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
from Lorraine Stobie
Figure - Paper Whimsy, Grass - Maya (Scrapbookgrapics)