Friday, December 13, 2013

Au Naturel

I mentioned a few days ago about wanting to create a series of nature journals.  Since then I decided to focus most, if not all of the rest of my bookmaking escapades on nature journals.  Meaning, I've finally found an area to explore content-wise.

Thus far all my hand bound books have been "blank" in terms of content, despite the fact that most utilize recycled papers that have some text and photos on them.  I always intended that whatever each got used for would become the an art journal, or a travel journal or whatever.

But I've done a lot of those already -- likely more than I can use up in my lifetime, especially since I continue to create project-specific journals (like the Rainbow Escape one I'm close to completing).
So now I'm aiming my efforts toward nature journals.  The journal above, which you saw originally early this year, has become my idea compendium and record of experiments toward this end.  I added the rock button and ribbon closure yesterday.

Yesterday I also did a bunch of experiments with digital print and photo transfers, using an image of mine from a few years ago.  First, I applied a grunge overlay and saved the photo.

The first set ~ direct print on matte photo paper, and direct print on rice paper.

Second set ~ direct print on glossy photo paper, and print on glossy paper scratched with sand paper.

This was a print on tissue paper, adhered to the page with matte medium.  I've had success with tissue paper prints before, but not this time.  It might have been the old book page with a lot of fiber in it that didn't work well for this...I'm not sure.  Previously I've used tissue prints on canvas as well as gessoed journal pages and had great results both times.
I read somewhere recently about making transfers with alcohol gel (Purell hand sanitizer) I thought, why not skip the gel and just spritz alcohol on the receiving surface.  Worked perfectly!  This image was printed on an Apollo transparency, applied to rice paper that was spritzed with alcohol.  This might be my favorite transfer.

Apollo is a brand of transparency.  It was recommended when I first began experimenting with photo transfers a few years ago, so I don't have any idea how well other brands would work.

I've never had luck with the oft-stated method of printing an image on cheap glossy paper and transferring the image with water onto a receiving surface.  It's really hard to find cheap-enough photo paper these days, that is, paper that doesn't grab the ink and hold on.  I did try it again yesterday, but, as before, it didn't work.

This image to the right was printed on transparency, then transferred with water onto the book page.  Water/transparency works fine; water/glossy photo paper does not (in my experience).

The last image is a transparency image transferred with alcohol.

I like the photo transfer results with transparency and alcohol the best.  I'll stick with this method.


ileneharris said...

Wow! You have been really busy. New direction, new ideas, new books. Very inspiring...

Meg Fowler said...

Great experiments on these transfers, Connie. I really like the alcohol spray method. Never tried that one before ... but I definitely will. Thanks!

Irene said...

What fun that was to see the results of all the different methods. I think it is a very personal choice to say which you like best. It all depends on what effect you are after. I like several of them and not necessarily the clearest ones.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like this last one printed on the text ... so hard to tell on the screen as I think 'in person' might be another choice. Beautiful photo all different ways! said...

Oooooo love this. Thanks for explaining how you did it. I love the transfers and the nature journal. Very inspiring.

john said...

What a perfect endeavor!

Karen Isaacson said...

great tips! I've tried water and transparencies (with mixed results)- can't wait to try it with alcohol. I love the way your transfers look.

Maggi said...

Really interesting way to document the processes. I love the way that they look and can see merits in all of them.