Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Transfer

This tutorial came out in Cloth Paper Scissor's Embellishments yesterday - thought you might like to see it too.
By Lyric Kinard
There are many wonderful photo transfer techniques out there, all fun and useful. Here is a very low-tech and inexpensive option to add to your techniques for when you just need a little instant gratification. I demonstrate this one in my new QA Workshop DVD, Click here to buy now!
Summer 2009 StudiosMaterials:

  • Citra-Solve® — an orange-based cleaning solvent (I buy it at Whole Foods.)
  • Cotton ball
  • Metal spoon
  • Non-porous smooth surface (I use glass or my countertop.)
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric of your choice
1. Find a fun image of your favorite person or pet. Or even an Art piece.
2. Make a photocopy of the photo, sizing it no larger than 5" x 7".
3. Cut away the background and make another photocopy of the image.
4. Draw in any lines that need emphasis or add any fun scribbles you like. Maybe Grandma always wanted a tiara or your puppy looks great in polka dots!
5. Make a final photocopy. (Note: Laser and inkjet prints don’t work with this method.)
6. Tape a clean piece of fabric to your non-porous surface; stretch it tight.
7. Trim the photocopy so it has 1" of paper around it; tape it face-down on your fabric.
8. Use the cotton ball to dampen (not soak) the back of the paper with Citra-Solve; you’ll see the image show through the paper.
9. With the back of the metal spoon, rub, rub, rub like crazy in all directions. You are moving the ink from the paper to the fabric.
10. Pick up just one corner of the paper and peek to see how the transfer is working. You can put the paper back down and rub some more in any places that haven’t transferred yet.
11. Toss the paper in the trash and let the solvent evaporate.

Citra-solv: is a household solvent/degreaser. It is a non-toxic replacement for petroleum products. I've used paint stripper and you can also use laquer thinner or acetone for the technique but both are very toxic. Take great care and work outside, preferably with a ventilator.
Photocopies: Go to Kinkos, the library, wherever you can find a machine that uses toner rather than ink. You could try a laser printer. Mine (and old lexmark) uses a carbon toner that will work. You can take a small container with Citra-solv in it with you to the center to test a copy. Some machines work and some don't. You can try transferring a copy to another piece of paper. If you are not getting any transfer right away as you rub it - it's not working.
The question most people have is where to get Citra-Solv. Here is the company site
I'm told it is available at Lee Valley in Canada.