Photo: Miroslav Arbutina i suradnica
Our next workshop took us to Sisak, more precisely to the Photo Gallery “Siscia Obscura”, where our host was Miroslav Arbutina. On this occasion, our host showed us different ways hot to make a photograph, and we tried out the technique cyanotype.
After years of photographic training with modern technology, Miroslav Arbutina, known as Arbe, decided to study old photographic techniques.
Cyanotypia, also known as a blue print, is considered the easiest of all historical methods. The basic method for the cyanotype has not changed much since it was introduced by Sir John Herschel back in 1842. Although you can use negatives to create cyanotype, we have tried the technique of collage and drawing negative on a transparent foil.
When we came to Mr. Arbutina’s magical atelier we were immediately transported 100 years back. Large photographic apparatuses weighing almost as much as some of us, various bottles with weird fluids and photos far different than the ones we have today have already been a good sign that this workshop will be something special.
For cyanotypes, it is necessary to follow a few steps. First, the paper should be coated with a mixture of 8.1% potassium iron cyanide solution and 20% ammonium iron citrate solution that is photosensitive and is not dangerous. Then with collage technique we have to create a composition that should not be glued to the prepared coated paper, but the paper with the collage should be illuminate under a strong lamp. The coating on non-covered parts of the paper reacts and fades. After a certain time, we remove the collage from the paper and wash it with water, then with hydrogen and again with water. The result is a beautiful blue print that can vary and the coloring can be changed by washing it with, for example, coffee or tea.
We enjoyed Sisak and hope to return!
LOCATION: Gallery Siscia Obscura, Sisak
COLLABORATORS: Miroslav Arbutina