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Topic: transfer woes  (Read 3318 times)
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bigeyes
« on: August 10, 2007 10:56:34 PM »

So, I live a million miles from the copy shop (which lets toner based transfers out) and I was having fairly good luck with inkjet printer t shirt transfers on poly clay, but when I tried to put a glaze on them for a bit of shine, they bubbled up and went opaque.
 Angry

When I tried to do the actual transfer method they didn't peel away cleanly, so I was doing the method where you actually split the transfer away from the backing and glue it onto the clay face up.

I'm thinking Future for the glaze next time, but what can I do to to stop the transfer from bubbling up?  Should I bake the flat piece of clay and then glue it on instead of baking it on?

OR should I give up and just resin the darned things on top of my pieces of clay. Sad

« Last Edit: August 10, 2007 10:57:09 PM by bigeyes » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007 11:23:11 PM »

I don't quite understand -- Are you baking them and then trying to peel off the paper?
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bigeyes
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2007 12:21:12 PM »

I've tried both methods that I found on the internet.  The bake and peel method was disastrous, part of it adhered and part didn't.

I tried several times and it just does not work no matter how much I burnish it.

So then I tried the method where you actually cut the transfer paper apart and put the transfer face up on top of the clay glued down and bake it.  That worked some, but it bubbled up a little in spots.

The ones that looked ok I thought needed a little shine, and the directions said you could glaze them, so I tried liquid sculpey.  They came out of the oven as a complete mess.  Some were black and bubbly, some were white and goopy.

I found one more method that says to just split the transfer like I did, bake the clay and then glue the transfer on.  then do a coat of Future or resin and don't bake.  Which I guess is the method I'm going to have to use since none of the baking methods are working at all.

It just irritates me that all of these things are all over the internet and people are raving about how great they work, but I haven't gotten a single one of them to work.  Angry

So, for the one image I am going to bake flat pieces of clay and stamp them, then coat the clay with some sort of non-baking finish.  The others will just be decoupaged.  It just sort of defeats the whole purpose of using clay, I could be using wood or any other material at this point.

Sad
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007 01:00:41 PM »

If you are using your ink jet printer with regular water soluble ink, that could be the problem.  If you have a cartridge of waterproof ink around, try making one with that.  However, a copy made with toner works the best.

If you want to keep experimenting, try:

tenting a piece with foil before you bake it

removing the paper about 15 minutes into the baking and return piece to oven to finish baking

bake and try removing the paper under running water

bake, cool, wipe the paper with alcohol, and then peel.

Don't forget you can use the 'bad clay' as a center for other pieces, so experimenting is never a waste of time or money.  If you try those and any work, please let us know.   
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bigeyes
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2007 01:12:39 PM »

If you are using your ink jet printer with regular water soluble ink, that could be the problem.  If you have a cartridge of waterproof ink around, try making one with that.  However, a copy made with toner works the best.

If you want to keep experimenting, try:

tenting a piece with foil before you bake it

removing the paper about 15 minutes into the baking and return piece to oven to finish baking

bake and try removing the paper under running water

bake, cool, wipe the paper with alcohol, and then peel.

Don't forget you can use the 'bad clay' as a center for other pieces, so experimenting is never a waste of time or money.  If you try those and any work, please let us know.   

I've done all the baking under foil, so I already know that doesn't work, and fortunately i've been using my clay that is in colors I didn't plan to use for anything. It came in a multi pack, so no big loss other than frustration.

Waterproof ink?  Where do I find this?

I don't think my ink is running, it's the paper/plastic transfer  that is bubbling up from the clay, or the liquid clay is not becoming clear.  Hmmm....maybe the one that went black was from ink running though.

I'm about to give up and just decoupage.   It's just irritating that there are so many step by step instructions online and no matter how many times I follow them none of them work.  It sounds like maybe liquid Kato or Fimo are better than Sculpey but I'm kind of tired of buying new stuff and having it not work.    I've got some Lazertran for inkjet printers and I can try that too.  I know it doesn't go in the oven, so again I'll just be making clay backgrounds.

