Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a bit of a daisy and some transfer experiments

This atc is made from a bit of the Pam carriker collage I showed a few posts ago.  The daisy is molding paste painted gold.  I have added a few beads to the centre and blanket stitched the edge.

I have been fiddling a bit with transparency transfers since reading about using hand sanitiser gel in pam carriker's book.  I works really well.
The tranfer (on to fabric) on the left is with sanitiser gel, and worked really well, despite my awful pictures.  I wondered if it was the gel, so I tried some aloe vera gel, and it worked, but it bled a little (right)
This gor me thinking, so I looked at the ingredients list on my sanitiser bottle.  There was alcohol, glycerin and eucalyptus.  I happened to have all these things, so I did some experiments.
For this transfer, I mixed up my own concoction of glycerin, methylated spirits, eucalyptus, water and a bit of aloe vera gel.  It worked, but I wanted to know which things were doing the job.
This was eucalyptus and methylated spirits, with a bit of water, and worked very well, except that I moved it and smudged it.
This one was just methylated spirits(alcohol) and water.  (I have found that a little bit of water is neccesary)
I worked, but was a bit blurry.
This one was eucalyptus and water and also worked very well, although I redid the bottom and mis aligned it!
So, I think that although the alcohol does transfer, it doesn't fix the ink and bleeds a little.  The eucalyptus seems to do a good job, and has the advantage that it will evaporate away.  I think Perhaps the gel or glycerin helps to stop the bleeding because it makes the transfer medium thicker and less able to bleed.  any way, I have had some good results and will continue experimenting.
Oh, I nearly forgot, it also works well on paper.

Also, I had a little mistake and printed on the wrong side of the transparency.  I found that the ink did not dry on the acetate, so I had a go at transferring it.
I sprayed a little glen 20 ( antiseptic spray, mostly alcohol and water) on the ink and simply pressed it into the fabric.  It worked!  Just a bit of bleeding.
In this one, I used fabric which had been sprayed with alum solution to try and stop the blurring.  It worked, but the image was still not great.  The alum seemed to coagulate the black ink although the coloured inks transfered well.  This would be good for outlining with a fine black stitching....
On this one, I sprayed the glen 20 on the fabric and the damp fabric made it bleed.
This second set of experiments needs a little more refining.  My reason for exploring it is that transparencies are expensive and can only be used once.  I happen to have a lot of simple acetate sheets which I picked up at a junk store, still in their packets (the type we used to use with white board pens, when they were called overhead pens - a long time ago, lol)  The second two prints above used these sheets and after transfer, I simply wiped them clean and used them again-wow!
Anyhow, I have been having a bit of fun, playing with this technique!

don't forget to play with your art materials!


  1. This is an interesting area for experimenting! I've used eucalyptus oil for distorting the print on magazine pages and its probably less toxic than using the citrus solvent products, which are only citrus turps under another guise with a few other nasties added. Tea tree oil will do something similar. Alcohol also reacts on ink, generally dissolving it, so my guess would be the glycerin somehow holds the ink together in the suspension and prevents the oil and the alcohol from completely destroying the image on the sheet, but loosening it enough to make the transfer possible. Its certainly a much cheaper alternative than using the imported products if you can use your own acetate sheets over and over!

  2. I was appalled by the price of transparencies when I priced them. Thank you for experimenting and sharing a reusable alternative.

  3. I am glad you are interested. The experiments need a bit more work, but my Tangled textiles challenge is due in a few days, so it will probably be next week before I can post on it.


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