The sun was shining brightly at last, providing an opportunity to experiment exposing a few more cyanotypes. Cutting out paper and card to make stencils was one of today’s explorations. These were then laid on top of the sensitised cotton fabric. An old modified contact printing frame, originally made for 35mm negatives to produce a 10×8 inch photographic contact print, is perfect for keeping the stencil in place, with enough pressure when closed, to stop light leaking underneath a heat-warped stencil in the noon-day sun. The exposure (at around midday) was 20 minutes, which produced a rich indigo blue in the exposed areas of fabric, and still registered the star printed mulberry paper ‘clothing’.
The orange fabric, with a similar exposure, produced a really deep indigo colour, but the mulberry paper detail was a little over exposed, (although I still like the effect).
It is a little hit-and-miss judging exposures, due to the different intensity of the sun as it arcs from morning to afternoon, and the variable of fabric cyanotype coatings from different batches, but is still really exciting when the densities ‘work’ and all parts of the stencil are visible.
The first set of printed cards were delivered last week. The matte blue background colour emphasizes the white star graphic in a clean cut contemporary minimalist way.
These cards will bear name tags of the individual stars they represent using either their Arabic names, or the Greek constellation references.
Watch out for more of these around Folkestone this summer, as the universe develops and expands. There will be a star map on this website to show the universe forming, and the distribution of stars at:
Les étoiles magiques 2011 – Alcyone