Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Transfer Printing Tuesday

A low tech look at heat transfer printing, I have no 'correct dyes/pigments' available and not much in the way of specialist transfer papers, not even any coloured wax crayons...but it can still be fun working with a hot iron.

Heat transfer printing is a relatively new form of printing utilising a heat press in an ideal world, or an iron if you are working from home! As always I am approaching the idea with limited resources, woking from home, trying to translate some ideas inspired by my allotment into material outcomes to see what happens, all purely experimental.

This method is mainly used with sublimation dyes which I think have a really interesting history linked to the development of synthetic fabrics, but a whole range of media can be heat bonded to fabric or other sheet materials. I really recommend the book listed at the end of this post if you like working with mixed media.

Today I am working at my desk, with some flowers off the plot and some drawings of flowers I have sone in the past. I hope to translate these black and white line drawings into something more textural and interesting.

posca pen, wax crayon and chinagraph pencil.

I first tested some drawing mediums on freezer paper, (link provides for more information), but the marks only faintly transferred after ironing. You can buy photo transfer papers online which enable you to put anything you can digitally print onto fabric but here I am working more low tech...what I did have to hand was some  "Bonderweb"

Below are some tests to see what works well. You can draw onto the backing paper which is much more stable or you can gently draw/use a pipette onto the glue mesh. Once ironed the drawing is effectively glued to the fabric or paper.

Translucent enough to easily trace images

Here I used crayon on the backing paper and block print ink on the mesh Let this dry!

Chinagraph pencil just on the backing paper.

You are effectively ironing a thin layer of glue, in college we use older irons for this type of work

You can trap paper fragments and threads with the bonderweb

Ironed onto card, I also used a spoon to burnish this image to get it to transfer.

If any of this is interesting I recommend this book and the work of the author Dawn Dupree. Like many other print processes the interesting stuff happens when different materials and processes interact and there are many facets to this technique.

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