In college, absolutely LOVED working with alternative processes in photography. One of my favorite kinds is called cyanotype (conventionally known as a "sun print"). It's a chemical process that can be completed entirely without a darkroom. All you need is the sun and water. Beautifully simple.
Having experimented with the liquid emulsion on various papers, I took to dipping scraps of fabric in the stuff, and really enjoyed what I was getting. But preparing fabric for cyanotype is messier than the paper process, and since the emulsion can stain everything EVERYwhere EVER, I decided to give the pre-packaged route a test drive.
Enter Blueprints on Fabric!
I didn't want to jump right in with the kids; I have a habit of being overly ambitious and forgetting how much adult supervision or management might be required for a project. So I did a few patches of my own to make sure it would work for the littler kids, and to have engaging examples to show.
So I grabbed our feather collection.
Boom! A sunny day means a quick, 10-minute exposure for rich blues. The color of the image depends entirely on the color of the fabric itself. In this case, the turquoise fabric was saturated with the cyanotype solution, which turned a deep royal purple, leaving the feathers looking blue (but not sad).
Having purchased a pack full of different colors, I was able to let the kids choose the color of their image. They happily rinsed their fabric patches, though I had to remind them to wait until the water ran clear.
OF COURSE PINK.
If you're curious about the cyanotype process (and other alternative photographic processes), everything you could ever need to know is in The Book of Alternative Processes by Christopher James. The second edition of his book sits proudly on my studio bookshelves; the third edition is out as of fall 2014.