I used to be good at this stuff.  Is it possible I've gotten too old to craft? 
sigh.........
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007 01:21:47 PM »

I don't think your ink  is running, I think it may be creating a bit of steam that affects everything else.

You can buy waterproof ink at most office supply stores or on line (it will cost you more than regular.)  I'm not sure it will work, but it would eliminate the steam if that is the problem.

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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007 01:23:44 PM »

While I was writing this reply, you responded again, so I'll see if there's anything in there to address after I post this:

``````````````````````````````````````````

Quote
It just irritates me that all of these things are all over the internet and people are raving about how great they work, but I haven't gotten a single one of them to work.   Angry

This is not just a problem for you!  There are many-many ways to do "transfers onto clay" with many different papers, inks/toners, equipment, and specific techniques ...I would say that most people have to experiment a bit to find a good combination of those things that works for them and the equipment/materials/techniques they want to use... just one factor can be off and affect the result.   OTOH, some people get lucky the first time and use a combination of those things that works well.

Quote
So, for the one image I am going to bake flat pieces of clay and stamp them, then coat the clay with some sort of non-baking finish.  The others will just be decoupaged.  It just sort of defeats the whole purpose of using clay, I could be using wood or any other material at this point.

Either of those methods is fine, but as you say, you could then just be using any type of base material.  
If you actually want to do some of the methods you've mentioned (or others you haven't) to do a transfer onto clay which is not a simple decoupage or stamping, etc., though, it would be helpful if you would describe much more specifically just what you did, and which materials you used, in what order, etc.
Or just concentrate on one method/materials/technique and work on that one.

Here is a list of things I suggested participants mention in a "transfer challenge" happening on another board, so that if others want to copy the method, they'll know exactly what the other person did/used:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(The variables I've bolded are probably the most-needed ones):

"medium" used for image :
...toner-based (photocopier, laser printer) ... or ink-based (inkjet printer --some newer "printers" use toner though rather than ink)
...or another medium:  oil pastels, chalk, colored pencils, rubberstamp ink (often used just to color in a bw copy, but could just be used alone on a clay-coated paper)

type of paper
.....plain paper (for use with toner-based images)
.....release papersof various kinds:
.......clay-coated papers: photo/brochure papers, transfer papers....+ which type & brand
..........(images already on) magazine pages, images stamped onto magazine pages (no liquid clay)
.......vellum, overhead transparency papers/acetate
.......vinegar-ed plain paper

brand and color of clay (if a direct transfer)

density of image:
...graphic image, or photographic image, etc.

technique:
...direct transfer.... indirect transfer (decal)... or "decoupaged"/embedded image
...solvent or helper used:
......liquid clay, Varathane, clear acrylic medium, Omni Gel/etc., clear packing tape
...........and/or  water, gin/alcohol, none
......heat (source, how hot, hot long)
......time image left on clay, if applicable
......baking temp (bumped up at end?)
...soaking technique, if used
...need to reverse image in printer?
...anything else added or done (metallic leaf behind, etc.?)
...any finish used?

`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````  

Quote
The bake and peel method was disastrous, part of it adhered and part didn't.I tried several times and it just does not work no matter how much I burnish it.

For example, when you say "bake and peel," do you mean peeling the entire paper from the clay, or peeling some part of the paper from another part, or even peeling the paper off the clay after baking and soaking, etc.
It is true that bare spots can be a problem with some methods and techniques, but you could also be talking about the whole image "just not 'working' no matter how much it's burnished," or something else entirely. . . 

Quote
So then I tried the method where you actually cut the transfer paper apart and put the transfer face up on top of the clay glued down and bake it.  That worked some, but it bubbled up a little in spots.

Again, what type of paper did you use, for starters?  
