Inkjet Transfer Techniques Workshop

One-day workshop :  Saturday July 17, 2010

Noon to 4:00 pm at Canyon Trail Park & Art Center, 6757 Gatto Ave., El Cerrito.  $45 plus materials

Butterfly window hanging

Butterfly window hanging, Transfer Artist Paper

We will explore using inkjet transfers to enhance your artwork and to create mixed media, collage and other works.  Learn several techniques to transfer images and text to a variety of surfaces.  Transfers are ideal to get your images and designs onto surfaces that you can’t fit through your printer.  We will experiment with many different products, including a new heat transfer polymer material, Transfer Artist Paper.  You will complete at least two transfers at the workshop.

Double exposure on canvas

Double exposure on canvas, heat transfer

Pre-registration required.  For more information, or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com.  If you can’t make the workshop, email me for other options, including private classes.

Lisianthus box lazertran heat transfer

Lisianthus box lazertran heat transfer

Inkjet Heat Transfer Techniques : One-day workshop

Learn to make creative and unique artwork, crafts and gifts using heat transfers and your inkjet printer. We will explore several products and techniques to transfer images and text to a wide variety of surfaces. You will complete at least two transfers at the workshop.

Masdevalia orchid box

Masdevallia orchid box

Sunday February 21, 2010, noon to 4.  Canyon Trail Park & Art Center, 6757 Gatto Ave., El Cerrito. $40 plus materials

Swallowtail butterfly tile

Swallowtail butterfly tile

You can use heat transfers on fabric, wood, tile, metal, and many other surfaces.  It’s a versatile way to place your photographs and images onto things that you can’t fit through your printer!  For best results, I usually recommend using the  iron-on transfers that your printer manufacturer offers.  There is an exciting new product though, Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), that works very well for transfers.  You’ll have a chance to try TAP at the workshop. I made the frame for this lutradur piece with TAP transferred onto a canvas board.

Butterfly window collage lutradur and TAP

Butterfly window collage lutradur and TAP

Another heat transfer product I like is by Lazertran, the company that makes the waterslide decals that I use in many of my art pieces.  The top of this box is a lazertran heat transfer.

Lisianthus box heat transfer

Lisianthus box heat transfer

Here are some of my blog posts about using heat transfers:

Photos on wooden boxes, part 1

Photos on metal, part 1

Photos on tiles, part 1

For more information, or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com.   For the complete list of my workshops and other events, go to the Calendar on my website.


Transfer artist paper on lutradur

Some people on the inkjet transfer yahoo group (inkjet_transfers@yahoogroups.com) were wondering about using Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) on lutradur.  Lesley Riley’s new book on lutradur says that TAP works on lutradur (and she invented TAP, so she should know!)  Since I’m having such a great time experimenting with lutradur,  I had to try these two interesting products together. I picked one of my current favorite photo collages as my first attempt.   I took a photograph of koi swimming in a pond at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, and blended it with my photograph of a bonsai wisteria tree. This is the digital image:

Koi and wisteria collage

Koi and wisteria collage

I printed the image on TAP using the recommended settings (media set for plain paper, resolution at fine quality).  The TAP print looked great, pretty much what like the image looks like on treated inkjet paper. I cut an untreated piece of lutradur inches larger than the image, because if it turned out well I figured I might do something fun with the edges, like use a heat gun to curl them.

I heated my iron to the highest setting.  I put the lutradur on my ironing surface, which is relatively hard and not as padded as a normal ironing board.  I cut the excess TAP from the edges of the image, as recommended. I positioned the TAP printout face down onto the lutradur, and placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the TAP. Pressing down firmly, I held the iron in place for about 10 seconds, then moved the iron to another spot until I had covered the entire surface. I peeled up an edge and saw that it had transferred completely. I checked the other edges and had to place the TAP down and re-iron a few spots.

After making sure the entire transfer had adhered, I peeled the TAP paper off.  I think the transfer is beautiful! The color and resolution are nearly as perfect as an inkjet paper print. I love the way the translucency of the lutradur allows light to shine through the image, and how the filaments and texture complement the image. I also think the abstract nature of the image, with its rich tones, worked really well on the lutradur.

This is the result:

Koi and wisteria on lutradur

Koi and wisteria on lutradur

This is a closeup of the bottom left edge, to show the filaments and texture of the lutradur, and how well the rich color transferred:

Closeup

Closeup

And another closeup of part of the transferred image:

Closeup

Closeup

I think if you pick the image carefully, a TAP transfer to lutradur is a great option. I’m not sure how well fine details will transfer, but I think that this abstract image with its rich colors worked great.  Considering that in order to print this image directly onto the lutradur I would have to coat it with Golden’s Digital Grounds (see my other blog posts on that subject), using the TAP was certainly quicker and easier.  When I decide how to finish the piece I’ll post an update.

Printing with Golden’s Digital Grounds on Lutradur

I made a blended photo collage from my photographs of a hen’s feather and a white phalaenopsis orchid. The end design is abstract, although you can see the feather shape repeated three times in the center of the piece. I shifted the colors to get subtle golds and shades of blue.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

I prepared a piece of lutradur for inkjet printing by coating it with Golden’s Digital Ground matte (see my posts about lutradur and digital ground), and printed the collage. I backed the print with thick Pellon interfacing, and sewed along some of the lines of the image.

