Cyanotype questions - washing stability archival
Hi. I have a couple of cyanotype questions.
My project involves exposing 20"x 28" sheet paper to sunlight and developing in natural body of water.
Paper has been Fabriano hot press 140# watercolor. ( some plantine but results too dark)
Chemical: Photographers Formulary liquid
Question No. 1 toxicity
What is toxicity of developing in natural body of water, LA River, Pacific Ocean, ponds, lagoons. I was advised that chemicals left behind to be negligible but wonder where to look for scientific answers to those questioning my process and environmental damage.
No 2. Washing time fixing
I have been developing and not washing the prints at natural water locations. I do not want to wash them later, as the project is conceptual, and the specific water ( LA River, Pacific Ocean etc) has become an integral part of the work. I am concerned about stability of print if only wasted for one minute, and are they considered archival ?
I am having two upcoming gallery shows of the work and wonder about this for general longevity and of course for any gallery sales.
Note: going forward I can wash them for longer in the natural body of water but this can be difficult if windy day, or rough surf etc as papers gets pretty creased and beaten up.
Thanks for any answers, thoughts, experience, or directions you can point me in.
You might want to look at what the manufacturer says on the product, and the materials and chemicals involved can be googled for toxicity.
I would not consider any cyanotype an archival process that is suitable for gallery exhibit w/o a warning that strong light is going to fade the image. However, if your intent is to be solely conceptual, does it really matter? It might to someone that buys the work! The prints can be toned to increase longevity, but that is not what archival means in my mind.
I was under the impression that if they started to fade to take them out of light for a while and the intensity returns.
I have no experience with this issue so can't contribute personally.
Good luck with the project.
there is a company call the sun print company in / near berkley
call them up and ask them what the deal is ..http://www.sunprints.org
they make kits ( and have been making kits ) with tranditional cyanotype chemistry
and packaging it and selling it to museums and craft stores for years.
i called a few years ago and asked them a few questions, they were very nice ...
they told me it was non toxic, and safe for kids ( california standards ) ..
if you are using the traditional formula its the same as theirs, but if you are using
the new formula or a variation of it, i don't think they will be able to help you .
regarding archival ...
some say cyanotypes are the most archival process of all, and the "kindest" to the planet ( just gives off iron compounds when washed ).
but i guess that also depends on if there is "stuff" in the water too ...
good luck !
Maybe instead of directly washing them in the source. Use a container to gather a few gallons of water and wash them in large trays. The grey water after can be poured down a municipality drain where it will go through water treatment before going back into a water source.
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