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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Beisinghoff


Cyanotype with Janet Sifft

I know Janet’s book structures, the beautiful Silk Road book from  and from the Frauenfeld Book and Print Art Fair.

Janet brought the chemicals needed for the cyanotype with her from Berlin: ammonium iron III citrate green and potassium ferricyanide III (available from SuboLab).

To prevent the emulsion prepared in distilled water from seeping into the handmade paper, we solidified the 290 x 290 cm lokta paper from Nepal in the first experiment with a gelatine solution and later with a 3 per cent acrylic primer.

After the impregnation had dried, the huge paper was coated piece by piece with the light-sensitive emulsion in the evening at dusk, after the sun had set, and immediately covered  with filigree covering material.

Doormats, perforated metal sheets, spanners, bundles of cables, keys, curtain rings, CDs and copper parts from my cut-up etching plates.

Overnight, the giant sheet remained on its underlay sieves on the meadow under its heavy material load.

The morning sun of the next day exposed the Lokta paper. After drying and removing the shading moulds, we saw that they were clearly visible.

After rinsing out the excess emulsion, the beautiful cyan blue was created. Cloths were immediately placed over the drying picture. The name cyan or cyan goes back to copper phthalocyanine, the most beautiful blue pigment.

In the evening, the silky, shimmering Lokta paper was hung over the gallery railing, where it awaits further treatment.

Smaller works on paper

were prepared or reworked for the cyanotype in the dark basement centre hallway, sometimes with only a partial coating and enriching thoughts and structures placed on top.

They were exposed to the sun until the yellow emulsion first turned green and then brown. After resting, which intensifies the drawing, the emulsion is thoroughly rinsed out and the blue appears. The pictures are dried, pressed and finished.



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