SC Publications £17.50

ISBN: 978-0-95546-470-6 (s/b, 95 pages)

Ruth Brown's book is a wonderful guide to the fascinating world of Cyanotypes or Blueprints from a textile art perspective. A true Cyanotype print has a distinctive blue and white colour, and is created by chemically treating fabric, adding a layer of suitable objects or negative transparancies, and then exposing the fabric to the sun.
 
Ruth explains the whole process, from preparing fabric, designing your print, exposing and creating the design and even aftercare of your finished fabric. She has also included a very readable chapter on digital image manipulation which will assist in creating cyanotype photgrams from your own photographs, and will be of interest to anyone who is curious about working with photographs and fabric, but doesn't know where to start.
 
Ruth has really experimented with the Cyanotype process, and the book includes comprehensive notes about her results. She advises which types of fabric work well for her, and which don't, and has even investigated which washing solutions are best when washing your finished  pieces. This is really useful, she encourages the reader to experiment, but helpfully steers us away from areas where she has already established poor results. The book also includes suggestions for including other techniques within the cyanotype process, such as shibori and overdying, and even ways of treating your fabric to produce yellow or brown cyanotypes rather than blue, although the blue is so beautiful, I don't think I could bear to alter it!
 
This is a great book, I spent all day yesterday dreaming up subjects for photograms, and I can't wait to for school to start so I can have a play! Ruth sells Cyanotype Chemical kits from her website, www.stonecreeksilk.co.uk; these cost £8.50,and will treat about 2m of lightweight cotton. You can also buy Ruth's book from her online shop