Experimental Cyanotypes on 16mm Film: A Deeper Dive (July 2021)

July 24, 31, & August 7

Optional Office Hours & Follow-up Session
July 27, August 3, September 11

See full dates and times below
  • Registration for this workshop is full. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email team@interbaycinemasociety.org.
  • All sessions hosted via Zoom.

Photo credit: All images on this page courtesy of Kate Lain.

Instructor: Kate Lain


**This workshop is co-sponsored by Interbay Cinema Society and Northwest Film Forum. **

This workshop is designed as a follow-up to the introductory zoom + snail mail cyanotype workshops taught by Kate Lain in 2020 and will be geared toward filmmakers and artists looking to learn more about the process for possible incorporation of film cyanotypes into their practice or teaching.  This time, we will work on both 16mm and 35mm film and you will be coating your own film!! (with instruction of course!) We’ll also spend time looking more at ways to experiment with various parts of the process, from coating to exposing and developing, as well as ways to alter the film post-development. And, as in the introductory workshop, the focus will be on experimentation rather than precision.

Each participant will receive a kit in the mail containing some of the required materials for the workshop (see kit contents below). In addition, each student will also need to acquire their own cyanotype chemicals and should have them in hand before the first workshop meeting on July 24. The kit we will be using in this workshop is the 1-liter Photographers’ Formulary liquid kit, available online from these sources: Photographers’ Formulary, Adorama, B&H, and Freestyle Photo & Imaging Supplies. You might also be able to find it at a photography store near you.  If you already have the same chemicals as are included in the Photographers Formulary kit, you are welcome to use those. (If you have chemicals that you think might work but aren’t sure, contact Kate Lain at kate@katemakesfilms.com.)

The workshop zoom sessions will consist primarily of demonstration and discussion, with some opportunities for hands-on work for those who want to do so. Participants should plan to do most of their hands-on work on their own time, though. Each participant will be creating their own projects during this workshop. Participants will have three weeks after the close of the workshop to complete their film strips and ship them to Kate to be included in the group scan at Lightpress in Seattle. The film scan is included in workshop registration. Each participant will receive a high-res scan of their film and will also receive their physical film strips back after scanning.  We will also host an optional zoom session to view and discuss the film scan once it’s ready.

Workshop dates:

Workshop session #1  //  Saturday, July 24, 11am to 1pm Pacific time

optional “office hour”  //  Tuesday, July 27, 11–12pm Pacific time

Workshop session #2  //  Saturday, July 31, 11am to 1pm Pacific time

optional “office hour”  //  Tuesday, August 3, 11–12pm Pacific time

Workshop session #3  //  Saturday, August 7, 11am to 1pm Pacific time

optional session to view & discuss the final film scan  //  Saturday, September 11 (tentative date)

Kate Lain is an artist and educator working primarily in experimental film and video, ceramics, and cyanotypes.  Her work is rooted in documentation and critical observation, and she is particularly interested in questioning USAmerican mythologies related to nature, gender, and landscape.  She is based in Pasadena, CA.


Each participant will receive a kit in the mail that includes:

  • approximately 25 feet each of clear 16mm and 35mm clear film 
  • small amounts of washing soda, turmeric, and MSG
  • a small foam brush
  • string and paper clips for drying line
  • nitrile gloves
  • clear transparencies
  • a postage-paid USPS Priority Mail box for shipping the completed cyanotype film strips back to Kate Lain for scanning

What we ask of each participant:

  • Attend all three Zoom workshop sessions on July 24, July 31, and August 7, from 11am to 1pm Pacific time
  • Be prepared to do much or most of the hands-on film work outside of the zoom sessions
  • Take some photos as you create your cyanotypes & send to Kate so there’s a photographic record of the workshop and so we (Kate, Northwest Film Forum, and Interbay Cinema Society) can share some images online.  Selfies with your completed cyanotypes also encouraged and welcomed.
  • Using the postage-paid and pre-addressed USPS Priority Mail box included in your kit, mail your completed cyanotype film strips to Kate within three weeks of the final workshop session so they can be scanned at Lightpress.

Recommended additional tools/materials for participants to gather:
NOTE: We’ll talk about all this stuff in the Zoom workshop.

  • For coating your film: a small plastic or glass container (empty yogurt or sour cream tubs work great!) that you won’t be using for food, a few wire clothes hangers, small paper clips
  • For supporting your items during exposure: pieces of stiff cardboard, wood, plastic, or glass [The shipping box that your kit arrives in can be used for this]
  • For securing flat items on your film during exposure: a sheet of clear glass, acrylic, or plexiglass
  • For developing cyanotypes: a tray or vessel at least 8” x 10” x 2” deep OR an empty plastic jug (e.g., for juice or milk) (Note that whatever you use for developing should be something you won’t use in the future for food.)  [The clear plastic bag that comes in the kit can also be used for developing.]
  • Items you can use to making your cyanotypes: organic matter like leaves, moss, flowers, tendrils; transparent or translucent items like soda bottles (empty or with stuff inside, up to you!), bubble wrap, plastic wrap, small household items with interesting shapes like paper clips, keys, push pins, bag clips; long, skinny materials that can be shaped into different forms (e.g., string, pipe cleaners, thin wire, thread); items with small or intricate patterns (e.g., mesh, lace, hardware cloth, hair nets, fishnets, some fabrics)

Optional Office Hours:

Kate will be hosting two optional virtual “office hours” from 11am to noon Pacific time on Tuesday, July 27, and Tuesday, August 3, to talk through questions or discuss project ideas.

If you have questions about the workshop, you can email Kate Lain at kate@katemakesfilms.com or Caryn Cline at team@interbaycinemasociety.org.

Kate Lain is an artist and educator working primarily in experimental film and video, ceramics, and cyanotypes. Her work is rooted in documentation and critical observation, and she is particularly interested in questioning USAmerican mythologies related to nature, gender, and landscape. She is based in Pasadena, CA.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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