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abstract plant-based image -  cyanotype print in process, in water bath


Cyanotype Alchemy

Sometimes, unexpected challenges yield extraordinary results. Such was the case with artist Deni Javas, who was participating in a residency in a remote rural Spain.

Upon her arrival, Deni faced a hurdle—her art supplies did not make it to Spain. Instead of succumbing to disappointment, she embraced the challenge.

The bountiful Spanish sunshine, along with the abundant local vegetation and organic objects, provided the essential elements. Deni delved into her craft using the cyanotype process.

upper left: cyanotype prints of natural materials hanging to dry in front of a rustic stone wall; upper right:  close up of cyanotype print - white on blue, and abtrastion of branches; lower left:  close up of cyanotype print - white on blue, a delicate branching leaf-less plant; lower right: tall narrow cyanotype of grasses hangin in a studio with leaf-less shrubbery

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints. In this process, a photosensitive solution containing iron compounds is applied to paper or fabric. When exposed to UV light, such as sunlight, the solution undergoes a chemical reaction, turning blue.

Cyanotype prints can be created by placing objects or negatives on the coated surface and exposing them to UV light. The areas covered by objects or negatives block the light, resulting in a white or lighter blue image against the characteristic cyan-blue background.

Deni and I were in regular contact during her time in Spain, and I was eager to see the outcome.

Deni was able to extract intense hues of blue and complex layering of organic shapes to create sublime, one-of-a-kind prints. The resulting body of work was divided into a dozen portfolios, each showcasing a range of styles, from figurative to abstract forms.

I found myself captivated by the beauty of her creations and the narrative behind them. I knew that these pieces were something special. I felt compelled to incorporate them into the Alba Amicorum collection. Contact us for details

left: close of cyanotype of a plant with puffs on stalks, perhaps like cotton; right: cyanotype printed fabric draped in an art studio or boutique

Our collaboration extended beyond this acquisition. Deni and I started to explore the translation of her cyanotypes directly onto different fabrics. Experimenting, testing for colourfastness, and even dipping the cyanotypes in a variety of teas to achieve distinct effects.

The result is a collection of breathtaking textile art. From a lengthy cotton scroll to smaller silk pieces, each item is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

These unique textile pieces are now available through Alba Amicorum, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share them with you. They are a testament to the power of creativity and the unexpected beauty that can emerge from challenges. Each piece tells a story of resilience, artistry, and the profound influence of nature on our creative pursuits.

two swatches of cyanotypes on different colored fabrics, one with straw-like designs on green, and one in dark purples of larger branches

Explore Deni Javas’ cyanotype-inspired textile art and other works here or by contacting us.

We welcome commissions on paper and fabric in a variety of sizes.