Monday 28 May 2012

A Peony Experiment ...

Bush Peony.  Nikon D7000
28th May 2012

The tree Peony in the garden has now gone over completely, but the bush Peony by the front door is in full bloom.

I noticed tonight that one of the flowers towards the rear of the bush had been damaged and would have died off; it had not opened fully and so had not seen much sunlight yet.

So I thought I would repeat an experiment I tried a few years ago which was to use the juice of the Peony flower to make an Anthotype print.   The Anthotype was developed by Herschel in the 1800's and uses the sun to bleach out parts of an image that are exposed to sunlight, but leave unexposed regions the original colour.   Not many original Anthotypes remain as they continue to fade if exposed to light.

So I have crushed the flower, extracted the juice and coated some paper.  Tomorrow when the paper is dry I will put it in a contact frame along with a positive transparency of the image to be printed, and then leave it in the sun for a few days/weeks or possibly months until it has printed out.

My only worry is that after the last week or so of glorious sunshine (just what I need for the print), requiring the sun may be the equivalent of a rain dance!   We shall see; the garden could do with a little rain anyway...   Nasturtiums leaves make good pigment too but they are a little small at the moment.

Update 29th May 2012:  The crushed petals seem to give an interesting purple colour emulsion.  I have put an image in a contact frame; hopefully in a week or two there will be an image!
Anthotype in contact frame.  Nikon D7000
Update 4th August 2012:  I have taken the picture from the frame today and it looks fine!

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