Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inkjet Transfer Experiment #3 - Transfer Goop

Now I'd like to show you the results of my experiment with Transfer Goop transfer medium by Artisan's Choice, as well as do a little review of the product.

The Product:

Transfer Goop is a transfer medium designed to be used with inkjet prints, laser prints, newspapers, and/or magazine clippings. It usually comes in a kit called "Transfers Unlimited", and costs about $15 for the whole kit at Michael's, the last time I checked. The Transfer Goop is sold separately as a refill for about $8.
You can buy the release paper separately, as well.

Transfers Unlimited is packaged as a complete transfer system, taking you from making the transparent transfer off of your image, through to ironing it onto fabric, leather or wood. The transfer has a stretchy, rubbery quality to it, and is quite thick and durable. The Transfers Unlimited package is sold with the Transfer Goop, 6 sheets of Release Paper (for ironing your transfer onto your surface), a sheet of clear Transfer Film, 4 pieces of white backing cloth and a bristle brush for painting on the Transfer Goop.

The Process:

I'm not sure how Artisan's Choice is doing as a company, because their website only has a front page, and all of their instructions and project ideas aren't up on their site anymore. They have a note saying "Our Website is being revised to serve you better, for now please email artistanschoice@comcast.net", and has been saying that for at least 9 months. I bought the Transfer Goop separately, and as it didn't come with instructions, I had to look the directions up via the Internet Wayback Machine. The instructions are listed there.

Transfer Goop comes in a little jar 4 oz. jar that needs to be stirred extremely well prior to use. You spread the Transfer Goop on your image, but instead of waiting for it to dry, you either bake it, or heat it with your heat gun. It acts almost like an embossing powder, in that you heat it until the surface turns glassy and completely clear. Then, you just let it cool, and soak your paper off of the back. From there, you can then use more Transfer Goop to glue your image onto your surface, and iron the transfer down, using their special release papers to do so.

The Results:

Here's how my two transfers with Transfer Goop came out. The one on the Left was printed on HP's Everyday Matte Photo Paper, and the one on the Right was printed on JetPrint's Imaging & Photo Matte Paper. Both were printed from an Epson Workforce 500 with Durabrite Inks.

(click the image to enlarge)

Conclusion & Review:

Working with Transfer Goop is a bit of a trying process. First of all, the odor of the stuff isn't pleasant at all, and gave me a headache. I can smell some kind of petroleum distillates in there. The jar also has a tendency to leak on me, so I have it double-bagged in Ziplocs, to stop the leaking and the smell. Then, I had trouble heating the Goop with my heatgun, without then turning it slightly brown (burning it). Also, when I went to remove the paper from my transfers, I learned quickly not to use my finger-nails to scratch the paper, at all, because it removed the ink clean off of the surface of the transfer (those white dots in the transfer on the left).

I do like how thick and stretchy the transfers are, though. These are tough transfer skins, and would probably hold up quite well on a well-loved and well-used homemade handbag. I like how vibrant the colors came out on the HP Everyday Matte Photo paper transfer, and might have had a perfect transfer if I hadn't used my nails to get the paper off. With a bit of practice, I can probably get the heating part right, without turning the transfer brown.

But I won't be trying that anytime soon, as it's just not worth it to me, for the solvent smell (this is why I didn't bother with trying this on plain copy paper).

Next up - Pearl-Ex pigments and trying out different paint binders (like Gum Arabic and Matte Medium).

ETA: Zura made a good catch. I actually used two different images on the two different transfers. The one on the left, printed on the HP Everyday Matte Photo paper, has an extra orange, leafy border that wasn't in the one on the right. Because we always need a control to make a proper experiment, and my image was my control, I'll be redoing this experiment. This will give me a chance to try this on plain copy paper, too. :D


Zom said...

Pearl-ex paint binders for transfers? Unfortunately we don't have a lot of this stuff for sale in Australia. But I am still finding it fascinating reading.

Zura said...

dangit! i wrote a long comment and it messed up and i lost it. just saying that the two pictures look different ...is that just from the different papers?

DellaLuna said...

Zom, this is what Pearl-Ex is: http://www.jacquardproducts.com/products/pearlex/. It's finely ground up mica powder. You can then mix it in with a binder (like glaze medium or gum arabic) to make a paint out of it. So, I'm going to test out different binders, and see how they work. This won't be an image transfer experiment, but more of those will be coming in the future (I have some Sheer Heaven and Liquid Polymer Clay to test out, and we haven't even gotten into laser print transfers...holy cow!)

You all might have Radiant Pearls by Ranger? It's mica powder, too, but they added a binder to it, so you can make a paint out of it.

Good catch Zura! I DID use two different images, only I didn't realize it at the time. The one on the left has an extra orange, leafy border that's not in the one on the right. Huh...dangit, that means re-testing. If you're going to compare results, you have to have a control, and my image has been my control. But, that's ok, because I wanted to test plain copy paper, so I can do that at the same time. :D

Oh, and I was messing with my Blogger settings (turned off comment moderation), and I bet I saved it right when you were posting, so I'm sorry about that. :D

Zom said...

I can buy mica powders. That sounds great, testing different binders. Would linseed oil be one of those? Or would you just add the powder to paint?

DellaLuna said...

Zom, the Linseed Oil is a great idea for me to try! I actually have some (even though I don't work with oils...it will age paper, apparently. At least, I think that's why I got it, lol), but hadn't thought about it, since I was focusing on water-based mediums. Jacquard's website says they'll mix with oils and varnish, so I don't see why not. But, of course, now I have to test it, so, we shall find out how it looks. :D

I think I'll try it in Dorland's Wax Medium, too, which has some solvents in it, just to compare.

And yes, you can add the powder to any transparent paint. Opaque's won't work, since they'll just coat and cover up the metallic sheen. The interference colors Pearl-Ex makes look so subtle and wonderful in transparent paints.

Thank you so much for the feedback, y'all. I think I'm starting to get why blogging can be addictive...it's the interaction! I wouldn't have tested Linseed Oil if you hadn't said something, Zom, so you're giving me more ideas here. And I wouldn't have caught the different images if you hadn't said something, Zura. So yay for comments!

Zom said...

I was just being selfish, as I paint in oils, tee hee.

And you are right, oils aren't good directly on paper. You can gesso it first though and the oils are all right.

DellaLuna said...

I'll try it on gesso-ed paper, so you can see what it would look like, on properly sealed paper. I was just going to try it on black cardstock (the metallic shows up best on dark colors), but since linseed oil isn't meant to be used on straight paper, I'll do it that way. So I can be all authentic-like. :D

Awesome suggestions, Zom! Like I said, I don't work with oils, so this is great information.

I also have a happy accident to post soon...next post, in fact. It's nothing to do with Pearl-Ex - I made a rub-on transfer that was ridiculously easy. Love those happy accidents!