Out of the Shadows | A Cyanotype exploration

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Giveaway | Designer Jewellery

Make-it meaningful | #makeitAMT | @alicemadethis

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Designer Jewellery

Project 001 is a series of 50 limited edition Cyanotype original artworks. Out of the Shadows explores our passion for precision in nature and celebrates resilience through the winter season. Our medium was foraged from Burgess Park in South East London, a stone's throw from the founding studio space of Alice Made This.

Alice Made This | Make it meaningful | Cyanotype | The Process

Invented by Sir John Herschel in 1841, Cyanotypes are one of the oldest photographic printing processes in the history of photography. The simple process produces a continuous tone image of Prussian Blue using a sensitising solution of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. These iron salts, when exposed to natural light, are reduced to their ferrous state, producing a high contrast blue image when oxidised. Oxidation is hastened by immersion in water, which also washes away the unused iron salts.

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Cyanotype | Limited Edition Art

The process was eminently suited to its traditional role in reproducing technical drawings (hence the blueprint) and this was its most common use in engineering and architecture until the advent of modern photocopiers. However, with its versatility and affordability, the technique was adopted by photographers soon after its discovery. It was used throughout the 19th century, from Anna Atkins’ photograms of plants and seaweed for her books on botany (1843–55) to Henri LeSecq’s still life studies of the 1850s. Photographers at the end of the century commonly used cyanotype paper for proofing their negatives.

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Cyanotypes | Process

It is this combination of raw science and art found within Cyanotypes that intrigues us. The art is in the process as well as the subject. It is the kind of basic technique that we can obsess over (if only there were endless hours to focus just on this). The nuances in the processing conditions are so varied that every piece we make is delightfully different. Whether it's the amount of sunlight at the moment the chemical reaction occurs, the time used to expose it, or the layering of the solutions used to coat the paper, every element of the process can change the image in some way. Each piece we created felt like we were capturing a moment in time as much as developing a piece of art.

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Burgess Park

As this is the first series for our Make-it meaningful project, we thought it would be nice to start at the chronological beginning of Alice Made This.

Ed and I began the journey of Alice Made This when we lived in our first flat together in Camberwell, London. With endearing memories of mixing our day jobs with twilight order packing, this geographical location seemed like the perfect spot to kick off the project. Burgess Park was at the end of our road. We would walk through it most days and watch the seasons descend and ascend across London from the perspective of this park. I would regularly daydream about precision and patterns in the flora and fauna that decorated my commute. Even in the winter months there were saturated coniferous greens that popped against the rare blue skies, and remnants of the summer months captured in stale meadow-like vegetation. And so, Out of the Shadows is a collection of Cyanotypes created from this!

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Out of the Shadows | Limited Edition Art Series

Foraged from the park where AMT began, these pieces celebrate beginnings. They celebrate resilience and thriving through the winter months. Created at the studio over the course of two weeks, each original piece of art varies according to the layering of the iron salts, the chosen daylight hour, the exposure time, and the choice of flora.

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Designer Silver Jewellery

Explore our Jewellery inspired by precision in nature here.

Alice Made This | Make-it meaningful | Limited Edition Art

If you have received a piece of this limited edition series created and signed by Alice – enjoy it, and maybe use it to celebrate your resilience, capture a moment in time, or simply to remind you of our beautiful natural world.

Make-it meaningful | #makeitAMT | @alicemadethis