Trade Secrets

Its a grim day today and I’ve finished the piece I’ve been working on so even though I’ve written loads this week I thought I’d go all school marmy and give you an insight into some of the ways I make my work. Look away now if you only stop by to laugh at my attempts at being an “outdoor type”.

So, in the previous post I showed you the kodatrace I’d drawn; I still have a bit more to do to it before screen printing but I thought I’d test it by doing some Cyanotype printing.First I had to prepare the paper and fabric by painting it with a special light sensitive coating (Potassium Ferricyanide and Ferric Ammonium Citrate). This goes on a yellowy green colour and needed to dry in a dark place before I could quickly arrange my drawing under a sheet of glass ( you can also use plants, feathers or even photographic negatives ).

Left in the sun ( this is the main problem for me , what happened to all that March sun?) the paper/fabric changes to a dark, dusty blue and then it is the moment of truth! Quickly run to the sink and rinse until the water runs clear…and as if by magic…

The rich cyan blue continues to develop as it dries and part of the fascination of this process is that it can be very variable and a bit hit and miss. Some of my experimental prints went a bit blurry because I’d put them on the table outside , on a cushion, under a sheet of glass, and they jumped off, blown away because the weather has been so wild.Anyway, you can get loads more information and instruction from this website if you want to give it a go. I’ve also seen this product which gives the same effect but in other colours… it sounds great but will have to wait until I’ve made my fortune and can do shopping again!

I’ve been using the printed fabric to do some hand embroidery which has made me realise how bad my poor old eyesight is getting. I’d really never noticed  until this year as I’ve always been massively shortsighted but now I’m having to peer over the top of my glasses to thread my needle and its impossible with contact lenses. Goodness what a depressing birthday treat… an optician appointment to get bi-focals, it’ll be a new set of gnashers next! There was an exhibition of wood engraving by June Crisfield Chapman when we visited The Bowes Museum last week , which was beautiful but it made me wonder how strong her glasses were and if years of reading ( and working at the pub) by candlelight have caused my downfall?

Now I just have to finish off this new cushion before putting the kettle on again. I’ve really enjoyed making this one and it will probably be listed on From the Wilde where Helen is doing a fantastic job promoting Witchmountain.Have a fabulous weekend everyone; I’ve been told I’m being taken somewhere for my birthday on Monday …perhaps its Specsavers!!

Don’t forget the giveaway competition, I’ll announce the winner when I get back so do leave a comment, you still have time.


One response to “Trade Secrets

  1. Hello Kim!
    Will be away for a few days, so just wanted to send all love and best wishes for your birthday in advance. Hope you have a lovely day, even if it is a Monday, and find your visit to Specsavers liberating (I know I did! Trouble is, my psyche is always trying to establish it’s superiority over my shortsight, so I am constantly losing my glasses, sitting on them, putting them in ‘safe’ places and not being able to find them again…..let us know how you get on with your bifocals, then you can encourage the rest of us who need such things to make the leap!

    Seriously though; onwards and upwards! Look forward to summer, life in the walled garden, being inspiring and creative, giving all us blog followers interest, insight and inspiration…..and some lovely sights and insights from the good place that is Witch Mountain.

    God bless!

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