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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gel Medium Transfers Edited

After viewing the More Scarlet Fever post, Tammy asked if the gel medium transfers would work on ceramics. The answer is yes! I've done these on ceramic tiles for coasters. Both of these images are toner copies; the colored one is a collage I did of my grandfather, the other is a photo of my dad when he played baseball at Michigan State.

Many of you may already know how to do gel medium transfers, but for Tammy and anyone else who's interested, here's how:

Resize the images in your computer imaging program. Print them out with the image reversed (mirror image)--if you don't, then once you've done the transfer the image will be backwards. This is especially important if you have text in your image! Have toner copies made of them (ink jet copies will not work with this method!) Trim or tear the edges of your image. Apply a thin coat of gel medium (I use Golden Regular Gel Matte) to both the image and your surface. Place the paper face down on the tile and smooth down (I use a rubber brayer), carefully wiping away any gel medium that gets on the backside of the paper (I keep a box of baby wipes at my art table).

Let this dry completely--overnight is best. Although I've proceeded after only a few hours, the results are better if you wait. Dampen the surface of the paper and carefully begin to rub away the paper. The toner stays on the tile because it is embedded in the gel medium! Sometimes you have to let the surface dry so you can see where there are leftover fibers and then rewet it and keep rubbing.

I seal my tiles with clear spray paint from Walmart. These are pretty tough, though I wouldn't run them through a dishwasher. These coasters are the first ones I made and we've been using them for several years. I purposely aged the baseball picture by scratching away at the edges, but as you can see on the other tile, straight edges are possible too.

There's also a way to do this on not-so-flat surfaces--let me know if you're interested in that info.

P.S. for A Citizen: I've used both sealed tiles like these and tumbled marble tiles. I prefer the rough look of the tumbled marble, but the process works fine on both. I imagine you could try this on a slick piece of tile, but I'd be concerned about long term adherence. I bought both kinds of tiles at Lowe's.


Leah said...

these are awesome, karen! i love hearing about how you work.

A Citizen said...

Hi there-

Great site- I found your blog through Housewife's site- I like the process your describedIs there a particular type of tile that works better than others?

tammy vitale said...

ah, bless you. As soon as I get 5 minutes to think (well, I had 5 minutes and here I am running through all my blog friends because they're more important than 5 minutes of thinking) I'm going to try this sine Lazertran failed so miserably. You are the BEST!

A Citizen said...

Hi Karen-

Thanks for the tips on the tile- Abitious as usual- I am thinking about a wall installation with this process- a good winter project. I will let you know what I end up with...

Thanks again~!

jan said...

I found this blog on a quiet Sunday afternoon and I have a quick question. When you say transfer on a not so flat surface do you mean curved like a vase or rocky like a really bumpy surface.

Dana said...

Thanks for sharing the information on this process. I found removing the paper bits hard, especially when I also removed some of the transfer. Has anyone tried applying the photo with transfer film? I will try that to see if it works.