Starting place

The next few posts will document the specific elements that make up the exhibition in Vivo at DVAC.

This afternoon I did a little work around the gallery including adding some map pins to one of Diane Stemper’s drawings and cleaning up the presentation of the “Anthotype Lab Coat in Saffron” which is being exposed during the duration of the exhibit. I’ll take it down shortly before the exhibition closes, see it back together and wear it.

It won’t get very much direct sun in the gallery. Maybe one hour a day. It will receive plenty of skylight which should help create the ash seed pattern visible in the light resist.

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Blue Nebula

Today was a cyanotype demo in the Alternative Photography course at the University of Dayton. In an attempt to get everyone out and printing, I let a student, Ian Moran, try out one of my unloved Van Dyke Brown negatives and this was the result.

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Paper Mayhem and Traditional Cyanotype

During August, I resumed working on cyanotypes of dried fungi. See the early post titled “My Inner Anna Atkins”.  I had to work out some paper and drying issues. I went from using Coventry Rag Vellum White to acidifying Fabriano Artistico Hot Press Extra White. Then I tried various papers I had on hand, first re-acidifying the paper with household vinegar in case the paper was buffered. I tried Sommerset Vellum (aweful), BFK (better), a hot press Arches (better) and finally returned to the Coventry Rag Vellum White.

I can’t say why it worked better at the end. Comparing the look of the Coventry and the Fabriano, the Fabriano looks grainier. Also, many of the papers demonstrated “bleach back” of the highlights during drying. To put this into better words, the highlights of the images got lighter as they dried down. This happened the least with Coventry Rag Vellum White. It happened the most with BFK and Arches. The Sommerset had a strange characteristic of losing sharpness as the emulsion migrated through the paper to the back.

I eventually made the use of a hairdryer part of getting the coated paper ready to print. Almost all of the papers that were hung to air dry developed darker splotches usually in the dark ground. Anything that was “Blow Dried” yielded a clean emulsion on which to print.

Here is one of my favorites from the set of five that I made for In Vivo.

cyanotype of dried fungus

Four of forty-six

It’s been a while. These last few weeks have been chock-full of printing, framing, printing, getting things together for teaching a new semester at two schools, more printing, more framing and a short, beautiful trip to New Mexico.

There’s lots to write about. To start off the new month on its second day, here is a preview of the seed installation which will be seen at the Dayton Visual Arts Center for six weeks beginning on September 14th. These are four of the forty-six seeds that will be on view.