Thursday, 15 April 2010

DT Challenge - month one, part two

I have been experimenting with the products in the Golden Mix More Media kit that Lynne at The Altered Element challenged me with this month. These products are intended to allow ink jet printing on surfaces other than paper, and the Golden web site provides instructions on how to apply the products which are clear and - when done by experts - make it look very easy.

As is typical for me I launched straight in, and as a result have a few mishaps to report and some advice to give.

1. Practice running the materials you intend to eventually use through your printer before you do anything else. The Golden website recommends using a printer where the "paper" passes flat through the printer but mine (and a lot of other small home models) either passes the paper in a U shape doubling back or in an L shape from the veritcal rear loader bending at right angles to pass through the printer. It is therefore not possible to get some materials to go through without jamming the printer. I only discovered this after I had spent time and used lots of the product painting layers on unsuitable things,so put the materials through as a test (print one full stop in a corner if your application tell you there is nothing to print) before you do anything else. I couldn't get Ten Seconds Studio metal or kitchen foil taped to paper to go through at all but had more success with thin canvas stuck to paper.

2. Buy a foam brush. I tried applying the media with a normal paint brush and when I had done two coats in opposite directions the result was quite heavy and textured. That might be OK in some circumstances but wasn't what I really wanted so bear it in mind. You get a smoother coverage more quickly if you use a foam brush.

3. Play with both clear and white media on test surfaces so you can compare the results. I started out using the clear medium on some canvas thinking it was already white in colour and clear would be sufficient, but then decided to paint a strip with the white medium as well to compare results.

The image on the RHS is printed on the white medium and the others on the clear. The colours are stronger on the white which I prefer.

4. If you have prepared material which won't run through your printer don't despair, recycle. I have found that by using a very damp washing up sponge you can gently rub off the Medium for non porous surfaces and any printing disasters from Ten Seconds Studio Metal sheet so it can be used for something else.

The images I didn't like on the canvas experiment I simply gessoed over the top so I can reuse that too - but probably not thorugh the printer now!

So onto my project.... Having had some issues with printing onto various substrates my best results to date were onto canvas like fabric so this is what I have used as the focus for this piece.

The base is a canvas that I had prepared previously for another project. I covered it with torn pieces of old sheet music to give some texture. Old book pages or scraps of other paper would do too. Over this I swiped Gesso and then layers of paint to get a mixture of toning colours at random which complemented the picture. You could do this also by recycling a cardboard box with a lid as the base instead of a canvas because once it is covered no one will know.

Because I was working with a picture on canvas I wanted to include other fabric and stitching within the project. I coloured a scrap of muslin and some ribbon with Glimmer Mist (but Cosmic Shimmer Misters of Ranger Adirondak Colour Wash would work too) and sprayed paper flowers too.

The ribbon is glued right round the outside edge of the canvas.

Being unable to resist a bit of glitz I sneaked a small square of ironed Fantasy Fibre into the mix before stitching the canvas picture to the coloured muslin. If you don't have a sewing machine and/or don't have thread the right colour spritz some to colour it and hand stitch instead.

I then added lots of paper flowers coloured to match. These extend round the sides and over the top of the canvas, although I've kept the base free so the canvas will stand up.

Each flower is finished with a button or sequin glued in the centre.

And the final result looks like this....

Experiments will continue, so don't be surprised if Golden Media put in an appearance in later projects.


  1. Wow, I LOVE your finished canvas - beautiful work :-)
    I have never ever had success with image transfers although I have tried many times. It seems like you had had much success here. Kate x

  2. Love the colours on this, my favourite combination