Each of my pieces are created with plants and flowers exposed using only the North Yorkshire sun (when we get it!)


These are a few of the pieces that I have created last year. I have also made some this year which I must photograph and put on here in my next Blog post.

The top Cyanotype is made using a very lovely large yellow daisy. I created a collection of 4 of these. Next I created ‘I love you’ with daisies around a heart shape (purely incidental). Middle right is with Bamboo leaves (never NEVER plant a Bamboo in your garden unless you want it springing up everywhere!) Bottom left is made using some wildflowers from the countryside (it maybe Vetch or something similar) and bottom right is one of my favourite flowers, Allium with their for architectural and structured flowers and stem.



My original cyanotypes and prints are now available on Etsy

More images of my Cyanotypes …


Handmade Paper

Flowers.Floral.Pink.Paper.Homemade.Botanical


Earlier this year I decided to give making my own paper a go after completing a course in the the Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books – Keio University. Where I deepened my understanding of rare books and Japanese culture.

Art of Washi Paper
in Japanese Rare Books.

This course looked at the history of papers used inside Japanese rare books, and in other cultures across the world.

I learnt about the materials and technologies used to produce Japanese papers, particularly the use of traditional washi paper and also the use of design and decoration techniques.


The hardest part was choosing the right mould & deckle which is what you need to make the paper. I chose an independent small business who makes them on Etsy but you could also make your own. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there using and old picture frame, wire and staples.

This is my mould & deckle below in the process of making paper with flower petals.


Types of Paper Used to Make Paper Pulp

Many different types of paper can be used to make paper pulp at home. This includes newspaper (although the newsprint will give a gray look to the paper), uncoated junk mail, tissue or even clean toilet paper. Some types of cards and card stock can also be recycled this way.

You can easily customise your handmade paper with additives, such as seeds, leaves, yarns, fibers, or a wide variety of other items you can mix in with the pulp. I’m using flower petals here.



Prepare the Paper

Tear the paper and card into small pieces and put it in a mixing bowl. Cover the pieces with water and leave to soak.

Soaking Time

The paper should be fully soaked within a couple of hours, however, you may want to leave it overnight or even for a day in order for it to be fully soaked. This helps to break down the paper to make pulp.

Pulp the Paper With a Hand Blender

Use an old hand blender to pulp the wet paper mix. Blend the paper pulp mix until all the pieces have been removed and there is a single mass of paper pulp.

After the paper is thoroughly pulped add it to a large container and fill with water.

  • Stir your vat of pulp.
  • Hold the mould screen side up, and place the deckle evenly on top.
  • Holding them together at a 45 degree angle, dip the mould and deckle to the bottom of the vat and scoop up, holding the mould and deckle horizontally.
  • As you lift it out of the slurry, give it a quick shake back and forth, and left to right to align the fibers and make a more uniform sheet. Stop shaking before the sheet is fully drained.
  • Let the water drain to a drip.

Couching

Pronounced coo-ching.

‘Couching’ means to transfer the wet sheet from the mould to a flat, absorbent surface. Wool felts are ideal, but there are many other options: wool blankets, smoother towels, thick paper towels or bed sheets. Set up your felt with a board underneath and soak your couching materials.

  • Remove the deckle from the mould.
  • Place a long edge of the mould on the felt.
  • In one smooth motion, place the mold face down, press down, and lift from that initial edge. Think of this like a close the door, open the door, motion.

Pressing

Place a paper towel on top of your freshly couched sheet. With a sponge, press gently at first, then press firmly with as much pressure as possible I use a rolling pin to press my paper even more and get more water out.

Surface Drying

Find a flat, non-porous surface. I use a window or glass from a picture frame works well.

Take your wet sheet and gently press onto the flat surface. Make sure the edges are pressed down well.

When it is dry simply very carefully peel it off.

I love making handmade paper. Yes it is a bit messy but worth it! I think it is better to do this outside and when the weather is warm to try the paper quickly.

I like to stick it to glass (see below) that way it seems to dry better and also you have one flat surface and one rough (which I like).

I love been creative and it underpins my love of Nature, photography, sun-printing and any fine art practices.

The paper that is shown are available to buy in my online store as blank cards.


“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something

Steve Jobs

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Part 2

What may you ask, is a Cyanotype?

Well put simply they are images developed by the sun. If you want to know more about the process see New Cyanotypes (part 1)

On the left image I have laid out the flowers/leaves on the paper after the chemicals have dried. The middle image is out in the sunshine and the final image is after it has been rinsed and is the final Cyanotype!

More images of my Cyanotypes …

New Cyanotypes

What may you ask, is a Cyanotype? Well put simply they are images developed by the sun. Cyanotype is an early photographic process creating images without a camera.Two chemicals, ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide are mixed together to create a photosensitive solution which is painted onto the […]

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New Cyanotypes

What may you ask, is a Cyanotype? Well put simply they are images developed by the sun.

Cyanotype is an early photographic process creating images without a camera.
Two chemicals, ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide are mixed together to create a photosensitive solution which is painted onto the surface of water colour paper and left to dry.

leaves or flowers are placed onto the surface of the treated paper, a piece of glass over the top keeps it in position. The paper is then exposed to ultraviolet light, either the sun or a UV light.

Each of my pieces are created with
plants and flowers exposed using only the
North Yorkshire sun
(when we get it!)

Wet cyanotype, introducing moisture, in a variety of ways, onto the treated paper before exposure. The chemical reaction produces interesting patterns and colours and create unique botanical prints in a different and painterly manner. Each of my pieces are created with plants and flowers exposed using only the North Yorkshire sun (when we get it!)

These are a few of the pieces that I have created last year. I have also made some this year which I must photograph and put on here in my next Blog post.

The top Cyanotype is made using a very lovely large yellow daisy. I created a collection of 4 of these. Next I created ‘I love you’ with daisies around a heart shape (purely incidental). Middle right is with Bamboo leaves (never NEVER plant a Bamboo in your garden unless you want it springing up everywhere!) Bottom left is made using some wildflowers from the countryside (it maybe Vetch or something similar) and bottom right is one of my favourite flowers, Allium with their for architectural and structured flowers and stem.

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New Cyanotypes Continued

Part 2 What may you ask, is a Cyanotype? Well put simply they are images developed by the sun. If you want to know more about the […]