Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Citrasolv Transfer Experiments

Two days ago, I was reading the local newspaper and saw some images I thought would be great for using for transfers with ATCs. I decided to see if Citrasolv transfers would work on newsprint. These papers were one week old. I have read that the newer the printing, from a copier or a computer printer, the better. I assume this is the same for newspapers but I don’t know (yet).

I was transferring onto card stock paper. I plan to use these as base papers/backgrounds for ATCs.

Here is what I discovered:

The darker the paper you are transferring on to, the worse the image will come through. It seems like the ink gets sucked into the paper more or something. Transferring to a medium blue paper was a complete failure. I tried transferring to kelly green and it was alright, but a second transfer with the same image to white card stock was bright and darker, which I found odd, because with lighter papers the first image is dark and the second use of the same image is lighter.

I found that color photographs from the newspaper came through very poorly.

Black and white photos didn’t transfer well either.

Illustrations or writing with grey tones didn’t work well.

The best transfers were black and white, such as are common with clip art images. I found lots of great images in local businesses ads. Simple illustrations with clean lines came through wonderfully. Many of the small ads had small images which are sized well for using on ATCs.

I used the back of a spoon and the side of the spoon to rub with.

If I put even pressure on the entire image then it came through looking solid.

If I used the side of the spoon and wasn’t thorough then the transfer came through with scratch like images which actually was interesting and could be made to be the goal if I wanted it to be.

I was able to get one strong transfer and one weaker, more ephemeral transfer. The third transfers were very weak.

I really rubbed on one, where there was no printing, and what came through was the ink from the opposite side of the paper. It looked interesting. I had an image of a ballerina (ad for Nutcracker ballet) and then around the head and shoulders were light transfers of words.

I transferred some bold graphic checkers from an ad’s border and they came out great.

Writing gets reversed, but can make for an interesting intentional addition to a collage.

Here is the method in case you don’t know.

Cut out an image that you want to transfer.
Get your paper ready.
Put the transfer image face down on the paper where you want it to be.
Take a small piece of paper towel and saturate it with Citrasolv concentrate.
Hold down the papers so they don’t move, with fingers from one hand.
Rub the Citrasolv over the back of the image so it soaks through the paper.
Rub over the back of the image with something hard such as a spoon or a bone folder
Peek under the corner to see how is it coming through.
Stop rubbing when it looks good to you.
Remove original paper.
Put the transferred image to air dry.

You can get more than one transfer out of the original image if you want.

Make sure to wash your hands when you are done and to NOT get it in your eyes.

I see that sometimes the Citrasolv leaves a ‘stain’ on the paper from the orange oil. To avoid a splotched effect you may want to make sure the entire paper gets whetted with it so that it looks uniform.

Citrasolv is a degreaser and therefore robs your hands of oil. Use hand lotion if your hands become dry, or wear gloves while using it.

Of course take heed of all of the product warnings that are on the product label. Citrasolv is a 100% natural product which is made from the oil from orange peels. It is a strong solvent which has a great orange scent and is 100% natural. When the paper dries, it retains the natural orange smell, which I love!

Then I taught my kids how to do the transfers and they made some with my supervision, taking care to not rub their eyes when the Citrasolv was on their fingers. I had them wash their hands as soon as they finished with it.

Then my kids asked if they could try a packing tape transfer and I let them do some of those. They both decided they liked those better as the images looked ‘accurate’ and ‘real’.

I personally like the hazy, dreamlike quality of the Citrasolv transfers.

Top left, experimentation with writing. Letters come out reversed. I chose different fonts, pretty fonts and overlapped them.

Believe it or not the tree on green paper was first and the white was the second transfer.

Checkerboard border, testing to see how very plain and bold patterns look.

Ballerina on red was first transfer and the yellow paper was the second transfer. I am not sure if you can see the faint text that came out around her head, that came through from the other side of the newspaper.

I liked the image of the postal carrier.

The one on brown paper was from an ad for an optical shoppe. It is a bench in front of a small store front with window, shutters and the door. On the window pane was the name of the business. I cut that out as when I did the transfer it would have appeared in reverse.

This was quick and fun to do.


Amy said...

Hi I was just wondering where you buy Citrasolv? I have been looking everywhere. I have been able to use Orange oil extract from the health food department at my grocery store. It works really well too, but I think Citrasolv would be a better buy. Thanks.

BTW- the transfers look great! Great idea for kids!

christinemm said...

They sell Citrasolv at my health food store.

My friend's natural food co-op sells it and I get it through her for much less than full retail.

I once bought a gallon for $35 on sale. It lasted over 2 years with all the things I use it for, a big bargain compared to the cost of normal household cleansers.

Lastly, it is not safe for kids to use. While the fumes are not toxic it is a solvent, although all from orange oils--it is a concentrate, and if it splashed into the eyes it would be dangerous, etc.

So I don't let my kids do Citrasolv transfers.

I will tell you when you use it to make cleansers like counter top spray, sink and toilet cleaner and to mop the wood and tile floors with it has an INCREDIBLE natural scent which is just delicious!