Many papers could be considered "transfer" papers, from the several types of t-shirt transfer paper to Lazertran to various brochure or photo papers to vellum, etc, etc.  And certain types of "decal papers" can't be applied to clay raw then baked or they will wrinkle, for example.

If you used a recent method mentioned online which involves using a t-shirt transfer paper that's intended for use on dark fabrics, those yield opaque "decals" which can be basically decoupaged onto polymer clay (...rather than having only the ink transfer into the clay as with the transfer papers intended for light fabrics).  These are not the same as decals made entirely from liquid clay though (with the ink or toner image captured within them).  
Various things could go wrong there (though I haven't tried them because I don't want a raised edge to have to cover, etc.) --including the printer setting you used ...the ink should be dense so the setting should be for "Photo Quality Paper," or "Transfer Paper" (or 360 dpi?), and you don't want to use a printer which applies heat during printing (e.g., HP DeskJet 1200C or 1600C), as some examples.

Quote
The ones that looked ok I thought needed a little shine, and the directions said you could glaze them, so I tried liquid sculpey.  They came out of the oven as a complete mess.  Some were black and bubbly, some were white and goopy.

(Which method had you used for the "ones that looked ok"?)
At any rate, they probably intended for you to use a regular acrylic sealer/finish rather than liquid clay, but don't know.  You wouldn't have had to reheat an acrylic sealer (Future, Varathane, etc.) like you would the liquid clay, or you could have heated it but just not for too long (5-10 min maybe).  You generally don't want to use liquid clay (esp. TLS) if you want the clearest finish over your transfer anyway, unless you plan to sand and buff it after baking it.

Quote
I found one more method that says to just split the transfer like I did, bake the clay and then glue the transfer on.  then do a coat of Future or resin and don't bake.  Which I guess is the method I'm going to have to use since none of the baking methods are working at all.

Not sure which one you're talking about here again, but Future can generally be baked (not too hot though and not too long... say 250 for 5-10 min) if it's just the finish that's considered.  
"Resins" (2-part epoxy or polyester resins) should not be baked, at least because they can yellow.  
Whether the decal itself can be baked is another question, if it's not made from liquid clay.

Quote
I've tried both methods that I found on the internet.


Well, there are loads of methods that are discussed on the internet, so not sure which ones you've run across and which you haven't.  
You can find most all of them though, along with lessons and tips, on this page at my site:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/transfers.htm


Diane B.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007 01:29:17 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2007 01:42:06 PM »

Quote
I used to be good at this stuff.  Is it possible I've gotten too old to craft? 
sigh.........


No, don't worry .... it's mostly just that you picked one of the trickiest things to do with polymer clay and you didn't luck out by hitting on a good combination right off, or use one of the "easiest" methods.

Quote
Waterproof ink?  Where do I find this?

Some of the newer printers use "toner" (which is waterproof and automatically set with heat) instead of inkjet "ink," but you don't need to use toner as long as you're using a transfer paper of some kind --these are usually "clay-coated (not polymer clay) in one way or another so they release their ink or whatever more easily....magazine pages are also clay coated, so they release their images very easily. 
Toner (from photocopiers and laser printers) will transfer to clay just from regular paper, but b&w images work better than color ones (so a special paper is often used there as well).

Quote
I don't think my ink is running, it's the paper/plastic transfer  that is bubbling up from the clay, or the liquid clay is not becoming clear.  Hmmm....maybe the one that went black was from ink running though.

Several things here, but as mentioned before liquid clays (particular the TLS brand) won't bake up clear unless they're very thin, or they're later sanded and buffed to make them thinner.

Quote
It sounds like maybe liquid Kato or Fimo are better than Sculpey 


They are clearer after baking then TLS, even when applied a bit more thickly, if that's what you mean.

Quote

I've got some Lazertran for inkjet printers and I can try that too.  I know it doesn't go in the oven, so again I'll just be making clay backgrounds.

There are (at least) 5 types of Lazertran, and they're different; some are decals and some are not, for example ...some are "peeled" in one way, some are peeled in another ...some can be used on raw clay, some can't. 
