Solar paper safe for children?
This might be a really stupid question so apologies in advance. Silverprint is offering this new nifty quasi-cyanotype paper. I read about it in the latest issue of Black+White. It is not a cyanotype kit. It is just paper you expose to sunlight, and then wash in cold water. The article said it is safe for children, but I wanted to know a little more. I'd love to try this out with my 3-year old nephew who loves cameras. But is this really safe? The paper is coated, so I would have thought the paper is toxic. And when you wash it, I would have thought the water is then toxic. Anyway, thoughts? Below is the description from Silverprint.
1813Solar Paper 8x10" 25 Sheets£12.50 £15.00
Solar Paper pack contains 25 sheets of 8x10” light sensitive blueprint paper. Cheap, safe, very simple and fun to use and doesn’t require any chemicals or darkroom conditions. All you need to do is take a sheet of paper out of the pack and arrange a composition of objects or negatives onto your paper. Interesting shapes or semi-translucent objects will give a nice effect; Leaves, grass, flowers, glass objects, feathers, jewellery, paper cutouts, fabrics, lace – all will work great. After exposing the print in the sunshine for a few minutes, wash it in tapwater to see a wonderful white-on-blue image emerge. Solar Paper is the perfect EDUCATION tool that allows children to learn about composition, negative/positive and the physics of light – all in a fun, safe and playful way.
Sounds like the old Sunprint paper kits, which did exactly what you describe. No chemicals needed to process; just water. But the sheets were smaller, like 5x5".
I had one of those, and it was a lot of fun indeed, but I'm not sure exactly what the paper contained chemically, so I can't answer any of your safety queries.
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
Yeah I don't get how this can really be safe for children unless the coating and resulting solution are non-toxic. You swish the paper around in water for a few minutes, and then what if the child puts his fingers in his mouth? What's in that water?? Anyhow maybe someone will know.
The only children who should have a problem with this paper are those who eat it. There are very few things in modern life which are absolutely safe for everyone.
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"Blue Sunprint watercolor paper is non-toxic, eco-friendly and conforms to STM111 which means its passed test to be used for all age kids."
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I guess I'll forget about it for now. Too bad. It would be a lot of fun to do this with the little guy.
At 3, he seems a little young to get much out of the exercise, and would likely require a lot of supervision to keep him safe from whatever hazards there might be, such as licking his wet hands after processing.
However, you could try letting him chose the objects and place them on the dry paper, then let him watch the processing.
As Jim says, as long as he is not trying to eat the stuff, there is no great hazard.
I was first introduced to this when I was maybe 8 as blueprint paper that my mother showed me and we made various photograms and such. Still a memory after all these years.
Last edited by bdial; 06-28-2012 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
If it's unsafe for children then it's also unsafe for adults.
Buy your 3 year old nephew LEGO for these ages or if you are sure its safe buy him a Froebel Toys Kit.
Mother of little Frank Lloyd Wright wanted him as an architect. She hanged architecture drawings to his room and She saw Froebel toys at Chicago World Fair and liitle Frank learned to compose and play with the mass at this age. He used these toys until his death and gave lots of reference to them. His building plans , playing with the window ornaments , stone ornaments everywhere around his buildings , textile designs are all result of Froebel Gifts , they come as number 1,2.. or so and not cheap but excellent.
i think freestyle also sells this paper call them and ask them what it is ..
from my understanding it is pre-coated cyanotype paper ( "blueprint" = "cyanotype" )