Posts Categorized: Monoprinting

Cyanotypes: The Botany of Blue (June)

In 1843, a botanist and photographer named Anna Atkins self-published her first book of cyanotype photograms. Anna Atkins, who is often cited as the first woman photographer, has inspired many with her collection of brilliant blue prints that are both scientific and artistic. Cyanotypes are contact prints on light-sensitive paper, bridging photography and printmaking. UV light hitting treated paper triggers a chemical reaction that forms an intense blue dye. This workshop commemorates the work of Atkins by sharing the art form and process of creating cyanotypes.

After looking at historical examples of cyanotypes and the work of Anna Atkins, students in this workshop will explore the process through creating their own botanical prints. Part of the day, students will learn to use our NuArc platemaker to expose cyanotypes. Part of the day will be out of doors where students will use sunlight to make images from native flora, flower shop clippings and hand drawn transparencies.  No previous experience necessary for this explorative, and playful process.

Polymer & Plate Lithography (August)

Plate lithography is a variation of traditional lithography and relies on the hydrophobic (water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties of a sheet of plastic or paper. Plate lithography offers an immediate and non-toxic printing process that can incorporate photography, digital designs and hand drawn illustrations. This process is low-cost, versatile, and playful process ripe for experimentation.

Plates can be made using an everyday laser printer, then reworked or added to with a variety of tools like ballpoint pens, crayons and markers. The plate is then carefully inks with oil-based ink and ran through a press.

In this workshop, students will learn both monoprinting techniques and how make an edition with polyester plates. Digital file preparation will be taught as it is necessary for working with photos. However these processes also lend themselves to hand drawn imagery, and the computer can be bypassed completely with the use of a photocopier.

By the end of the workshop, students will produce two images using a mix of techniques on 11” x 15” paper. First time printers as well as artists with photography and drawing experience are both well-suited for this workshop.