“A flying fantasy beetle” by Sirpa Kärkkäinen
Country: Helsinki, Finland
Parts used: Petals
Amount: 100 grams
Extracted by: Centrifuge in a blender
Thinner: Boiled tap water, a teaspoon of glycerol and vitamin C. First mixed the flower petals and a minimum amount of the boiled tap water in a blender, then filtered the mixture with cheesecloth. Mixed a teaspoon of glycerol into the solution. In the end, mixed an effervescent vitamin C tablet into the solution and mixed well
Substrate: Fabriano watercolour paper
Created with: A collage made with a paper silhoutte of a bug and two leaves as the wings
Exposure: 12 hours under UV-light and 1 hour of the sunshine, July, summer 2023
Contrast: ✿✿ (Medium)
Challenges or observations: Vitamin C abbreviates the exposure time radically. The image becomes visible in a few hours. The negative point is that images made with Vitamin C are not long lasting. This picture disappeared in two days. Happily, I made a photograph of this fresh and ready image! I think that the use of Vitamin C could be one solution for non-toxic photographic development.
Additional information: The glycerol makes the solution smoother. Because you need to put at minimum five coats to create the background colour, this helps very much. The solution of fireweed is also PH active, so you can change the colour with acids (eg. lemon juice) and alkali (eg. baking soda). The oxygen reaction makes the colour darker. This is why it is better to wait for a while after every coat and ensure drying before putting another coat: the color becomes darker meanwhile. The final image becomes resistant, if kept it in a dark place;. I haven’t noticed any colour alteration in a month.