Michael Milano gives us a step-by-step behind the scenes look at how he combines traditional stitch-resist techniques and cyanotype to create his works for the Seattle Art Fair in August 2019.
“My most recent body of work is a selection of cyanotypes on fabric. Drawing formally on cross-stitch samplers and ancient textiles, these works combine an early photographic process with even older resist dyeing techniques: shibori, batik, and stitch resist—processes that historically employ indigo dyes.”
“In these works, cloth is prepared by stitching, binding, and applying wax to resist the photographic chemicals in precisely the same way one would prepare an indigo-dyed cloth. After exposure to the sun and removal of the embroidered threads, the photographic process produces an index—a literal trace of the time and labor of stitching.”
“On a technical level, the works are motivated by the fact that indigo dyeing requires controlled exposure to air, while cyanotypes require controlled exposure to light; however, both processes achieve their characteristic blue hue through a process of oxidation, reacting with oxygen molecules in water and air.”
“By wedding traditional stitch resist techniques with modern cyanotype printing, the pieces reveal a latent correlation between the two distinct processes.”