As I wrote about here, I excitedly joined this group "Challenge 4 Art". Our second challenge was "BLUE". I decided to explore the subject on two levels. I made a quilt about my first "grown-up" bike from my childhood. At the time, all the girls' bikes in the store were pink and I desperately wanted a blue one. My parents ended up giving me the boy's metallic royal blue 10 speed model. I loved it although admittedly that crossbar made for some painful abrupt stops! Furthering the blue theme, I made my piece using a cyanotype imaging or blueprint process that makes a cyan-blue photo on paper or fabric. Because the method is so fast I could not take pictures.
It is a very easy process with only 4 steps:
- Place your design element on the treated fabric. (I printed the bike image on overhead projector acetate from the office supply store. I covered everything to weigh it down with glass from a picture frame to make the image as sharp as possible.)
- Expose the fabric to sunlight. (It took about 12 minutes on a sunny day at around 2 pm but this varies depending on where in the world you live and the weather conditions.)
- Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.
- Dry the fabric and then use!
The contrast in my image could be better. My acetate was a bit transparent which means my bike ended up pale blue rather than white. I wanted to try again by marking over the transparency with a black pen but since the weather was not co-operating by becoming overcast I used the original print I'd made enhanced by some free motion embroidery and a zig zag border to suggest motion.
You can buy pretreated fabric or the chemicals to make your own blue prints at this site. Cyanotype printing is a fascinating process and the level of detail achieved is just amazing. Have a look at theses images at Flickr. As in the last challenge, it was so much fun to try something new and am looking forward to the next one. Check out how the other Challenge 4 Art participants Lisa, Amy and Claudia interpreted "BLUE"!