Friday, June 12, 2009

Problem Solved- inkjet decal paper on polymer clay

The newest piece I'm doing has a library theme and I decided to put a title and author on all 106 books on the shelves. It was a wonderful project going through all of my books, I included childhood favourites, university texts, novels and yes, there are a few polymer clay books too.

I have used Lazertran Waterslide Inkjet Decal Paper before and love the vivid colours when I slide the decal on white polymer clay. I printed out the sheet with all 106 authors and titles and then began sticking the decals onto the "volumes". I assumed the black text would show up and the white background would disappear. This was different, and I know some of you are snickering- you're right, within a few minutes the water evaporated and the decals turned a solid white on the colourful collection of books. Disaster? I googled for a solution which was-- oil based polyurathane varnish. This tweaked a warning signal in my polybrain- I googled "oil-based polyurethane varnish polymer clay" and my fears were confirmed, the combination is problematic as the clay will soften and the surface will remain tacky. I emailed Lazertran and was impressed with the speedy response but disheartened when they told me I should be using Lazertran Silk. The idea of buying a new package of Lazertran silk and running around getting images linked up with a place with a laser printer seemed much more of a pita than inventing a solution (less fun too!). I began a series of experiments and to make a sticky story short- I found a simple solution which sprang from the effect of leached clay on paper I was on the right track when I tried rubbing Sculpey Clay Softener on the decals- it's oily and worked for a few minutes but there's a chemical that dissoves the decal- not the best effect. the next trial was the keeper and here's the process that has worked:

Smudge a very thin layer of Weldbond glue onto the clay(Lepages should work too) Place the wet decal on the glue and smooth it. Let the decal dry, it turns white. Then, the no-brainer solution- apply a very thin coating of mineral oil. The white decal backing disappears.
Keep in mind, I'm using this technique for a piece of wall art with extremely limited wear and tear.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you! I bought a package of the inkjet Lazartran thinking the same thing.... that the "decal" would be clear. Imagine my surprise when - as you say - it was WHITE instead! BUMMER! So I guess I'll pick up some mineral oil and give that a try.

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  2. Hey, thank you! That has the potential to be all kinds of useful! These little tips are the sort of things I can only get from other artists....it's why I read blogs in the first place!:D

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  3. There was no need to seal it.
    Seven years later it is intact.

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  4. There was no need to seal it.
    Seven years later it is intact.

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