cyanotype for kids questions...

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Maxine, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Maxine

    Maxine Guest

    I am teaching art projects to kids aged 7 to 12 for half-days. I would
    like to do cyanotypes for one of those days. I have been doing some
    research into it and contacting possible suppliers for the chemicals
    here in Canada. I still have a lot of questions though...

    1) How long will the paper need to sit out in the winter sun for the
    paper to receive the proper amount of light (is it the same amount of
    time that it would take in the summer?)

    2) I plan on using the standard old cyanotype formula so the kids can
    "develop" the paper in plain water. Do I need running water? Or will
    it work if I have 2 "baths" where the kids can wash the print by
    slowly moving the paper in the first bath, and then again rinsing it
    in a second bath of cleaner water? How long should they be in the
    water for?

    3) I was wondering if the kids draw or paint on transparency film (the
    kind you use in overhead projectors)with markers or paints, would that
    work as contact-negatives for the cyanotypes?

    4) I am also considering bring my digital camera, laptop and printer
    to the class so the kids can do some contact printing with negatives.
    I am thinking that I could take digital photos and photoshop them into
    "paper negatives". Then I could print 'em on paper and use a
    photocopier to print the "paper negatives" onto transparencies. And
    use the transparencies as contact negatives. Would this work? (I know
    you can print directly onto transparencies with the the inkjet
    printer, however the transparencies for inkjets are way more expensive
    I believe. I don't have any budget for these projects, so it is all
    coming out of my own pocket and I need to keep the costs down).

    5) Is there a way to speed up the drying process so the kids can bring
    home dry (or nearly dry) prints? Could you set them on a wire frame
    near a ceramic heater, blow 'em with a blow dryer? anything?

    6) Can I use regular watercolour paper? Or do I need special paper -
    and can I get it cheap?

    7) Can I make up the paper in advance and keep it in the dark? What is
    the approximate shelf life?

    8) Any other ideas or recommendations to make the project fun and
    successful? (The kids will have 4 hours to complete the project - I
    figured we could make decorative frames for the prints while the
    prints sunned themselves in a snow bank and while waiting for the
    prints to dry).

    Thank you for any suggestions, recommendations, ideas and well wishes
    Maxine, Jan 28, 2004
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