Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barking mad indeed!

I must be stir crazy! As if all that hard yakka wasn't enough, I opted to bring home some extra homework for the rest of the week. I had always planed on adding some designs on the inside of the doors, namely an image of the tree's branch as well as words that represent what the particular tree means to me... Well, the little doors came back home with me yesterday, and today, I've been hard at work on creating the designs that will be transferred unto the plywood. Initially, I was going to pyrograph the wood, but since our teacher showed us a nifty new image-transferring technique yesterday, I decided to go that route. It's called "impasto gel medium transfer" and it opens up a whole new world of creativity for me (as if I needed more outlets!)

The way this technique works is by taking an image, coating it with a thick layer of impasto gel, applying it to the support base (it can be a canvas, fabric, wood or even glass), rolling out the excess with a little rubber roller, and then letting it fully dry overnight. The following day, you wet the back of the paper and slowly and gently start rubbing it with a damp cloth until most of the paper fibres are removed. You can then let it dry and gently buff it with a very fine steel wool (4 zero is best). The image remains embedded within the gel medium and unto your base. If you're a bit too rough with removing the paper, you can end up rubbing the image back, but the end result doesn't look that bad anyway... It gives it an Old World photo feel to it. It's quite interesting! So today, I bought some impasto gel and a roller and gave it a go (on a scrap piece of plywood first, of course.) Bear in mind that if you have text or are pedantic about the orientation of your image, you first need to print a flip-mirror copy of it, otherwise it will be back to front. Hopefully, my little test run will come out brilliant and I'll be using it instead of pyrographing the ply (burnt plywood stinks and the fumes are toxic... Wasn't looking forward to that task.) The added bonus is that with the Photoshopped image, I can replicate the actual grain of the particular wood, instead of relying on the bland plywood look. Will keep y'all posted about the outcome.

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