by SL Savarick
I know that the subject of photocopy transfers onto polymer is the one
technique that I truly believe has as many successfully methods as
there are people doing them. There are so many variables that even
when one finds a method that they believe is foolproof, they can find that their favorite method does not work for them on a particular day. And, then
they may try it again and find it works great!
And then there are slight differences in the results. I have found that I can
get much crisper blacks using a solvent such as gin, but then I have
also found that I can get blurry results from using a solvent if I use
too much or the studio is warmer than usual. I think the trick is to
master as many photocopy transfer techniques as possible that work for you and that you like doing. Then, if on any given day you
find you're not getting the results you are satisfied with from one
technique you can try another.
One thing I have done in experimenting is to break down the variables
to help me solve the problems quickly. Once you find how the
variables interact and how you interact with them, it becomes quite
easy to get the results you want no - matter what they are.
Here is how I break down the Variables - it may seem like a lot, but it's
really not. Not every variable has the same level of importance for
every method used. For example, the weight of the paper used to
make the photocopy is not as important in a dry transfer method as it
is in a wet one. Another example - the temperature of the clay at time of
first contact with copy is not as important in a baked transfer as it
is in a dry transfer, but it becomes VERY important in a Tear Away
Transfer than in a straight toner to clay dry transfer.
FOR BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOCOPY TRANSFERS
CLAY, METHOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES
- Age, make and model of photocopy machine (even the specific machine used)
- Settings on copier, such as Darkness, Original, Type, Zoom percentage, etc...
- Toner used - Brand, Batch Ingredients (I find ones that use a higher
Graphite content seem to work better with dry transfers)
- Temperature that the toner fuses to the paper
- Paper used - weight, finish (smooth,cold or hot press, etc..) fiber
- Length of time copy has been stored ( 1 day, a week , 6 months ...)
SOLVENT VARIABLES FOR WET TRANSFERS
- Brand of clay used. Batch clay came from. Color of clay used.
- Age of clay used
- Thickness of sheet of clay used
- Temperature of clay at time of first contact with copy
- Temperature of clay during transfer
- Temperature of clay at time copy is pulled from clay
- How copy is placed on clay (borders, overlap, proximity of edges of
copy to edges of clay)
- Method used to apply copy to clay ( how copy is burnished. Pressure,
length of time, tools used, direction ect.. )
- Dry or wet transfer (see Solvent VBariables below)
- Length of time copy is in contact with clay
- Number of times copy is burnished to clay (as well as how, Pressure,
length of time tools used etc... )
- How transfer is pulled from clay ( speed, direction, angle of pull)
- Temperature of studio
- Humidity in the air
OH, AND ONE LAST ONE...
- Solvent Used - Gin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Wintergreen oil, Lacquer
- Temperature of solvent at time of transfer.
- Amount of solvent used.
- How solvent is applied - brushed, pounced with cotton ball, etc...
- Number of times and the time between each application of solvent.
YOUR TRANSFER KARMA
<G> OK, it's just a joke, just in case you think I'm too
- How many copy machines have you damaged in your present and past lives
- How many copies did you steal from the office copier for your kids
- How many Kinkos Employees you have told off.
ANYWAY, all these variables may seem like a lot, but each one will play a role in
the results of a transfer. Once you understand them, and how they each
interact, you will be able to get perfect result every time, no matter
what your needs are or the circumstances.
Thank you, SL. You can Email SL at
This page is part of the Polymer Clay Cyclopedia being assembled by the friends and members of Polymer Clay Central, http://www.polymerclaycentral.com.
We wish to encourage all beginners to print these pages, published in the Polymer Clay Cyclopedia Format.
(The Cyclopedia Format is the lavender ruled white paper background).
The PCC Cyclopedia entries & images are provided free & without charge by the authors & artists who wrote and/or created them. Their use here is WITH PERMISSION.
Copyrights to all written entries & all images are held by the authors & artists who submitted them. Members of this forum may print the pages for their personal use. However, entries & images may not be copied, reproduced, retrieved or used elsewhere in any written, print or electronic form, without the express written permission of the person or persons who hold copyright to the particular item or items under consideration.
Polymer Clay Central Home Page | Polymer Clay Cyclopedia Contents