Last Updated on December 29, 2017 by ellen
The Cyanotypes of Anna Atkins are a collection of images made by sunprinting. Before I saw these gorgeous notecards, I had no idea what a cyanotype was either. I was struck by how gorgeous they were, and I wanted to learn more. Product was provided for this post. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
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The Cyanotypes of Anna Atkins
Combine, in equal parts, a solution of potassium ferricyanide with a solution of ferric ammonium citrate. Paint this emulsion onto a leaf of paper and set it in a dark place. Once dry, bring it into the sun and lay a flower or a waterweed, a feather or a fern across the sheet, and leave it in the light. The surface exposed to sunlight will darken to a deep marine. The shaded areas will remain white. And, where the sun’s rays penetrate a semitransparent thing – a tender leaf or delicate bud it will appear in shifting shades of pale blue. This is how to make a cyanotype.
Discovered in 1842 by inventor John Frederick William Herschel, cyanotype is one of the first photographic processes. Among its earliest and most esteemed practitioners is Victorian botanist Anna Atkins. Hailed as the first female photographer (and first to publish a book of photographs), Atkins made stunning cyanotypes – blueprints – of hundreds of different plants.
These Sunprint Notecards are a collection of twelve of these contact photograms including images of algae, ferns, and irises. The matching envelopes are printed on the inside with cyanotype images from the handwritten pages of Atkin’s books. And, the notecard collection can be stored in this gorgeous keepsake box. After the notecards have been used, the keepsake box makes a beautiful storage accent piece.
This is a great gift idea for the gardener in your life or buy them for yourself to get in the mood for spring! Buy them today.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She is Grandma to one adorable baby girl. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. In what little spare time she has, she loves to read, watch movies, and play games. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.
4 thoughts on “Sunprint Notecards: The Cyanotypes of Anna Atkins”
These are really beautiful. I have so much stationery and notecards. We just don’t send things in the mail like we used to. I must find other uses for the lovely cards. I like flower images too.
I agree, Deb, but I like to have them on hand for thank you cards or get well thoughts. Thanks!
I love the design of these! Absolutely beautiful!
I thought so too, Laura!
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