This is the printed/quilted piece (it’s 5 by 7 inches):

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage on lutradur

This is a closeup of part of the lutradur print, to show the quilting:

Phal/feather collage printed on lutradur and quilted

Phal/feather collage printed on lutradur and quilted

I decided to finish the lutradur print by mounting it to a 9 by 12 inch canvas board.  To enlarge the phal/feather image so it would fill the blank portions of the board, I printed segments of the image on Transfer Artist Paper (see my posts about TAP).  I transferred the segments to the canvas board with my iron set on the cotton setting.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage, TAP on canvas board

This is a closeup of one of the corners.  The TAP transfer to the cotton board resulted in a pleasing texture, and the abstract nature of the design worked well with the transfer, I think.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage - TAP on canvas

When the weather permits, I will spray the piece with fixative (probably Golden’s new archival varnish because that was designed for use with digital grounds prints).

The end piece, with the lutradur adhered to the center of the canvas board, will look like this:

Phal/feather collage, lutradur and TAP on canvas

Phal/feather collage, lutradur and TAP on canvas

To hang, I will probably drill two small holes near the top of the piece and string with metal chain.  Alternatively, I might put the piece into a frame.    I finally decided how to hang the piece!  I  drilled two small holes near the top.  I wanted to reinforce the holes, but normal eyelets aren’t long enough to go through the canvas board and grab onto the other side.  The only grommets I could find were much too large for the effect I wanted.  I finally found some slightly longer eyelets and set them.  I debated stringing decorative chain or wire, but dug out some raw leather cord I have, and decided it worked well with the tone of the piece.  I’m very happy with it now, see what you think.

Upper corner of piece with leather cord as hanger

Upper corner of piece with leather cord as hanger

Completed piece, with leather cord as hanger

Completed piece, with leather cord as hanger

Transfer Artist Paper on cotton

I previously wrote in my post about Photos on Wooden Boxes about using Lesley Riley’s new Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), available from her at http://www.transferartist.com   I just tried TAP on fabric.  I have resisted making t-shirts to sell because I was never sure whether the iron-on transfers would last, how they would wash, etc.  I have ordered some t-shirts made with my designs through my zazzle shop, http://www.zazzle.com/GardenDelightsArts* and the shirts are great.  They have a large variety of shirt styles and sizes.  I even sold a couple of children’t t-shirts the other day at the Pinole Artisan Gallery, so hooray for that!  Anyway, I bought some blank onesies (infant garments that snap at the bottom, very cute even to those of us who are childless) and decided to either sew some of my designs onto them, or to try using iron-ons.  Since I wanted to test out the TAP transfers anyway, I decided to use them for some of the onesies. 

Printing: I reversed the images because they’re transfers and you have to place them face down on the surface, of course.  I printed them with my Epson 2400, using Ultrachrome inks.  Per Lesley’s instructions, I printed on the plain paper setting and the medium quality.  The prints looked great – just as good as they would on normal inkjet paper, with full color saturation and detail.

Lesley’s website says to either wash the fabric right away (after transferring), in which case the colors will likely fade, or to wait a couple of days, and possibly the colors will fade less.  At least that’s how I read her instructions.  She also mentions that when she waited a couple of days, there was a line through the image where the cloth folded during washing. 

I pre-washed and machine dried the onesies.  I printed 6 images on 2 sheets of the TAP paper.  Following Lesley’s instructions, I cut out the image close to the edge to avoid having excess polymer transfer to the fabric.  I set my iron to the cotton setting.  As instructed, I used my ironing board which has a thin pad.  I put a piece of parchment paper on top the TAP transfer and placed my iron on top of it.  I held it there for about 10 seconds without moving it.  Then I peeled up an edge of the paper, saw that the entire transfer had worked, and peeled the backing entirely off.

On a couple of the transfers the edges were a little rough.  I think that’s because I didn’t hold the iron in that spot long enough, and the transfer was a bit incomplete.  My fault, but nothing that will affect the finished shirt too badly.  I was surprised that the holes in the iron didn’t cause a problem. Lesley mentions that the holes MAY leave untransferred spots, and I’d assume they would — but I did pick up the iron and place it in different spots, so maybe that’s why I didn’t have a problem. 

The transfers aren’t too stiff, just a tiny bit, but Lesley says that the stiffness will decrease as the item is washed.   I decided to wait until maybe tomorrow to wash them.  I really like the saturated colors and don’t want them to fade too much.  Here’s a photo of one of them taken right after I did the transfer:

Lars, photographic transfer to cotton using TAP paper

Lars, photographic transfer to cotton using TAP paper

I was very impressed that the shades of grey throughout the photo were transferred, as were the vivid colors of Lars’ eyes and ears, and his collar.  I’ll let you know what happens after I wash and dry the onesies tomorrow.

Okay. I machine-washed and dried the onesies.  Consistent with Lesley’s results, the transfer faded a bit, and the hand is a bit less stiff.  The colors are acceptable, and I would feel confident selling items I made with the TAP paper.  I’ll continue to test them.  I’ll make a t-shirt for myself and see how it fares after normal wear and washing.  Here’s the onesie with Lars on it, after washing and drying:

Transfer with TAP, after washing

Transfer with TAP, after washing