Sunday, April 03, 2011

Two Great Reasons to stay indoors and have a Creative Weekend....

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1.  When brushing the snow off your car requires a ladder.

2.  When  it's April 3rd and Mother Nature decides to knit a hat for your Buddha statue.

I'm not complaining.  I know things could be a million times worse.  And, I am feeling the satisfaction of catching up on lingering projects, plus the beginning of new creative musings taking form.

Several months ago ? or was it a year or two? I purchased several sheets of TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) used commonly by textile and surface design peeps to transfer images onto fabric.  Having recently  suggested it to a friend, I thought, hmmmm...maybe I should take my own advice for a change!  If you've not heard of it before, here's a link for you to Leslie Riley's (the manufacturer) website and store.  Instructions are also included in the package.

What follows are  images of my experimenting throughout the weekend, some tips, along with  a mini-tutorial as  a beginner with this product.  I welcome comments, tips and suggestions from any of you reading that have had more experience with this product. 

Images printed from computer onto TAP paper (I printed two of the same just to experiment with transferring onto two different fabrics.)

Images face down and ready for an iron at the highest setting - one on cotton, the other on organza.

 Result of image on cotton - if you look at the figure's head and area around it - you can see I didn't leave the iron on quite long enough to get the full transfer of the head.  Learn from my mistake and make sure all areas have been pressed sufficiently with the iron.

Here's the image on organza - very transluscent.  CAUTION - when transferring onto a porous thin fabric like organza, the transfer image will 'soak' directly through it and onto the surface below.  This makes it tricky and it goes without saying, I need more  experimenting on this method. The TAP will also make a mess of your iron and ironing board cover potentially.  I read the instructions and opted to use a Teflon sheet (a piece of parchment paper would work too) as a barrier between my iron and the paper. 

From what I can tell, TAP is a 'carrier' that has a substance similar to a polymer medium evenly applied to it.   If you've tried a matte medium transfer in the past, you may agree the results and patina are similar.  But to be clear, this is different from a t-shirt transfer product.

 Here are a few initial  advantages in purchasing this product -
  • the resulting image is transluscent, making it a great choice if you want the surface you are transferring it onto to show through - as you can see above in the "See Dick and Jane" fabric. 
  • no mess, no unhappy accidents, no clogged printers
Now, some potential disadvantages -
  • you are restricted in size to 8.5 x 11 inches
  • although I haven't completed a direct cost comparison, each sheet of TAP, if purchased in a package of 5 - is approximately $2.60 per sheet (plus shipping and handling.) In my world, that isn't cheap, particularly considering the experimentation I will undertake to explore the various potential applications in fiber arts.
Another tip comes to mind when considering the price.  It is economical to 'map out' your digital sheet when you're in front of the computer and preparing the image to print,  by  adding  other images in the empty spaces of your primary image.  For me, this is sometimes distracting as I become very focused on the project I am beginning to create.  So, searching through my database for other images to fill space leads  me out of that 'zone.'  This thus  is a comment on the importance of planning.  One suggestion is to add 'letters', phrases, or other smaller images  to keep as a 'stash' for future use.  You may want to print your name as a signature to add to your final fabric piece as a tag. 

Back to the area around the head - to fill in the missing bit, I used a pan pastel and then applied a thin coat of matte medium to seal it.  Since this is and experiment,  not meant to be a 'garment' and will therefore not be laundered, I chose this because it was close at hand.  Perhaps a more permanent solution would be to use an full bodied or liquid acrylic or Inktense colored pencils.  Other possibilities would be to use mediums specifically designed for fabric - unfortunately, being new to surface and textile design, I don't have any!

Pan Pastel to 'fix' missing portion - I am not recommending this...but it did the trick in a pinch.

The work in progress -

Here's a better photograph of the antique wooden bobbin spool I've 'laid out' to 'eye' in the above photograph - see below credits on where you can purchase them and tell Lisa, "Two" sent you.  I think they are a great way to hang a fabric piece and feel good that you are 'repurposing'.

 Antique Wooden Bobbin Spools (approximately 10 inches in length)
(photo courtesy of Lisa Jurist - Mudhound Primitives

This is  where the project 'sits' right now - I've added a layer of organza over top of the figure to visually differentiate it from the background.  I'm also playing with the neckline and sleeves as well as the hem of the dress.
Decisions are whether or not to make this a pillow or a wall hanging and you can see I am adding layers visually but as yet, unattached -   'playing' around with the illusion of a sky behind, (see credits for link to source below)  as well as the ground with another piece of fabric - an image of grass combined with a map.    I don't like the area of white at the top of the grass print and am trying to blend it in by outlining with the machine stitching  leaves of grass extending beyond the edge into the original fabric.  I've also begun adding some machine stitching over the organza area in the dress to create the illusion of wrinkles. 

Suggestions, advice, technique links and comments very Welcomed~! 

I am also very late in announcing an article and mini-tutorial on The Duck Whisperer (below).  It is published in the Spring 2011 publication - Somerset Apprentice

The Duck Whisper - 4 x 8 inch mixed media textile art
Tutorial published in Somerset Apprentice Spring 2011

Credits for mini-TAP tutorial: 
 Hand dyed vintage doilies and grid in TAP piece
Figure - Paper Whimsy, Grass - Maya (Scrapbookgrapics)
Antique wooden bobbin spool - Lisa Jurist  and purchased at her Etsy shop here 


Taluula said...

Such an interesting post, and I love the journey of you experimentation so far. I hope there will be more.

Oh, and congratulations on being published.

Lisa said...

how funny Trudi.. I just purchased some TAP earlier today..although expensive i find it easier that printing onto fabric which can be are right to suggest economizing as one can blast through the few sheets in a pack in a heartbeat...
lots of great info today...I love you've created a digital fabric collage...really pretty and creative!
many thanks for the kind mention and links!

bockel24 said...

I´m sending a few rays of sunshine to you - hope they won´t get lost on the journey! And if ever I´ll buy this TAP I hope I´ll remember coming back to your blog post ...

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I have so enjoyed your post today...there are so many things yet to be discovered with the lutradur product. I love the text you have created with the layers and additional fiber vintage pieces. We could use the sunshine here also....hurry up Spring. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

I had heard about AB getting snow but WOW, there is a lot of it! Interestingly, I have a package of TAP I haven't used as yet so you've encouraged me to get it out and give it a try. I'm always so excited to see you using goodies I have sent - lovely! Lisa's spools are fantastic.

Jade said...

i love that magazine... it's given me so many ideas. and i rlly like ur blog, you are so amazing!

Terri Kahrs said...

First -- congrats on being published i Somerset Apprentice. I LOVED the "Duck Whisperer" - it's one of my faves.

Second -- thank you, thank you for the very practical info on TAP. Since it's not an inexpensive substrate, I appreciate your tips more than you know. I'd have definitely messed up my iron and God only knows what else. LOVE the way this piece is coming along and can't wait to see the finished results! Love & Hugs, Terri xoxoxo

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I went out today and picked up the Apprentice magazine...I shared your tutorial with my husband tonight at dinner. You are so can blast through TAP papers in no time. Peace, Mary Helen

Healing Woman said...

Lisa, I absolutely love the effect you got with TAP paper. I am going to experiment with it very soon after seeing your lovely post.

Thanks so much Lisa!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

I love where you have gone with this so far, Trudi. I have TAP paper and never tried it! I like the translucent look of it . . . love your layers, the grass with the map, the printed fabric you transferred onto . . . I think it is looking good. You will know how you want to finish it, I think the piece will tell you! lenna