Wednesday, 20 January 2016

WOYWW #346: Image transfers on translucent polymer clay

I'm here again today to link up on the Stamping Ground for this week's WOYWW. The photo below shows my desk this morning, just as I left it last night.

I was up till quite late experimenting with image transfers on translucent polymer clay. It's a hit and miss / trial and error scenario, I'm afraid. There are too many variables, which seem to significantly influence the quality of the results. Having said that, I did get some good transfers on translucent Sculpey Premo.

All those sheets of paper on my desk are laser printouts of public domain images I found on the internet, as well as my own art work that I digitalized. I wrote earlier about different transfer methods in this post. I used the water transfer method and got some interesting results on translucent clay. Just to recap: you place your laser-printed image face down on raw clay, burnish, and remove the top layers of the paper by rubbing with wet fingers until the image appears, then bake.

Translucent clay is not entirely see-through, in fact, it's rather opaque, but it gives the images a certain softness that I like, especially when held against the light. I think the best results were the ones with no background. Here are a few of the tiles I made:

The last tile could be regarded as a fail - I think I removed the paper too soon with too much water, or perhaps I didn't burnish it properly - but I quite like that distressed look. You can see some paper bits left behind, but the good news is that you can still remove these with water after the clay has been baked. In fact, it's probably safer to rub more vigorously, because by that time the toner is fused into the clay and the tile will not distort either. Now you might think, if that's the case, why don't we bake the tile with the paper and remove it later? I've tried this, but unfortunately, the paper lifted off the surface in the oven and I achieved an incomplete transfer. 

Thanks for visiting today! I hope I inspired you to play with polymer clay!