Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Transfers ~ My First!

I'm sure many of you have done all sorts of things with transfers.  I'm referring to taking a printed image and transferring it to polymer to be used in a variety of ways.  I did try the process myself a couple of years ago, but didn't have much success.  I tried a variety of printers, papers and processes, and nothing seemed to come out just right.  So, I figured perhaps it wasn't "my thing."  After all, there are soooo many techniques and processes you can do with polymer, not doing one wasn't the end of the world....Or was it?

The impetus to try again came the other day when I ran across some really lovely digital images on Etsy.  I was particularly taken with fall leaves - so appropriate for this time of year - and with some Japanese style art.  So, I decided to give transfers a try again.

I'm so glad I did!

You'll see sprinkled about this post the first pieces I've made. The images came out sharp and clean and I'm quite pleased with the results.  The two pendants to the right I mounted on another sheet of clay.  The red leaf image has a Magic Gloss resin finish while the pendant on the left has a light protective coat of Preserve Your Memories II.

The process:  I used my laser printer and digital images purchased with "permission to use" rights.  You'll find all sorts of images that can be used legally on the Internet, and Etsy is an especially great source.  Some of the images in original form were too large or too small, so I used my computer to alter the size.  I printed the images on a good quality copy paper, but nothing fancy, thick or special.

My base clay is a combination of white and translucent.  I did a lot of finger rubbing with good pressure accompanied by using rubbing alcohol to dampen the paper but not get it soggy.  The process takes a little while, but when the paper peels off completely white, and the image is on the clay in all its original glory, it's quite a thrill.

 You do have to use the clay pieces pretty quickly, since the image and the clay are tacky.  The baking process really seemed to seal the image to the clay.

 I have some more ideas about ways to use or enhance transfer images, so keep checking back.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Alcohol Inks & Micro-fine Glitter Dust

When I set out to make the sheets for these pieces, I had something else in mind. Though the result was not what I had expected, it turned out to be a lovely surprise.  If you could hold these pieces up close, you'd see that the colors seem to float above the polymer base.  The colors don't have defined edges, rather they blur and blend together.
The sheet stack consisted of a base of pearl clay, a layer of gold composite leaf, a thin layer of translucent polymer, and a "sprinkling" of white pearl micro-glitter.  I then colored the short stack with alcohol inks.   I didn't realize that I'd used a bit too much micro-glitter on the surface, so the colors melded some during baking.  Then, when I used Magic Gloss to seal the surface, some of the alcohol ink-imbedded glitter rose from the background and mixed with the gloss.  The look is really sparkly and the colors seem to glow.    I like the way these turned out.  Now my question is whether I can actually reproduce the effect...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gold leaf, Mauve & Blue Mokume Gane

It's been a busy month - busy with everything except working with polymer.  I was finally able to put aside a block of time or two, and have some new things to share.  I wanted to do something that picked up the bits of gold we are starting to see in the trees here in New England.  I decided to use the hills and valleys mokume gane technique with translucent polymer mixed with two of the new colors for fall - Cashmere Rose and Biscay Bay.  I started with the rose shade, and imbedded the pieces with gold electroplated glass seed beads for a bit of contrast.  The first photos shows some of the pieces I made.

On to blue!  Here are 2 pendant and earring sets. I especially like the motion of the multiple pieces. Sometimes doing something fairly simple adds a lot of interest to a piece.

Finally, I made a few brass cuffs.  I tried a green but didn't get the shade I was looking for.  It looks like it will be better for spring than fall.