Alternative Photography: Cyanotype for Beginners

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Taught by Jen Messier

Jen is the co-founder of the Brainery and lives in Kensington with her parnter and (too many) cats. She knows a little bit about a lot of things and can teach a lot of classes on the fly. Currently really into embroidery, cyanotypes, and paper marbling. 

You can ask her anything at

This is an old class! Check out the current classes, or sign up for our mailing list to see if we'll offer this one again.

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March 13 session postponed! 

If you've ever wanted to experiment with cyanotypes--also known as blueprints--in a quick and easy format, this workshop is for you! We'll use pre-sensitized cyanotype fabric and paper, along with hand-painted sheets I've prepared in advance to create beautiful blue-hued photograms with very little muss and fuss. These prints are made by placing objects directly on the photo-sensitive fabric/paper, exposing it to sunlight, then rinsing to reveal your image. It's an incredibly fun activity with a lot of room for experimentation. 

During the workshop we'll:

  • discuss inspiration and ideas 
  • go over materials needed (thankfully not many!)
  • create prints using several types of surfaces

We won't focus much on the history or science behind the process in order to get you up and printing quickly, creating amazing photograms from nature and things you have laying around the house. And though we won't be working with photo negatives in this session, we will have some fun transparent designs to play around with. Everyone will make a series of test prints on each surface and as many additional prints on the surface of your choosing as time (and the sun) allows, which can be framed to create custom art.

We'll also get a chance to apply the chemicals to an additional sheet of paper that you can take home and experiment with wet cyanotype, a process that encourages you to break all of the rules you've just learned. 

You're welcome to bring materials from home or comb through our stash. 

Beginners encouraged! 

Heads up! This class is weather dependent, so if it's rainy or super-duper cloudy we'll have to reschedule!

This class is also available as a private session for parties or work events. Please check the flyer for details and email to schedule.

Cancellation policy