Saturday, July 5, 2014

Making Art with the Sun

Finally, a gorgeous sun shiny day after yesterdays downpours.  I am thinking about the sun.  Today might not be the best day for this type of project but tomorrow is suppose to be less windy and should be perfect.  I usually try to do this project in the Spring with 2nd grade classes but this year, it just didn't happen. Summer is a perfect time to create your own sun prints and this is a fun family activity.  Adult assistance important with younger students.

Here is all you will need:
1 pkg of sun print  of nature paper (find at the museum, science stores, or          online)
1 piece of plexi glass (optional)
1 piece of recycled cardboard
1 bucket or dishpan of water (anything similar will work)
newspaper or other moisture absorbing paper

Collect the items you want to print.  Anything from nature is great but you can also use found objects from around the house.  If it will fit on the paper, you can make a print.  Assemble your print outside of the direct sun.  Make a cardboard, print paper, print object(s), plexi sandwich.  Head to the sun and let the magic happen.  This is really a science project linked with art making. The sun causes a chemical reaction to occur with the coating on the paper.  Read about what is happening scientifically here.  The print time will vary depending on the amount of sun exposure.   If it's a bright sunny day, your print will be ready for the water in less than 5 minutes.  The longer it is immersed in the water the brighter your whites and the darker the blue of the print.  If it is overcast, expose to the sun for up to 20 minutes.  You will know it is ready for the water when the unexposed parts of the paper turn white.  I stated the plexi was optional because the edges won't be as sharp without the plexi to weigh things down and light will seep under the edges of your object.  You will understand this better when you look at the images in this post.  Check out this Sun Printing site for project activity ideas after your prints have dried.  After you take the prints out of the water, lay them out to dry on the newspaper or other absorbent paper.  This will draw any excess water from the paper and will avoid water marks on your print.
Lights and darks made by applying elements
at different times.  Lighter elements on paper longer
fuzzy edges, lengthy time in water
Water marks left during drying time 



layering at different times and fuzzy edges
due to not using plexi

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