Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thermofax at last!

A few months ago I purchased a thermal imaging machine.  I have only just found the time to play with it and can see it will become a mainstay in my work.
For those of you who don't know what a thermofax is, it is basically a machine that applies heat to a specially prepared screen and burns am image into it.  The screens thus made, can be used to create prints by pushing paint through onto a surface such as paper, but also fabric.
I have only played with paper for this post, but I will be using the technique with fabric for sure.
This was the first screen I made (correction:  the second, because the first one didn't work as I put the screen into the machine upside down!)  It is of a leaf design from my sketchbook.  Of course, you can't see the design as the screen is so thin and transparent.
This is my first print from this screen.  As you can see, I had a few problems.  I was too tentative to start with and too heavy handed at the end, near the tip of the leaf.  Ah well, perhaps it is a leaf on an ancient building!
As you can see in this second one, I did get the hang of it.
I made just a few more screens...
And tested them out...
but of course some of them had their problems.  The top one here (sorry about the angle)  shows what happens when you don't have enough paint on your squeegee.  I ran out of paint before the bottom of the angel and the bottom print shows what can happen when you push too hard over dark areas,  The wing shadow has oozed!
This print shows what happens when you have a very large screen.  It was impossible to keep it flat with one hand while you squeegee the paint with the other, so the paint got under the screen.  I think I have a solution for this one, though.
I think this is a great way to re use my own artwork in my sketchbooks and in my textile work and I think I am going to enjoy perfecting it.

Happy creating!


  1. I now have thermofax envy. I thought those machines were beyond most people's budgets, and were only used by people who sold screens. Color me in awe of your new machine.

  2. I can see you are really going to enjoy this, every year at a stitching show in Harrogate they demonstrate this technique, I always take some time to watch, find it fascinating but not drawn to try it myself

  3. what fun! You are going to be creating even more fabulous things! I have a few screens, but don't pull them out often enough - you will be inspiring me to

  4. Oooo! this looks like you had so much fun playing. and to be able to add your own art work from your sketchbook, how fun is that?

  5. oooh fun! I have one screen which is so fun to play with. A couple of fiber friends have a machine and I would love to try it out sometime!

  6. I used some thermofax screens in a class several years ago and they were great fun. You will certainly put this to good use.


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