Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lumen Printing

Recently Beau Photo donated to Paper Girl Vancouver, if you've not heard of Paper Girl Vancouver take a minute to read an excerpt from their website:

Paper Girl Mission Statement:
“Papergirl is an inclusive, non-commercial art project that brings people together in celebration of art and community in an unconventional way: through the spirit of altruism.”

What They Do:
“In this annual project, artists of all ages and abilities are invited to donate their work to a non-juried exhibition. Afterward, the artwork is rolled into bundles and is distributed by a team of cyclists (in the style of the American paperboy) to anyone they meet along specific bike routes around the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada.”

Why They Do It:
“We view this simple act as a significant performance, where the individual artworks become part of a larger community-engaged project. The gifting of art takes Papergirl participants and strangers outside of their everyday experience of the traditional market economy that identifies art consumers by socio-economic class and education. When an artist gives their work as a gift, they build a relationship with the recipient and with others affected by their creativity and this act of kindness. Papergirl brings art back to its identity as true creativity: a 'pure gift' that builds community through sharing.”

If you'd like to read more or participate check out their website: http://www.papergirlvancouver.com/

After reading this I was extremely excited to help them out, they would be making Lumen prints with the paper & chemistry donated which got me wondering why I’d never tried making Lumen prints myself.

I read up on the procedure first and found it to be fairly easy. It would seem RC or Fibre base photosensitive paper will work fine and some people feel the more expired the paper the better! All I had at my disposal was a fresh 25 sheet pack of Ilford glossy RC paper, so I used that. I went outside on the patio and collected flowers and leaves, I sliced up an apple and orange- hoping perhaps that the juices would react with paper. I found some glass bottles and a glass plate Kathy had made weeks ago and spread all of these items across three pieces of photo paper, making sure to squish the flowers down with a piece of glass. Then set them outside in direct UV light and waited. After an hour I went out and collected them. They looked pretty neat, pinky brown mostly with white/blue details. I had to be quick about taking the flowers, fruit and bottles off the exposed paper so I could scan them before the white shifted blue too much. After scanning them I put them in a fix bath, which promptly shifted their colour more, turning the whole picture a more peachy colour. The photos on the left are the scans before I fixed the images, the ones on the right are the scans after they were fixed. I will keep experimenting perhaps using fibre paper and toner.

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