MAKING CYANOTYPES

If necessary, prepare the coating solution (refer to Mike Ware’s web site).

COATING

  1. Select, clean, and mark paper. Note the date and print # in pencil in the margin area.
  2. Measure out sensitizer: 0.4 ml for 4×5″, 0.6 ml for 5×7″, or 1.6 ml for 8×10″ areas, add 1 to 2 drops of 40% citric acid solution per 1 cc of sensitizer
  3. Tape the paper to the coating surface.
  4. Prepare the coating rod, layout out clean sheets of paper tissue for cleaning the rod and blotting the paper.
  5. Syringe up the solution, lay down a line of sensitizer and begin coating. Draw the coating solution into a syringe
  6. Blot the excess coating with a paper towel strip.
  7. Rinse and dry the coating rod.
  8. Let the coated paper sit for 1 – 2 minutes, until the shine of the coated surface dulls. Dry the coated paper for 5 minutes in a 100 degree F. stream of air.

EXPOSURE

  1. Assemble coated paper and negative in a contact frame.
  2. Expose the print to UV (artificial, peaking at around 420nm or direct sunlight).
  3. Inspect and continue to expose until the high values just appear green, the mid-tones are blue, and the shadow tones are substantially reversed to a pale grey-blue, giving the image a solarized look.

WET PROCESSING

  1. Immerse the print face down in a 1% nitric acid bath for 1-2 minute.
  2. Rinse the print.
  3. Gently wash the print face up for 15 minutes.

FINISHING

  1. Drain the print on a vertical piece of glass for 10 minutes.
  2. Air dry the print on a screen.
  3.  – optional – Press the print to flatten in a dry mounting press and/or calender in an etching press.