In the studio

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had goofed up my cyanotype mix. All of my prints were coming out a wishy washy blue, and most were just washing away after extremely long exposure times.

It was getting on my nerves! I batch prepare my watercolour paper for workshops, and I had made a fair bit for my #wearexperimenting project. I hate waste and I had been searching my brain for what had happened. In the end I realised that it was the solution itself that wasn’t working, rather than exposure times, or that my old exposure lamps were on the way out.

So the next batch I did a lot smaller than before. I did exactly the same mix, but I suspected that the particles had settled in the bottom of the bottle. I made sure to vigorously agitate (shake about) the two solutions for around 30 seconds.

I think the solutions worked much better when allowed to dry for a minimum of 24 hours in the dark. Thankfully, shaking it seems to have had a great effect. My blue is back!

I’ve had some fun messing around with different ways of applying the solutions, and I think I’m in love with the skinny rectangle format.

Other than that I’ve been working on #wearexperimenting. This is approximately where I’ll set up the pop up darkroom at the Doxford Park family fun day. It could be interesting (hard) to shift the kit from the car park to the location… but, I’ll manage.

I also ran a fairly impromptu session for wearexperimenting from my studio for a group from Sunderland Uni. Wonderful new foreign students getting to grips with the local lingo. They thoroughly enjoyed the session and threw themselves into the task.

Check out the Live Feed on to see all the fab photographs I’ve made with people in Sunderland. It’s a big week coming up with a community session at the Deaf Centre, and 2 days of pop up darkroom (Thurs and Fri) in the Bridges shopping centre opposite the Tesco.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about my projects or process feel free to comment.

Jo Howell

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