Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Trouble with Transfers Part II

This is the second part to my never ending problems with transfers and what a big help Claudine Hellmuth's workshop was (her books and DVDs are great if you can't get to a workshop). The next technique is the dreaded heat transfer technique. Why do I say "dreaded"? Because yours truly can burn herself with warm milk. So what is my problem with heat transfers besides the fact that I come close to sending myself to a burn unit every time I try to do one? Well, I get incomplete transfers and end up with little bits of paper stuck to my work. So what is the solution to my problem?

First a bit of background on heat transfers. They are pretty easy, you take a copy and put it face down on the surface you want to copy. You then apply heat to the back of the paper until the ink transfers to your surface being careful not to catch anything on fire - including yourself. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I can burn myself AND catch things on fire at the same time - I'm very talented that way. You can lift up the edge of the paper and "peek" to see if the transfer has transferred (provided that you don't have to dash to grab a fire extinguisher). If not, just keep heating. Keep in mind that this is another transfer process where the image is reversed.

The first step to heat transfer success for me was the tool I used. Claudine uses a LENK Model L16TT transfer tool that has a heating area about the size of a quarter. That doesn't mean that I can't still burn myself with it, but the inflicted damage is minimized because of a significantly smaller surface compared to the iron I typically try to use. The other "solution" is again transferring to a thickly painted or coated with gel medium surface. When those little bits of white paper stick because of over heating, you can just wet your finger and rub the paper off. I found the transfer tool very easy to use - I just rubbed in a circular motion and kept peeking underneath. I actually had one at home but didn't get it to work. Same problem - I was going to untreated paper and it didn't work well. This time it worked AND I didn't burn myself. I don't know if I'd use the process for a image I wanted complete and as perfect as possible, but I loved using it for a nice light looking background.

I used this heat transfer on the piece above called "Balance" and is in it's infant stages. I took this scan so you can better see the transfer. I like the look of the transferred text. I'm on the look out for a image to work in her right hand that will be planet Earth. If I don't find one soon, I'll make it. I will then be layering paint on the edges to "soften" things up.

So with heat transfers, I found the same to be true as with the chalking transfers - cheap B&W copies, thickly painted surfaces, and a heat transfer tool that works for you. The LENK worked for me but there is no reason an iron would work - especially for those that aren't as clumsy as I am!!


Going For Greatness said...

Omg I laughed SOOOOOOOOO HARD while reading this! ( You know you are a very talented writer! Your writing is so alive and animated!)

I can just see myself burning myself and the house down while attempting this. The way you described it is just too funny!

I think I may be lazy because it seems like sooooooooo much work goes into it. I'd be so miffed if I spent all that time trying to do it and it ripped or wrinkled or didn't transfer correctly! I'd be fumin'!!!
Great tutorial and i'm really impressed with the outcome. It came out beautifully!!!

kerrip said...

Hi Debbie,
This background is wonderful. I also laughed when I read the part about burning yourself because I was describing MaryJo's class to someone and said that I didn't like using Tranz it with an iron for the same reasons you listed in your blog. Wonderful post.

Litchi said...

Lol. Four years later I find your post in a desperate google search to figure out why my heat transfers keep going up in flames! I'm either burning the paper or melting the paint!!!!
I've decided to ditch the heat and stick to boring old gel medium but just had to say hi. ; )