Today, I headed to Klyde Warren Park to have our monthly Sunday Sun Prints event. The fall breeze was a nice foil to the bright sun and the park teamed with life. I placed my bucket of water along with various objects on the table and invited kids to come and make a print of their own.
Sun prints, also known as cynotypes, are an old photographic printing process that was created in 1842 by Sir Herschel Williams. Originally it was intended for reproducing scientific notes and architectural plans (hence the term blueprints). It works by treating the paper with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide and then exposing the paper to UV light. Whatever objects you place on the paper will be transposed onto it after being exposed to the sun and rinsed in water. The effect is a beautiful Prussian blue print that holds an artistic life of its own.
The kids’ reactions to the prints were priceless. Amazed, they would watch them float in water as their images began to appear. Looking up at me they would ask, “How does it work?”
“Magic,” I’d reply.
I try to make it out to KWP once a month to make sun prints. Check our Community Events calendar for the next scheduled date!