Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some Thoughts on Doing Transfers

This week in between running here and there I have been working on some transfer techniques for an artist trading card (ATC ) swap. The theme happens to be “cemetery angels” and we can do what we want with it, but that is secondary to what I have to share today. To be clear the swap is not about transfers but that is what I chose to do with my cemetery angels.

I have learned yet again that when working with transfers the result is unpredictable. It is very much not a good idea to leave working with transfers as a last minute thing if you are working with a deadline.

Earlier this week I did some Citrasolv transfers. I learned some lessons. I was using toner based print outs from my home computer printer.

1. I tried a Citrasolv transfer onto glossy cardstock which had been colored with alcohol inks. The glossy paper didn’t take the transfer well and it smeared very easily. It was as if the ink slid on the glossy surface. Secondly when it dried the Citrasolv bleached out the color of the alcohol inks.
2. I did a Citrasolv transfer onto a heavy cardstock with a texture. The transfer only takes onto the very top surface of the paper’s texture. So that didn’t look so great.
3. I saved the original paper which the transfers came from and used that to make an ATC, so far that is the best one of the bunch.

Some of these mistakes are going to be thrown in the trash. One turned out looking very ‘artsy’ and ‘cool’, I think. Yet because this is an ATC swap I worry about the recipient of this. If they are a fan of the scrapbook and sticker crowd they will think this transfer is a piece of ugly trash. My son said it looked awful and asked if it was garbage. I am in a bind. Today is the deadline to send out so I will make time today to work on this project!

Working with transfers is fun. But again, they are experimental, results are not guaranteed, and in the process sometimes original things are used and ruined and you must have more source material to use if your first attempts end up in the trash bin.

I will share also that the images I used were digital photographs that I took. That was an outing in and of itself to go to that cemetery and take the photographs. I then altered the photographs using my computer and Photoshop elements to change them to black and white and to play with the lightness and the contrast. That took time. I then made toner print-out’s and used those for the transfer. So for this project of mine the work is not just in doing the transfer but it was in the prep work behind it also.

I need to get offline now and go work on more Cemetery Angel ATCs. Wish me luck.

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