Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rub-on Transfers - Laser Printed Transparencies

Now it's time to see if these rub-ons I've been experimenting with work with laser prints.

The Products:
  • Apollo Color Laser Printer Transparency Film (CG7070)
  • Samsung ML2010 Black & White Laser Printer
The Process:

Again, pretty simple. I just printed off my images onto the Transparency Film, using my laser printer this time, cut out my image, and then rubbed it onto my surface. I tried this in my art journal, which had a coat of gesso on it. I just wanted to see if it would work, so I wasn't worried about following the procedure I used in the 1st experiment, where I transferred an inkjet print onto a piece of plain copy paper.

This time, I went ahead and tried my transfer right away. I do believe that the sooner you make the transfer, from the time of printing, the easier it is to rub-off. I forgot to mention that the transfer I made in the 1st experiment, with inkjet prints, was done within one hour of printing, while the transfers I did for the 2nd experiment were done over 2-3 days after I'd printed them. It seems I had to rub much harder on those 2nd experiment transfers. Just a word to the wise, if you're going to try this.

The Results:

(click image to enlarge)

It worked!


I think it worked even better than the inkjet prints I tried, in that it's clearer and darker (i.e. more ink came off of the transparency). However, the image itself printed more clearly with the laser printer (which makes sense, as the transparencies are made for laser printers). I also did this transfer within 5 minutes of printing it, so it's hard to tell if it's the laser toner that's making the difference, if it's the time factor that's making the difference, or if it's both.

I will be re-running the same experiment that I did with acrylic mediums, using these laser prints, over this next week. I want to see, again, how well they stand up to abuse and wet mediums. Because the prints will be older by the time I transfer them (I printed off a bunch of the same image on the same transparency), maybe we'll be able to tell if time makes a difference in how much ink comes off the transparency and onto the surface.

ETA: From some of the comments and emails I've been getting, I realized I wasn't being clear about something on these rub-on transfer experiments. I've been printing on the "right" side of the transparency, the side that's a little bit rough to the touch. This is the side that has the coating, that allows the ink to stay put on the film, without it beading right off. This is also the side that's recommended when doing Leslie Riley's technique for inkjet transfers. That's why I was so surprised that it worked - I didn't need a wet medium for me to be able to rub the print right off the transparency.

I do know that there is a technique where you can print on the "wrong" side of the transparency, the smooth side with no coating, and then immediately do a transfer onto your substrate. I've had problems with this in the past, where the ink would just bead up way too much for me. I have yet to try that technique with these printers, but I've added it to the list. But, it's another reason why I was so excited that these worked - the need to transfer immediately seemed to be taken away. Of course, I've noticed that it's easier, when it comes to the rubbing, to do it sooner than later, but it's not necessary. I was able to print off a whole slew of images onto one transparency that I can save for later.

Just wanted to make sure I'm being clear. :D


Zom said...

Only related because this is about transfers:
I just tried an old method that I know I have done before. Taking a photocopy and putting gesso on it than pressing it down onto a page painted with acrylic paint. I left it to dry then rubbed off the back with water.
It didn't work. Just absolutely didn't work. Maybe I didn't leave it long enough.

Next time I will get it photocopied to a transparency and try your method.

DellaLuna said...

Hrrmmm (puts on her technique diagnosis MD coat)...the first thing I thought "I wonder what brand gesso she used?", and then I realized it shouldn't matter, right? Acrylic gesso may vary in formula, but it's still basically acrylic polymer with marble dust in it, with some pigment added, right? And it's that acrylic polymer that's going to pull the toner into it, and keep it there.

Which makes me wonder about the photocopier. I know that some people have reported that certain, newer photocopiers don't make good transfers. As in, people have gone "Photocopier shopping" for their transfers, trying out different copiers to find the ones that work. It's something about certain newer formulas of toner just wanting to stay into the paper they were printed on (makes sense, I'm sure manufacturers *want* that toner to stay put, and so put their R&D dollars to making that happen).

Could that have been the problem? Because that so should have worked, like you said.

Zom said...

You could have a point there. I am pretty sure this was one of the new photocopiers. I will have to try it again.

I actually did it on acrylic paint not gesso. But that hasn't been a problem in the past.