Once upon a time, there were a bunch of us sitting around a picnic table somewhere.
photo credit: JUDY SHERROD
Wherever two or more are gathered, it’s a reunion. I’m trying to remember. Carol S. Dass was there. Also Astro Beck. Vicki Reed was there. And Heather Oelklaus. And Vicky Stromee, also. We were talking about making a large cyanotype, maybe at one of our February get-togethers, and someone asked, “When is World Cyanotype Day?
That would be a GREAT time to do it!”
So out come all these iPhones and Pads and, lo and behold, there was no World Cyanotype Day.
So we made one.
photo credit: VICKI REED
About the same time, we were also planning a little shootaReunion at the A.Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas that was coming up the weekend of September 19, 2015.
It was Amanda’s idea that we should make the largest cyanotype ever.
photo credit: ACCENTAP.COM
So we decided to make the two — World Cyanotype Day and The World’s Largest Cyanotype — happen simultaneously.
Additionally, we wanted World Cyanotype Day to serve as a worldwide opportunity to create a work of art. We chose the idea of making prayer flags, or peace flags that resemble the Himalayan prayer flag strands. Just as the flags are connected together, one to the next, so we hoped the project would connect people together, one to the next, around the world.
photo credit: MARIANA BARTOLOMEO
At that point in time, the record World’s Largest Cyanotype had been made by Melanie King, Constanta Isaza Martinez, and Andres Pantoja in May of 2015. It measured 7 by 14 meters (approximately 117 square yards.)
As a disincentive to competition, we decided to make our cyanotype three times as large, 10 by 30 yards. Linda Stemer of Blueprints on Fabric, (http://www.blueprintsonfabric.com/) said she could treat the fabric in ten pieces, each 3 by 10 yards, and ship them to us.
We would be responsible for sewing them together…
…in the dark.
photo credit: KEVIN TULLY
The pieces came in four boxes totaling eighty pounds and, over a period of four nights surrounded by photographs at the A.Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas (population 1,400) the sewing team of Linda Haddock and DorRae Stevens, with support crew Amanda Smith, Kevin Tully, and Judy Sherrod, put the pieces together.
photo credit: KEVIN TULLY
At the same time, plans for the first World Cyanotype Day were proceeding, having spread quickly from one person to the next, around the world. Our colleagues were teaching their friends, their children, their children’s friends, their classes, and clubs, how to make prayer/peace flags.
photo credit: AMY JASEK
I’m going to end my part of the tale-telling here and direct you to the videos which recorded the making of that Big Blue Cloth.~Judy Sherrod
Number one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLF6dtI9G0
Number two: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xVXVTWROcSg
Number three: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xolhgqJ7VMY
Number four: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mGTNEBhj0-0
Number five: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4aR7Kdubu6Y