Milkweed pod silk
Milkweed pod silk with some seeds attached (which exploded in the press...)
Shepherd's purse, a much more substantial plant
Sanding off the patina struck me as incredibly like working in the darkroom, and selectively dodging or "bringing up" certain parts of the image. The big difference is that when printing plants with cyanotype or other sun prints, the print is made by the differences in opacity, while with physical printing the print is made by the differences in thickness. Of course, there is a direct relationship in many ways between the thickness of a plant and the opacity; in fact, when we were having trouble placing the plants, Sue reminded us to think of the "shadow" of the design (basically the negative space) to judge whether the design would be too dense. The resulting patinaed prints did look pretty much like what you would get from a sun print, but with added texture.