Cyanotype mixed with paint as large scale application technique?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by mn56, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. mn56

    mn56 Member

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    Hello all,

    Having a very narrow understanding of the chemistry and behavior of the cyanotype process, I have been trying to develop a way of deploying cyanotype chemicals on large surfaces (walls, floors, ceilings) with varying textures and materials in order to capture an "image" of the lighting conditions and objects and shadows within a space on its surfaces.

    My question is how would one go about mixing the chemicals into some sort of paint or binding material that enables the chemicals to be rolled or painted on in a short period of time? I have done some tests with mixing things like corn starch into the basic cyanotype mix as a way of making it more capable of applique on surfaces that are not inherently absorbent like paper and cloth, but have had very blotchy and inconsistent coverage and results.

    The issue of consistency and coverage points me to something like paint which covers surfaces relatively uniformly.

    I am going to try to us gelatin as a "base coat" before rolling on the liquid solution, which I hope will allow to chemicals to adhere to surfaces and still be reactive, but also want to try using the cyanotype chemicals as a sort of additive pigment to normal paint. Will the paint retard the effectiveness of the chemicals? Will I need any other additives to allow the chemicals to still develop while being embedded in the paint?

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    One thing to keep in mind is that cyanotype is slightly acidic and something with a basic PH will make it blotchy or ineffective. Most buffered art paper would be basic. gypsum board would be basic. Probably wall plaster/mud would be basic as well. A PH neutral surface would be best.

    The process of washing (developing) the finished would be difficult on a fixed wall. Could you temporarily attach cyanotype coated fabric to the walls, expose, take down and process, and when it's dry, glue it back on the wall with a PH neutral adhesive and modge podge topcoat? Fabric wall covering could be kinda classy.
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    now THAT is one of the coolest things i have ever seen !

    thanks randy !

    john
     
  5. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Yes, that Lumi video was very impressive. I'm going to try it!
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Back to the OP.

    One thing to remember is that a Cyanotype has much of its sensitivity in the UV region of the spectrum and since most paints use Titanium Dioxide, which is a UV blocker, there may be a problem exposing the Cyanotype properly.

    PE
     
  7. gmikol

    gmikol Member

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    Perhaps if you could get it mixed with "Deep Base". This is typically a nearly-clear base used for dark or extremely saturated paint colors. Probably minimal (if any) TiO2. Or you could use glazing liquid, typically used for "faux finishing" techniques. Don't know if either of those would work well, either. I suspect that many paints have UV absorbers in the carrier to protect against fading.

    --Greg
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the inkodye looks like it is hard core anthotype ...
    and you can get a second container with cassava extract
    to inhibit ... im hoping to buy some ( they say you can water it down a little too, and it still works ! )

    john
     
  9. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I've been wanting to get some Inkodye, too. I've just got so many things I want to do and so little time to do them in.
    Well... That and cash flow problems... :confused:
     
  10. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    I have been interested for quite some time in creating large cyanotype prints, so far I have been able to get up 34x28 inches, below is an example. I used a rod and brush to coat. I really would not want to go any larger, although i have a reasonably large darkroom the developing trays required for any larger would make life quite difficult. I recently came across the work of Christian Marclay whose cyanotypes are around 100" wide (over 2 and a half meters long) which must be challenging. Thank you 'Worker 11811' for the link regarding inkodye, have reblogged about it.

    cyan+blog+1.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  11. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

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    I see at least one flaw with the plan to mix cyanotype chemistry with paint. I don't see how you're going to wash out the residual (unexposed) chemistry once the exposure is made. Coating on canvas or muslin and making "wallpaper" would be the way to go. (To coat large swaths of fabric or paper, artists usually mix up gallons of cyano solution and then submerge the substrate in the solution using buckets, drums or large tubs.)

    I suppose you could try this:
    * Coat the wall with gesso (or similar)
    * Apply a coating of cyanotype solution
    * Expose
    * Wash
    * Coat with clear varnish or polyurethane

    Of course, making sure you don't flood the place is of primary concern. You will have the same issue should you attempt the Lumi Inkodyes.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, I have another suggestion.

    If you usually coat 10 ml per square foot, then mix it 50:50 with gelatin + hardener and then coat at 20 mg / square foot. Coverage will be the same. Process, wash and dry. The results shuld be the same. (they were when I did this!!!!)

    PE
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the inkodyes don't require any additional processing, or developing or chemistry ...
    you just paint it on, and the sun changes the color ...

    it is just a little pricey ...
     
  14. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

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    Still requires a washout. From the Inkodye "How to Use" section;
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2012
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    cool, thanks !

    i watched her make ruby slippers, and they must have omitted the wash out :wink:

    john