November flowers

Now that we’ll see less and less flowers in nature let’s put them on our bicycle bags. My magnolia print for Basil is featured on many bags, bicycle bells and saddle covers and soon available over here. Not only in poppy red, but also in stylish grey with pastels, blackberry and teal blue. Read more about my work in my november newsletter.

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DIY: cyanotype

Perfect for an Indian summer day: making your own blueprints. No need for a darkroom, all you need is some chemicals and sunlight. 

You might have seen images on Instagram or Pinterest: blue and white images of ferns, algae and other botanical subjects by Anna Atkins (1799-1871), the first female photographer. The Dutch Rijks Museum recently purchased a botanical photo book with her seaweed images. Cyanotype prints can be made at home, with a little patience. The basic idea is to turn water color paper into photo paper: you’re making it sensitive to UV-light. When the sun shines on the treated paper, the typical cyanblue color is created. On spots where you’ve put plants, flowers or other silhouettes, the paper remains white.

This is what you’ll need:

The cyanotype is made up of two simple solutions. Each are mixed with water separately and then blended together in equal parts.

  • solution I: 10 g Potassium ferricyanide + 100 ml water
  • solution II: 30 g Ferric ammonium citrate (green) + 100 ml water
  • 2 brown plastic bottles with a plastic screw lid (for the two solutions)
  • heavy watercolour paper (300 grams) or fabric (cotton, linen)
  • sponge brush
  • plastic container to put the liquid in
  • wooden board to put the paper on
  • glass plate or a solid picture frame and some squeezers
  • plastic and gloves to keep everything clean
  • a dark room (bathroom with curtains closed will do)
  • a sunny day (bewoon noon and 3 pm is perfect)!

Method

1. Put gloves on. Mix the two solutions and pour each of them in a plastic bottle. Mark the bottles with a I and II. In a dimly lit room you blend the two solutions in equal parts in a plastic container. As soon as you mix the two fluids, they are photosensitive. So don’t expose them to UV-light! Use plastic to cover your work spot. Using a brush, simply paint the chemicals onto the material. Paper, card, textiles can all be used to print on. Use the brush up and down, from left to right. Leave to dry in a dark place.

2. Collect pretty leaves, flowers or other objects to make silhouettes with. The flatter the objects, the better the imprint. Ferns and umbellifers are gorgeous to print with because of their delicate, fine shapes. Arrange your composition on a piece of paper first, if you like.

3. Ready to start? Collect the photosensitive paper, wooden board, glass plate and squeezers. Put your silhouettes on the paper and sandwich it with the glass plate and squeezers. Bring it outside. As soon as you get into the light the process starts, so make sure your composition doesn’t change; every movement will show. The glass plate and squeezers will keep the silhouettes in place. Expose it to sunlight for 2 – 5 minutes, or more, depending on the time of day and year. Trial and error! You see the paper change directly from yellowish green to a darker grey green. The longer you leave it, the deeper the blue gets (overexposure).

4. Bring it in, take off the silhouettes and start rinsing it with water for 5 minutes until the water is clear. What was yellow is now white, what was green, is now blue. Leave to dry on the floor or an a clothesline.

Tips

You really need to experiment with blueprints to get the result you want. Keep it simple! Here are some tips to make it more easy:

1. Use a solid picture frame that lets you really press the paper and silhouettes together. If possible, use some extra board on the back to ensure maximal pressure.

2. Instead of silhouettes you can draw or print a black and white photo negative on a transparant sheet, and use that to make your print with.

3. Take a workshop or watch some videos online. In Amsterdam you can join this workshop – very cheap!

4. Work on a rainy day or in the evening? Use a facial tanner and put the light right opposite your picture frame.

Materials

Watercolour paper, sponge brush and squeezers can be bought at art stores. I ordered the chemicals and bottles at De HekserijDon’t feel like mixing it up yourself? There are cyanotype kits for sale over here at PAR. Their kit has everything you need to make 20 prints, including paper and brush.

Have a look at my sun print tutorial

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BASIL bicycle bags

For my client Basil I designed a floral print for bicycle bags. A print that had to visible from 20 metres distance and attract different client groups. We chose the magnolia as it is such a breathtaking flower that will surely grab your attention. The very solid and waterproof bags are available in different shapes and colour ways and available at the beginning of November 2017.

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hand painted Japanese porcelain

News in september

Whether it’s a traditional dyeing or embroidery technique or handcrafted porcelain: I find Japan absolutely inspiring. See what designs it inspired me to make it in my september newsletter over here.

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Roses everywhere

Roses were in bloom everywhere in my garden this past month. See what it inspired me to make over here in my July newsletter.

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papaver somniferum design

Papaver addiction

Working on my new wallpaper collection, it all starts in and around my garden. This morning I am testing the colourways of my giant papaver somniferum wallpaper design. Drop me a line if you would like to see my wallpaper collection. Or have a look at my Instagram account to see what I’m working on right now.

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stationery designs dieuwertje van de moosdijk

Poppy galore

What’s not to like about June? All the roses are opening up and in the fields poppies are showing their pretty faces. Have a look on some of my new poppy designs in my June newsletter.

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DIY botanische sunprints

On the lovely Dutch website Stylink I’m sharing my tips and tricks on making botanical sun prints. You can read it over here, it’s a DIY in Dutch. Would you like to experiment with making sun prints too? Read my DIY in English over here.

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