taking my studio outside: Cyanotype prints

We are enjoying a bought of unseasonable nice weather for Nebraska in February. It is supposed to last almost a week so I am seizing every chance to enjoy the warmth and sunshine! 

Cyanotype Prints || Rachel Loewens

My daughter is keeping a nature journal for school, and I thought it would be fun to do some sun-printing or cyanotype printing with some of the treasures we've collected over the years on family hikes. Knowing that things rarely go smoothly the first time, I decided to give it a go myself while the kiddos are with Grammy for their weekly sleepover. 

Cyanotype Prints || Rachel Loewens

The process is fairly straightforward. You lay your objects on top of the chemically-treated paper and place glass or cling wrap on top to hold them in place.

Here comes the kinda tricky part. The directions say to expose the paper to sunlight until the color lightens which should take about 2 minutes and be careful not to over-expose. I noticed that my paper seemed to be ready after only 1 minute, I but was a little nervous to cut the time in half. 

After letting a few prints go for the full two minutes, I decided to make several based off of the time it took the paper to change color instead of the time, and the results were sooo much better!! Some of the first prints were so light that I couldn't even get a good photograph of them!

Here are closeups of two prints I took from my feather collection. I love the contrast between the upper vane part of the feather and the downy barbs towards the bottom (yes, I had to Google the parts of a feather!). 

Cyanotype Prints || Rachel Loewens
Cyanotype Prints || Rachel Loewens

I hope my kiddos enjoy this activity next week and don't get too frustrated with all the waiting it takes for the prints to fully develop! I'm envisioning how amazing it will be to incorporate these images into some of my collages so check back to see what I come up with!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Update: My shop is now open!! Head on over to find some amazing original pieces at great prices!!