Meet the Maker: Hannah Lamb

by | 19 Jul, 2018 | Inspiration

For August’s kit we’re excited to be experimenting with cyanotype printing – have a better look here at what we’ll be making. So, in honour of next month’s craft kit, we wanted to have a good ol’ chat with a cyanotype printing pro about that lovely cyan blue art we will be creating ourselves very soon.

Without hesitation, Hannah Lamb came to mind; a fantastic textile artist, maker and lecturer based near Bradford. She uses the method of cyanotype in much of her work, so we wanted to find out more about her way into this awesome photographic printing method, any tips for newbies and the inspiration behind her own work. Let’s dive in…

How did you first get into cyanotype?

When I was a young student I first used some sun print paper (pre-prepared light sensitive paper) to make some quick-prints. I loved the effect I achieved but didn’t really pursue it any further at the time. Later on when I returned to study for my MA and explored a new direction with my practice I came across an old packet of sun print paper by chance and took it with me on a walk. I paused in a clearing in the woods and stopped to collect whatever was to hand to make a print with. The act of creating a truly one-off print out in the open air with virtually no equipment transformed my practice. I went off to learn more about the possibilities of the process and also how cyanotypes could be created on textiles.

Can you tell us how your first project went?

My initial experiments were all based out in the rural landscape, working with whatever was to hand. The beauty of this is that no two prints are alike and they capture something special of that place and time. That is really what I was looking for. The downside with this way of working is that the wind would blow things around or the sun would go behind a cloud, but really I feel this is all part of my process and can make for some interesting results.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My work is based on my own personal response and experience to places and collections. I am interested in the wild places and also the post industrial landscape near to where I live in West Yorkshire. I like printing with found objects and also mixing real objects with digital negatives.

What do you love most about the process?

I like the simplicity and immediacy of the process and also the way that I can create a sort of ghost of something. It feels like a very evocative and poetic process

What would be your best advice for those starting out?

Try things out, experiment and have fun.

What’s next for you, any upcoming projects you’re working on?

I currently have work on show at Sunny Bank Mills, near Leeds, which includes a 10 metre long cyanotype on silk based on historical textile archive research. I will also be showing work in the forthcoming 62 Group exhibition CTRL/Shift at MAC, Birmingham 21 July – 9 Sept 2018. I also have another very exciting project which I’m afraid I can’t tell you about, so watch this space!

We would like to thank Hannah for this wonderful chat about a fascinating craft – we especially love how she sees the process as evocative and poetic in the ghostly form that it creates!

Check out Hannah’s instagram for more examples of her work and also see the workshop page on her website to see any upcoming cyanotype and other workshops Hannah’s teaching.

photo credits: Hannah Lamb, Baptism 2014, Hannah Lamb, Draft 2015 – currently on show at ‘Clocking off’ at Sunny Bank Mills, Hannah Lamb, samples on textile


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