Sunday, March 30, 2008

image transfers

There is discussion in the Mixed Media Group about transfers. I thought that I would share what little I know. The above pict is of some clay transfers I have done. The top image is from Suze Weinberg and the other two are from Barbara McGuire. The stamps used in the clay for the middle and bottom piece are also from Barbara McGuire.

I am totally image transfer challenged. They don't work a lot of the times for me either. The best results I get are from polymer clay, gel medium, and with heat/polymer medium.

Sometimes, images from magazines do not work well because there is a coating on there and that prevents a smooth transfer. Laser images work the best for me. Anything not ink jet - really. The printers with the big toner cartridges or the stand-alone copiers at Kinko's/Staples work well. You want something without a top coating. Ink jet will smear because any water coming in contact with the image will smear it. You need water to take the paper off.

Polymer clay - first - when you roll it out, you place the image face down in it. Use a bone folder or back of spoon and smooth it down pretty good without smushing it into the clay and ruining the clay. The image will adhere to the clay. It is easier if your edges are smaller than the edges of the clay. If you have edge overhang, it can take part of your image with it when you are rubbing the paper off the edges. I spritz a little water on the the back of the paper and start rubbing in a circular motion from the middle out. Spritz more water as needed. I have a tendency to rub too hard - which removes the image. Keep doing that until you get a clean image. Let dry. You will always get a little paper residue. The Back Off stuff from Suze Weinberg works well. While wet, you can also put a thin layer of liquid Sculpey on there to minimize the hazing. If there is a little spot left after I bake it, I just add a thin layer of acrylic fluid acrylic wash to the whole thing - the color hides the little bit of haziness. Bake as directed by the clay manufacturer. Barbara McGuire sells great images for transfers on clay. I love her women/angels. This way of transferrring always works for me.

gel medium - I have the least luck with this one. You get better at it the more you do it because you can gauge how thick the layer needs to be. What I do it put a thin layer of gel medium on the surface that I want to transfer to. I do it with my fingers in a crosshatch fashion. Up and down and then across. I quickly do the same with my image. I put the image face down and then use my fingers or bone folders to rub the image in. The important thing here is to wait for the gel medium to dry so the image will transfer. Do the spritzing and rubbing like in above. Repeat until you get rid of all the paper and haziness. Let dry.

polymer acrylic medium - this is really using the Jonathan Talbot technique of putting polymer medium on your substrate and then on your image. The polymer medium is already dried on there. If you meet the two surfaces, heat, let cool, and then do the water/rubbing thing, you will get a good transfer. You need to make sure you give the image a good rubbing into the surface. Use release paper for this step. This works for me every time. I don't do the Talbot technique anymore but sometimes use gel medium on a surface and gel medium on the image. Let both dry. Meet the two surfaces, heat and rub well with iron, cool, and then use the water/rubbing technique. Let dry. Depending on what type of medium you use, the image might be shiny or not (glossy or matte).

That is all I know.

No comments: