Friday, 30 September 2016

Cyanotype workshop with Ruth Brown

At the Festival of Quilts this summer, I had the pleasure of being a student rather than being a tutor.  I spent two lovely days in a class with Ruth Brown of Stone Creek Textiles learning how to cyanotype - a blue photography technique that works really well on fabric and paper.  These are some of the fabulous results.
Cyanotyping is a great way to add images onto fabric.  It was good to learn from an expert and discover how to put the cyanotype on the fabric without ending up with the downstairs loo looking like a blue slasher movie has just been filmed there.  I do seem to get in a bit of a mess.
One of the key things I learned was how well pinned down everything needs to be on the fabric before you expose it to light and you see the fabric turning from green to blue to grey.
If the fabric is not well pinned, you get a fuzzy image, which may be desirable, but you want to be able to control it yourself.
We also learnt how to turn the cyanotype from blue to yellow and brown, through soda ash and tea.  I've still to try coffee, which apparently gives a more purple-y brown.
We also discovered how to add photos by making a negative on acetate.  I also loved the random effects you can get by just scrunching up the fabric and exposing it at different times.
Ruth has a book on cyanotyping which is really comprehensive and I would definitely recommend taking a class with her.  Find out more at

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