By suehutton


Gym for an hour this morning and home just in time to avoid the downpours.

Len had already left for his Father's Day lunch with George, Will and Kat's family. I had earmarked this afternoon for an experience of making cyanotype prints in Bradgate House ruins. 

Another downpour as I cowered by the car park ticket machine, but after that, the weather cleared. To be on the safe side, I clad Basil in his raincoat and I donned a bright pink rain jacket.

It always seems such a long way to get to the ruins and there were a lot of people. Only as I was leaving did I realise that it was a Wildlife Weekend too.

After a brief detour to the garden adjacent to the wall, did I find the two archaeologists. Actually, one of them was an archaeologist working for Leicester University, the other was a photographer. The peacocks were calling loudly, but not visible.

They'd erected a flimsy gazebo and set out an array of objects with which to make the cyanotype pictures.There was a collection of what had been retrieved in this year's dig, from which I used a small flint that was translucent at its narrowest edge, bone remains and objects from Nature such as leaves and feathers.

It was surprisingly easy. Choose objects to make a picture and arrange them on a wooden board, using a plastic sheet over them to keep them in place, then slide the cyanotype paper between the objects and the board, and immediately expose them to the sun for around four minutes until the objects appear as blue on the paper. See extra for my display undergoing exposure.

Then, swiftly, extract the paper and immerse it in a tray of water. The image undergoes a negative inversion so that the objects appear white on  a cyan background, as shown above.

And that's it. I was congratulated for having managed to show the thin edge of the flint and for managing to capture the texture in the young sycamore leaves.

Basil, of course, was greatly admired and petted. The photographer took a photo of him. Basil posed immaculately.

Then we had to walk back to the car park which was a real drag, but the sun was out and the park was looking very green. The River Lin was in full spate.

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