Transforming Objects – Cyanotypes on Teabags and Shells

Émilie Léger turns everyday things into stunning art pieces. From eggshells to tea bags, she works her magic with ordinary items, creating something extraordinary along the way.

Writer and photography / Émilie Léger


“In my recent cyanotype work, I have been experimenting with the cyanotype process on everyday objects. By doing this, I find a new use for familiar objects and I use them for contemporary experimentation.”

Cyanotypes on objects

My daughter Alice-Margaux assisting me in my work space.
My daughter Alice-Margaux assisting me in my work space.
My work space and UV lamp setting.
My work space and UV lamp setting.
My recent cyanotype objects.
My recent cyanotype objects.
This photo shows the versatility of the cyanotype process. I wish to continue experimenting with the process on more objects to work on exhibition and diffusion projects.
This photo shows the versatility of the cyanotype process. I wish to continue experimenting with the process on more objects to work on exhibition and diffusion projects.

Cyanotypes on Egg shells

I have experimented with direct objects on egg shells. Here, you can see plants and lace prints.
I have experimented with direct objects on egg shells. Here, you can see plants and lace prints.
Coated egg shells during the exposure time.
Coated egg shells during the exposure time.

For these two shells, I’ve used milkweed seeds and dried Gypsophila.
For these two shells, I’ve used milkweed seeds and dried Gypsophila.
Lace has been used for the process in this experiment.
Lace has been used for the process in this experiment.
Detail of the milkweed seeds experiment.
Detail of the milkweed seeds experiment.
Detail of the dried Gypsophila experiment.
Detail of the dried Gypsophila experiment.
Detail of the dried Gypsophila experiment.
Detail of the dried Gypsophila experiment.

 

Cyanotypes on Oyster shells

View from the park I go to almost everyday, just down my street. I walk by the lakeshore and seek for oyster shells.
View from the park I go to almost everyday, just down my street. I walk by the lakeshore and seek for oyster shells.
Picking up some shells which I will bring home for cyanotype experimenting.
Picking up some shells which I will bring home for cyanotype experimenting.
Beach shells for printing cyanotypes on
Beach shells for printing cyanotypes
Emily Leger with her treasure
Émilie Léger with her treasure
Coated shells during the exposure time.
Coated shells during the exposure time.
Details of the shells after rinsing and drying.
Details of the shells after rinsing and drying.

Cyanotype printing on oyster shell

Cyanotype on shell

Cyanotypes on Tea bags

Next time you have a cup of tea, you may think twice about throwing away the tea bag. Here is how to make miniature art pieces on ordinary teabags.

Examples of the cyanotype process on tea bags.
Examples of the cyanotype process on tea bags.
Preparing inverted black and white photos on acetates for the exposure process.
Preparing inverted black and white photos on acetates for the exposure process.
Negatives for printing cyanotypes on teabags
Negatives for printing cyanotypes on teabags
Coated tea bags
Coated tea bags
Coated tea bags with photos on acetates in place.
Coated tea bags with photos on acetates in place.
The tea bags during the exposure process.
The tea bags during the exposure process.
The tea bags after the exposure process.
The tea bags after the exposure process.
The tea bags after the exposure process.
Cyanotype on teabags after exposure.
Washing the cyanotypes
Washing the miniature cyanotypes
The final result. A cyanotype on a tea bag
The final result. A cyanotype on a tea bag.
A range of cyanotypes on tea bags
Successfully printed cyanotypes on teabags.

 

We hope this inspired you to try different kinds of materials and object for the cyanotype process!

Canadian Émilie Léger is an award-winning illustrator and visual artist working in chlorophyll prints and cyanotypes. See more work in Émilie’s gallery.

4 thoughts on “Transforming Objects – Cyanotypes on Teabags and Shells”

  1. hi my name is ronit i did not anderstood the procces on teabags with photograf were can a get an explanation ? thank

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