June 19, 2014

miracle of miracles!

... many years ago I perfected my image transfer process using Epson photo paper.
And it was a beautiful thing. I created many of what I call my "scenics" using this process. Just about foolproof!
And then as is company's wont, Epson changed the formulation on their photo paper creating not a paper backing but a plastic backing. And everything went to hell and a hand basket.

I tried and tried and tried to recreate my earlier foolproof process. All for naught. It was a sad day in Jen Studio Land.

Until. This past weekend! I was in-between projects and decided to play and explore. I printed out a bunch of old photos/ephemera for future posterity and while I was waiting for the printer to be done, I was flicking the corner of a piece of the photo paper ...you know, fidget-style. And to my surprise, the filmy background peeled off. Whaaaaa???? Well,  you know I grabbed the gel medium and went to work!

Here, then, a mini tutorial on creating image transfers Jen style!

  1. Apply 3 layers of gel medium to inkjet print, drying after each layer. (I smooth the medium with my finger)
  2. Peel the thin plastic layer backing of photo paper, leaving the papery backing.
  3. Using gel medium, glue your transfer image side down to your substrate.* Burnish WELL and let dry overnight. (trust me on this, as one who is VERY impatient, you need that solid bond of overnight drying!)
  4. Pick at the edge to find the plastic film (top layer of photo paper). Peel back.Gently! (and here's *why* you wait overnight ... if it isn't well bonded, your image won't have adhered well to your substrate!)
  5. Voila! Your finished image transfer with just the ink/gel medium concoction on your substrate. No nasty plastic anywhere in sight!
*This is the ONLY caveat ... smooth substrates make the best transfers. I tried on old(ish) paper and ended up with a disaster. Newer paper? Not a problem! Wood? Same! My next experiment will be with canvas and I'll let you know how that goes.

If you have any questions ... specific supplies or techniques... let'em rip. I'm an open book. And if you do try this, let me know how it goes!

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