Don’t let the fact that you aren’t much of an artist hold you back, The Analogue Lab’s classes really are for everyone and are a whole lot of fun. Get in touch with your creative side on a “cyanotype” photography class, using everyday flat objects to create pretty blue cards.
On a hot summers Sunday in December, The Mill, a shared artistic space in Angas St, was buzzing with creative energy. Greeted by the super friendly creators of the Analogue Lab – Aurelia and Alex – we first heard a bit about the science of cyanotype from Alex before Aurelia introduced us to the fancy thick stock paper we would be using.
Our workstation. Photo: Willunga Wino
We also shared some of the objects we had brought along, including photography transparencies – these were “positives” rather than the “negatives” we are used to seeing.
A fellow participant’s beautiful glass positives. Photo: Willunga Wino
Time for a tour through the Mill and to see the Analogue Lab’s two darkrooms where we would be developing our cyanotypes.
Beyond the jewellery showroom, and gallery space at the front of The Mill, lies a warehouse that has been cordoned into separate artist studios. How they are fitted out is completely up to the artist. First stop, Alex and Aurelia’s workshop area. It was full of interesting photography accessories like beautiful antique frames.
Antique developing frames. Photo: Willunga Wino
The darkroom itself is a work of art. Created from recycled materials and the blood weat & tears of friends & family, it is indeed a cool space. To access the main darkroom, you must enter through “The Tardis” – a pitch black revolving door. It felt like going through the wardrobe into another world!
Coolest darkroom in Australia. Photo: Willunga Wino
Inside the spacious darkroom was lots of bench space, two huge developing sinks, line to peg your wet prints up on, and two enlarging machines. Below the benches were all sorts of supplies.
Photo enlarging machine. Photo: Willunga Wino
Alex and Aurelia had already set up the workbench for us, with the base solution, brushes of various sizes, hairdryers, and covered the benches with newspaper for easy cleanup.
Developing fluid is green when applied. Photo: Willunga Wino
We had an opportunity for a sneak peek at the other artists workshops within The Mill. Some enclosed their space like a little office or studio, using recycled materials.
Neat recycled material studio. Photo: Willunga Wino
One workstation was owned by a puppet maker. These were not ordinary puppets however, they were absolutely beautiful an very unique.
Amazing puppet artist’s studio. Photo: Willunga Wino
Beautiful and unique artworks were alongside displays of inspiring humour. It is a really unique and inspiring space.
Artistic humour. Photo: Willunga Wino
Tour complete, it was time to start making cyanotype cards! Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. It was the birthplace of the “blue-print”. The process needs equal parts of two chemicals: potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate, which when mixed look green.
Art making bits and pieces
The photosensitive chemical is painted onto our paper card stock, and dried. Then we place our flat objects over the chemical in the pattern we like, including a shadow frame if desired. Then the cards are held in place in glass photo frames.
Painted & ready for decoration. Photo: Willunga Wino
The photo frames are placed in the sun to develop.
Ready in their frames to develop. Photo: Willunga Wino
Any covered areas remain pale green, and in the sun, the exposed areas turn a deep grey blue.
Our cards transforming in the sun. Photo: Willunga WIno
Next it is time to soak the cards in water. In the water, any areas not exposed to the sun which remained green, then soak away and become white.
The cards are pinned up on the little clothesline to dry.
We start again with more cards which we rip into the size we want and we become more creative with our decorations, confetti, transparencies of rubber stamps, and other scrap booking supplies.
Lunch is included and what a spread! Lovely artisan bread, a variety of salads including a tasty potato salad, and veggie sausages cooked on the barbeque, to make your own open sandwiches. There was even a concert in the carpark to keep out artistic juices flowing.
Tasty, healthy lunch. Photo: Willunga Wino
The finished product was really impressive, simple and beautiful. I loved my cards, especially the wee little tiny ones! Aurelia and Alex had home cyanotype kits for sale for $75 so that you could keep on experimenting and perfecting the technique.
A workshop at The Analogue Lab is highly recommended and at the end you have some beautiful, unique, handmade art to take home and share with your loved ones.
The finished result. Photo (& artworks!): Willunga Wino
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NEW Class! 22 March 2015
Menu – All sorts of photography related workshops
Meal Size: From courses of a few hours to a few days
Atmosphere / Ambiance: Creative, inviting.
Standout Dish: Cyanotype workshop
Service: So helpful & knowledgable.
Online Booking: Yes, via the Analogue Lab website.
Restaurant Details and Location:
154 Angas St,
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel No: 0405 092 592 (Alex)
Opening Hours: Irregular – check website.
Access: Plenty of spots on Angas St