Here's the summary of their names, from my site:

Regular Lazertran produces a decal type of transfer
.....use photocopier or laser color copier
Silk Lazertran makes a direct transfer ...not a decal
..... use photocopier or toner based laser color copier or laser desktop printer
Inkjet Lazertran produces a thin decal...opaque... soaked off
......use inkjet printer

ALSO:
Inkjet Textile Dark (same as t-shrt transfer paper "for dark fabrics"... see above)
.....use inkjet printer, peel off decal and place
Inkjet Textile Light (same as regular t-shirt transfer paper "for light fabrics"... see above)
.....use inkjet printer ... not a decal


Since Lazertran papers can all work well, you should definitely try the one you have, but I'd read up on the particular one you're using before doing that... look on the Transfers page I linked to above, but click on Lazertran, then scroll down to the exact type you have.


Diane B.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007 02:51:32 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
bigeyes
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007 03:14:25 PM »

OK, The one method said to use the t shirt transfers face down on top of the clay, burnished so it would make contact with the raw clay.  You bake, then carefully peel back from the clay and rebake to set the ink.  I followed the directions as specified for the tshirt transfer paper and the inkjet ink specified.  I made sure to use the correct printer (we have 2 at our house and I did not use the 'bad' one)

I had one that actually halfway printed but most of it peeled away.

I found another site that said to split the t shirt transfer off the paper and lay it on top of the unbaked clay, then burnish it and bake to set.
Then you have the option of glazing it with the material of your choice.
No matter how I burnish it, it bubbles up in spots.  I'm thinking if I weigh it down with a piece of glass it might not bubble.  But, since I have inkjet Lazertran, I may just bake flat pieces of clay and decal them instead.  It's almost more hassle than  it's worth at this point.

I read your page several times before I attempted this and I've visited several sites.  The whole reason why I have not done the toner based transfers which seem the easiest of all is that I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest copy shop is 2 hours away.

I've tried on Sculpey III and premo so far, but the only liquid clay I have on hand right now is liquid sculpey.

So, today I'm going to attempt one with the glass on top for baking,  and one with the tshirt transfer decoupaged, and then I'm going to try a lazertran decal after baking.  I want to try lazertran silk, but nobody has it here and I'm going to have to pay shipping on it, so I'm waiting until I need a large order of several things.

I'm noticing that the Sculpey III is not a very strong clay when baked, it's kind of squishy and brittle at the same time if that makes any sense.  You were right, the Premo is definitely better clay.  I'm planning on trying Kato  next time I order.

And I'm going to be searching for this waterproof ink, I had no idea this even existed.  I also have omnigel, but it's my understanding that it is only good for lazer printed and magazine type pages.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007 03:15:14 PM by bigeyes » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2007 07:21:55 PM »

I tried several different methods before i found one that worked for me.

I used regular print outs from my printer, but i do print it out on matte photo paper. This is the printer i have, it's a cheap all in one
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Home.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodClassId=-1&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=90777

We have 3 printers and this is the only one i have tried for this method.

I roll out my clay in a pasta machine then lay it on a ceramic tile. Then i put a very thin layer of liquid sculpey on the clay, then lay the pic (pic side down) onto the clay. I burnish it and bake it for about 35 minutes. After it comes out of the oven i let it cool a bit then while running it under water i rub the paper off.

When all the paper rubs off you can feel a difference in the texture and it feels smoother. Pat it dry with a paper towel and if there is any paper left you will be able to see it. After i make sure it's free of paper i glaze it with diamond glaze. I have not had any bubble up on me........yet. lol

I hope this helps and you can get it to work. I tried with the copies from a copy center and couldn't do squat with those, what a waste of time and money. I'm glad i was able to figure out how to use my regular printer to do this.

good luck   Smiley
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