How many times have you stained your clothes as a kid, rolling in the grass? How about spilling wine down the front of your shirt? Or some berry pie? Would you ever think they could be used to make photographic prints?
Photographer Malin Fabbri just released a book exploring the process of making anthotype prints, which was first developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. While I eagerly await my copy of the book, I find myself marveling at the possibilities.
As a mom, I know all about stains. Grass stains. Berry stains. Grape juice stains. Ketchup stains. You name it, my kids have probably worn it. After reading the process overview on Fabbri’s web site, AlternativePhotography.com, I rummaged through the fridge, the back yard and the grocery store searching for stain-makers.
Today’s experiments are:
- Swiss Chard
- Red wine
- Grape juice concentrate
- Dock (an evergreen weed common to my neighborhood which is hard to get rid of, non-toxic and very likely a cause of my kids’ grass-stained knees. Why not put the weeds to use?)
With winter upon me, my options are a bit limited. In a few months, the garden will be blooming and the trees fruiting. By then I will have read my much-anticipated book cover to cover to find out what has been tried and documented already. Oh! The possibilities!
The emulsified paper is now drying. The next step will be to put it in the sun with my experimental image and wait for it to fade. It could be hours, days or weeks, depending on the plant. Keep watching as the experiment unfolds! In the mean time, send me your ideas. What organic stains should I try next?