Cyanotype Sensitizer

  1. Prepare your workspace: Find a clean, well-ventilated area to work in, and gather all the materials you’ll need for the cyanotype process. These include cyanotype chemicals (ammonium iron citrate and potassium ferricyanide), distilled water, a measuring cup, a mixing bowl, a brush or sponge, and your printing surface (usually paper or fabric).

  2. Mix the chemicals: In a dark room or under low-light conditions, mix equal parts of ammonium iron citrate and potassium ferricyanide in distilled water. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the chemicals are completely dissolved.

  3. Coat your printing surface: Using a brush or sponge, apply the cyanotype solution evenly onto your printing surface. Be sure to coat the entire surface, and avoid leaving any streaks or bubbles.

  4. Dry the coated surface: Allow the coated surface to dry completely in a dark room or under low-light conditions. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the size of your printing surface and the humidity in your workspace.

  5. Create your negative: Using a digital image editing software or by printing on transparency film, create a negative of the image you want to print.

  6. Place the negative on the coated surface: Place the negative on top of the dry coated surface, with the image facing down. Be sure to secure the negative in place so it doesn’t shift during the exposure process.

  7. Expose the surface to UV light: Place the coated surface with the negative on top in direct sunlight or under a UV light source. Expose it for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the intensity of the light source and the desired level of contrast in your print.

  8. Rinse the print: After the desired exposure time has elapsed, rinse the print thoroughly in running water for several minutes to remove any unexposed cyanotype chemicals. The water should turn from yellow to clear.

  9. Fix the print: To prevent fading and increase the contrast of your print, soak it in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide for several minutes. Rinse the print again in running water to remove any excess hydrogen peroxide.

  10. Dry the print: Hang or lay the print flat to dry in a dark room or under low-light conditions. Once dry, your cyanotype print is complete!

Remember to always wear gloves and protective clothing when handling the cyanotype chemicals, and to dispose of them properly according to local regulations.