I love sharing the sun printing process with other people. Watching others get excited and inspired by this beautiful technique that I love so much is really amazing. When I wanted to learn a few years back, I scoured the internet for classes and couldn't find any in New York, where I was living at the time. So, I opted for a few YouTube videos, reading the instructions on the back of the sun print kit I had bought and a lot of experimentation. While it was fun and exciting to learn that way, I really craved creating and learning alongside other people and was surprised that there weren't more cyanotype/sun print classes around. After getting the hang of the process for a couple of years, I decided that it would be fun to design some classes myself and thanks to some connections through my other life as a photographer, I have been collaborating with former clients of mine who run Education programs around the Twin Cities and am dipping my toe into teaching this process. So fun! A few weeks ago, I taught a class at Artistry at The Bloomington Center for the Arts. The class ran for two days and the first day was glorious-80 degrees and sunny! Perfect sun printing weather. The second day was SUPER rainy and dark. It was funny-not-funny how drastically different the days were. I got a little (a lot) stressed when I got to class the second day, knowing I would have to change my plan for how we could print. It ended up being a good thing that it rained so I could show them how to do this process with a UV light box and window light inside (and it was a beautiful reminder to practice patience!). We adapted, we experimented, we explored, we collaborated, we talked and we learned together. I got excited each time a print came out of the water, getting to see how each student chose to apply the cyanotype chemicals to the paper and how they laid out the plants and objects. I was inspired to try some different brush strokes in my own prints like the circle in the photo above. One of my students had such grace with applying the chemistry. She got these delicate, flowing, lovely strokes that were so beautiful! Her mom was one of my students too and she went right home and ordered some of the chemistry online to keep playing at home. Best news ever! Watching that spark of creation, that joy, that wonder and curiosity that happens when learning something new is addicting. It reminded me how good it feels to learn something new and how easy it is to get stuck in a routine of doing the things I already know how to do. That's dumb and boring! I'm on a mission to get more people to fall in love with this historic art process and keep it alive and evolving.
If you want to learn to make some sun prints and are in the Twin Cities area, I'm teaching another class at Minnetonka Community Education on June 16th and June 23rd from 12-2pm. You can find out more information and how to register here. I'll be offering more group classes in the Fall and will be launching some private classes soon too, so stay tuned for those!