Experimental Cyanotypes on 16mm Film and Paper w/ Kate Lain (Oct 10-17)

Sat, Oct. 10: 11am–1pm PDT

OFFICE HOUR (optional)
Wed, Oct. 14: 11am-12pm PDT

Sat, Oct. 17: 11am–12:30pm PDT
  • Sliding scale, pay-what-you-can registration!
  • Register by September 26, 2020.
  • All sessions hosted via Zoom.

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

Duration: 2h
Instructor: Kate Lain


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

Cyanotype is a blue-and-white photographic process that dates back to the 1840s.  In this at-a-distance introductory workshop, we will explore creating cyanotypes on both paper and 16mm clear film leader using sunlight, water, plant matter, and found objects.  You’ll get a kit in the mail with all the necessary materials, and artist Kate Lain will walk you through the process of exposing and developing your cyanotypes via Zoom.

The emphasis of the workshop will be on experimentation and playing with materials, rather than on precision.  The 16mm cyanotype film strips we create in the workshop will be combined into a group film that will be digitized following the workshop.  The resulting file will be emailed to participants and will go online sometime later in the year.

Note that this is an introductory workshop. No prior film or cyanotype experience needed. Also note that the focus of the workshop is on exposing and developing cyanotypes rather than on coating film with cyanotype emulsion.  Physical mailing address within the US (P.O. box is fine) required to participate and receive kit. More info below.

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.

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

Additional Info:

Each kit will include:

  • approximately 20 feet of 16mm clear leader treated with cyanotype sensitizer (it’ll be inside a black light-tight box)
  • a few pieces of cyanotype paper (it’ll be inside a black light-tight bag)
  • some cyanotype test strips (paper and 16mm film — also inside the black light-tight bag)
  • a small assortment items you can use in the creation of your sun prints
  • straight pins for pinning materials and film or paper to cardboard during exposure
  • paper clips and string that you can use for drying your film strips
  • one pair of disposable nitrile gloves
  • a postage-paid USPS Priority Mail box for shipping the completed 16mm cyanotype film strips back to Kate Lain for inclusion in the group cyanotype film

What we ask of each participant:

  • Attend the Zoom workshop at 11am Pacific time on Saturday, October 10, before you start working with the materials in your kit.  This should run about 2 hours.
  • Attend a Zoom workshop follow-up at 11am Pacific time on Saturday, October 17, where participants can show their completed cyanotypes (or cyanotypes-in-progress), talk about what kinds of materials they used, what kinds of things they experimented with, and reflect on the process as a group.  This should run about 60-90 minutes.
  • Take some photos as you create your cyanotypes & send to Kate & Caryn Cline at EFF so there’s a photographic record of the workshop and so we 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 so they can become part of the final collaborative film.  (I’ll address this in more detail during the Zoom workshop. —KL)  You’ll also mail back the black box and black bag so that they can be reused in future workshops.  We ask that you get this in the mail by October 26.

Recommended additional tools/materials for participants to gather:

NOTE: We’ll talk about all this stuff in the Zoom workshop!

  • 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, paper, or fabric 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.  —KL)  [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)
  • For drying cyanotypes after developing: clothesline and clothespins OR old towels that you don’t mind getting stained OR a print-drying rack OR a section of driveway or lawn or sidewalk that won’t get walked across while the cyanotypes dry.  [The kit includes a piece of string and some paper clips that you can use to dry the film strips]

For any participants unfamiliar with Zoom:

Kate and Caryn will host a Zoom check-in at 5:00pm Pacific time on Friday, October 9, for any participants who have not used Zoom before, want to test out their setup, or for any other reasons wish to practice with the platform before the actual workshop.  If you’re interested in being a part of this, please let Kate know.

Optional Office Hours:

Kate will be hosting an optional virtual “office hour” from 11am to noon Pacific Time on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 11am to noon PDT, for any participants who realized after the Oct. 1o workshop that they had additional questions or ran into snags while trying to work through the process on their own.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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