Cyanotype is the original sun-printing process and one of the earliest photographic techniques ever developed. Discovered in 1842 and distinctive for producing rich, Prussian blue monochromatic prints, Cyanotype was used well into the 20th century as an inexpensive method for reproducing photographs, documents, maps and plans (hence the enduring architectural term “blueprint”), as well as for making impressions of biological specimens in the field (“photograms”).
Cyanotype may be used to create detailed prints from virtually any object that casts a shadow: tools, toys, plants, leaves, stones, sand, string, lace, etc. Simply place the object on the sensitized surface and expose to sunlight (UV). By using a digitally-printed photographic negative (an inverted black and white photo inkjet-printed onto a transparency*) instead of an object, cyanotype may also be used to create full-resolution photographs on paper or fabric. Great for photographers, mixed media artists, printmakers, quilters, kids and more, the cyanotype process is easy, forgiving, quick, magical and fun. Harness the power of the sun—a great group activity for any age!