Cyan­otype Re­duc­ing Process

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The blue color of a fully de­vel­oped cyan­otype will be light­ened in the re­duc­ing process. Al­though there are a num­ber of house­hold items that can be used to leach the color from a cyan­otype, wash­ing soda is the pre­ferred agent and can be pur­chased in any gro­cery store’s laun­dry aisle. Be­fore start­ing the re­duc­ing process, the print must be aged at least 24 hours to al­low the emul­sion to har­den. In ad­di­tion, it’s al­ways a good idea to test the strength of the re­duc­ing solution by cut­ting an im­per­fect print into strips and sub­merg­ing them for dif­fer­ent lengths of time.

Step 1: Sub­merge print in dis­tilled wa­ter for 2–3 min­utes to com­pletely sat­u­rate pa­per’s fibers and make them uni­formly re­cep­tive to re­duc­ing bath.

Step 2: While print is soak­ing, make re­duc­ing bath: Pour one liter of wa­ter and 1–2 tea­spoons of wash­ing soda into shal­low pan and mix well; make sure pow­der is com­pletely dis­solved be­fore adding print.

Step 3: Trans­fer print from wa­ter bath to re­duc­ing bath. If print im­me­di­ately turns bright pur­ple, solution is too strong.

Step 4: Keep an eye on print be­cause it will fade quickly and con­tinue to fade un­til re­duc­ing agent is com­pletely rinsed away; it’s best to re­move print early rather than late.

Step 5: Rinse print face­down in pan un­der run­ning wa­ter for 2–5 min­utes. Again, de­pend­ing on strength of solution and time sub­merged, rins­ing time will vary (Photo 6).

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