Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sun Prints

Ava is on Summer Vacation at the moment so I've been preparing all sorts of fun craft/science projects to keep her occupied.

Yesterday was warm and sunny so we headed up to the roof deck to make Sun Prints.

Sun Print paper + Cheerios = Fun print

Sun Prints are basically a very simple form of photography. Objects placed on the special Sun Print paper will leave an image behind when placed in the sun for a small amount of time. The Sun Print paper is made by Lawrence Hall of Science here in Berkeley. We picked up a few packs on our recent visit which you can read about here.



We made images with plants that we collected on walks, random objects from around our apartment and our own hands.

Some images worked out better than others. A handful of Cheerios made for quite an interesting print. The image of the Cheerios almost looks three dimensional on the paper. An image made from my very fine Tiffany Heart necklace didn't work quite so well. It printed properly however the details is so fine that it's a little hard to see.

Making prints with plants and cereal

Pencil print

The process that the Sun Print paper goes through is quite interesting. The paper starts out blue and as it is exposed to the sun it turns white. Where an item has been placed on top of the paper it remains blue. Once the paper has turned completely white (about 1 to 5 minutes depending on how much sun there is) it needs to be soaked in water for about 1 minute. This stops the paper from developing further. As the paper dries the image changes. Where the paper was exposed to the sun it goes back to blue. Where the item was placed becomes white or lighter blue.

Prints drying while new prints soak
Prints drying after soaking

Making Sun Prints is fun for grown ups as well as children. What you can create with Sun Prints is limited only by your imagination.

The Sun Print webpage features quite a few interesting projects so we'll check that out before we make more prints. I like the idea of creating Sun Prints with transparencies. You can find more projects here.

Here's a look at some of the prints we made.

Ava's home made necklaces make good prints
Another necklace print
Finished necklace print

More plant prints
Finished plant print

Ava makes a hand print
Ava's hand print

Lola makes a hand print
Lola's hand print

Making my hand print

My hand print before soaking
My hand print - I left this to dry on a teak chair and the paper soaked up the colour!
My keyring and keys.
Probably should have placed it on the paper the other way to avoid the backwards logo!

Finished plant print

Finished puzzle print

Finished Cheerio print


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