Walls of Wonder

Cyanotype Photography with Sarah Rafferty

Truth be told, when I first saw Sarah Rafferty’s gorgeous blue and white botanicals, I found myself googling “what is a cyanotype”. Google pales in comparison to an explanation from the artist herself. Not only is Sarah a gifted artist, she shines when teaching others about her cyanotype practice. Her In Full Bloom  collection will debut with Well + Wonder on May 22, you won’t want to miss it! 

Let’s start at the beginning with a quick history on Cyanotypes….

A cyanotype is a photographic process founded in 1842 by Sir John Herschel mainly as a way of reproducing documents known as blueprints. A year or two later, Anna Atkins, famously used cyanotypes to document actual plants as a way of recording scientific specimens. Cyanotypes are now considered a fine art photographic process. 

Cherry Blossoms by Sarah Rafferty

If you find yourself wondering, how'd she do that!? You're not alone! Here's a quick breakdown of Sarah's process...

  • She begins by mixing a light-sensitive chemical solution, which is then painted onto paper.
  • Once dry, she exposes the paper to the sun with a plant or natural object laid on the paper.
  • Once the paper has been fully exposed, it is developed by using a water bath. 
  • The result is a white silhouette of the object on a Prussian blue background. Because of the chemicals used, the result is always blue and white. 

Lucky for us, blue and white belongs in every southern home! Let's take a peek into Sarah's world for a visual on how this process comes together.

Sarah's latest collection, In Full Bloom, releasing on Well + Wonder May 22, speaks not only to the season of Spring but the mental space we can step into after the rich rest of the Winter. Sarah’s work in botanicals are whimsical compositions that cause us to seek our own daily purpose and find meaning within our surroundings. She finds her purpose nestled in the in between - the space between seasons, the silence within conversation, and activity of a plant right before it bursts above the soil. She gives thanks daily for nature being her greatest teacher of all. 

Buttercup Field by Sarah Rafferty

Sarah, thank you for being such a gracious teacher!! And for welcoming us into your practice of celebrating the natural world with cyanotypes. Anyone lucky enough to collect a cyanotype from the In Full Bloom collection will have the luxury of living with the natural world in their home!

As always, don't hesitate to reach out HERE with any and all questions about Sarah's release or her creative process.

xx, Emily