Join us as we delve deeper into our Cyanotype-inspired pocket squares.
BEHIND THE POCKET SQUARES
For our two new pocket squares, we looked to the art of photography and the historic technique of cyanotype printing. First discovered in 1842 by the astronomer, Sir John Herschel, this technique is a cameraless contact-printing method which involves the reaction of ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide to UV light, creating ghostly cyan-blue images.
To create a cyanotype, a light-sensitive emulsion is applied to paper or any suitable surface. Objects or negatives are then placed on top, and the combination is exposed to sunlight or UV light. Once exposed, the print is developed and washed to reveal the mesmerising cyan-blue image. Cyanotype's appeal lies in its handcrafted, dreamlike quality, which adds an artistic touch to each photograph.
The History of Cyanotype Photography
Cyanotype photography emerged during the early years of photography, a time when practitioners were experimenting with various methods to capture images. It played a vital role in the development of photographic processes and was instrumental in shaping the artistic approach to photography. As technology advanced and photography evolved, cyanotype found its place as a historical gem—a technique cherished by artists and photographers alike.
The technique was first popularised by Anna Atkins, a British botanist, and photographer. Atkins used cyanotype to create the first-ever book illustrated with photographs, "Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions." This ground-breaking publication showcased delicate cyan-blue impressions of various algae, beautifully preserving their intricate details. Atkins' pioneering work marked a significant turning point in the history of photography, demonstrating the potential of this novel artistic medium.
A page from Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions
Cyanotype photography gained popularity throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its versatility and ease of use appealed to photographers, scientists, and engineers. It was frequently used to create blueprints and architectural plans—a use that continues to this day. The technique's allure as an artistic medium also attracted renowned photographers, including the likes of Imogen Cunningham, a prominent American photographer who used cyanotype to add depth and emotion to her botanical studies.
The cyanotype process experienced a resurgence in the contemporary art scene during the 20th century's latter half. Artists like Christian Marclay and Susan Derges employed cyanotype to produce innovative and thought-provoking pieces that explored the boundaries of photography as an art form. Marclay's cyanotype series 'Body Mix' featured haunting, layered silhouettes of musical instruments, while Derges' 'River Taw' showcased ethereal impressions of water's flow.
Left. Christian Marclay, ', Right. Susan Derges 'River Taw' image credit: artsy.net
Cyanotype photography stands as a testament to the enduring allure of analog processes in the digital age. Its history, techniques, and artistic applications reflect a fusion of scientific discovery and creative expression. From Anna Atkins' pioneering work to contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of this captivating technique, cyanotype continues to inspire photographers and art enthusiasts alike.
HOW TO WEAR THE POCKET SQUARES
Our Cyanotype-inspired pocket squares work brilliantly across a number of folds due to the scale of the print and varying colours. The versatility of these pocket squares will enable you to be creative and playful with your pocket square fold type.
Read Further: Types of Pocket Square Folds
The Puff Fold is not only one of the most popular folds but also one of the simplest to master. The most classic style is to adjust it till it forms a semi-circle above your pocket, but the very nature of the Puff Fold means you can be creative with the final look.