I read about a new method of transferring images to the carving material on the AtlasQuest discussion boards (www.AtlasQuest.com), and had to try it. I was so impressed, that this is now my new ‘standard’ method of transfer.
First of all, you must have access to an ink-jet printer (not laser). Scan or capture your image so that you are able to print it on a normal piece of paper.
( I also usually print a copy of the image in reverse on the page as well so I can reference it while I’m carving. )
Take some parchment paper (yes, the same stuff you use for baking) and cut a piece a little larger than the dimensions of the image.
Place the parchment paper (with the smoothest side up) over the image and tape the corners to the paper. Regular transparent tape works well for me.
Place the paper back into your printer (so that it will re-print over the same image)….and print again.
CAUTION: The ink will be wet on the surface of the parchment paper….so DO NOT TOUCH IT (or it will smear). Gently pull the parchment square off of the plain paper and prepare to set it face-down on top of the carving material.
Remember that the ink is wet, so be careful not to slide the parchment paper on the carving material. Place it firmly onto the material and press (again, being careful not to shift the parchment). I use a burnishing tool, but you can use your fingers or the side of a pencil.
Gently lift an edge of the parchment to ensure that the image has been transferred. If it is satisfactory, remove the parchment. If not, lay it back down and rub some more.
Even though the image is now transferred, the ink will still smear on the carving material. It needs to be dried or ‘fixed’ before it can be carved. (If you are not happy with the image, you can just wipe it off at this point in time and try again.)
If you are happy with the transfer, take a Mustard colour Staz-On ink pad and press over the image to ‘seal’ it. (Don’t swipe, because it will smear.)
Allow the StazOn to dry and the image is ready to carve! 🙂