Friday, 22 March 2013


Anthotypes are a technique of making a print using plants or different foods. The anthotype process is made up of three steps. Making the emulsion, preparing the canvas and printing.
I made sure I has all of my materials before I started. I used a blender, beetroot, vodka, a bowl, paint brush, paper and a clip frame.
1. Making the emulsion - I chopped the beetroot up into small pieces, put it into the blender and blended it to a pulp. I added vodka to dilute it then blended it again. I poured the mixture into a bowl. Most people making anthotypes strain the emulsion so that there are no bits in it but I wanted to keep the bits as my theme is all about foods so I thought it might work well having a few pieces of beetroot on the print as it might add to the effect.
2. Preparing the canvas - Any paper that can hold the emulsion can be used. As the paper will be wet and then put in the sun it needs to be quite sturdy paper. I used cartridge paper and recycled paper. I worked in a dark room with very dim lighting as any exposure to sunlight will destroy the colour of the emulsion. I covered my work surface in newspaper so that the emulsion wouldn't stain the surface. There are two ways of getting the emulsion on the paper, either by brushing it on or dipping the paper, both add different qualities to the final print. As my emulsion still have bits in it I decided to paint on the  emulsion but it left brush strokes on it. I like the brush strokes as it gives it more of a handmade look to it. Either leave the paper to dry in a pitch black area, or dry with a hair dryer in a very dim lit area.
3. Printing the anthotypes - Objects or positives can either be used. I used cabbage leaves, feathers and a positive. I placed the objects onto the dried paper then put in in the clip frame. I left it in the sun for a week. Depending on what emulsion was used the development time varies, it may take a few days or several weeks.
Drawing of mushroom and orange. This didn't come out very clear because the sunlight possibly went through the pen drawing. It might work better with a printed image on acetate as the black would be darker than the pen.

The cabbage worked the best as the objects came out dark but I was expecting the lines and creases in the leaves to appear. 

 The feathers worked as you can make out that they are feathers and the individual strands are visible but the lighter feathers didn't come out that well.
After making small anthotypes I wanted to create large ones. I painted on the emulsion and set them up in the sun. Below is images of the outcomes. They didn't work as well as I hoped, I think it's because the sun was too strong that it bleached the whole paper including where the objects were.
Close up of mushrooms
Close up of feather
Close up of banana 
Close up of leaf

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