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Xerox transfers



My phone line just got reconnected after a heavy snow storm here, so
forgive my late response, although I've noticed lots of input on photocopy
transfers, so my info may be redundant. I should note that if transfer of
images is of real interest, the more expensive, but certainly more reliable
(once you learn how) and less health-sensitive method is using Polaroid
materials. They (Polaroid) have lots of printed material and instructions
on both emulsion and image transfers, and I'm sure would send it to
interested people. Polaroid Corporation 575 Technology Square Cambridge, MA
02139. (I do not work forPolaroid!)

Here's what I know on how to do the photocopy transfers:

 My instructions on this process came from a workshop on Alternative
Photographic Processes at Art New England with photographer Jane Tuckerman.
The three methods we discussed (some we tried) are outlined as follows:

1.Using a P-O Blender Marker (made by Chartpak): Take a fresh photocopy of
whatever you want to transfer, place it face down on the paper of your
choice and tape it down on one edge so it won't misalign. Then take the pen
and paint the back of the image area with the marker. Make sure you work in
small areas at a time coating the paper with the "ink" from the pen. The
image will break down and transfer onto the paper. Check your progress and
you may need to go over the area more than once. Remove the copy slowly
from the base paper.This marker does smell and you should have good
ventilation, perhaps outside or sitting by an open window. It worked fine
for me although I transferred small photocopies.

2.Using  water and a dry mount press: Soak a good quality printmaking paper
(hot press works best) in warm water. Blot it so it is damp, not wet. Place
a color laser/photo copy face down on the damp paper and put them in a hot
dry mounting press (250-300 degrees) for 1-3 minutes. According to Jane,
the image will often transfer and sometimes the colors will intensify. If
the pages stick together(apparently a common problem), place them in warm
water and soak them until they separate. You could also test to see if the
colors will migrate with dry rather than wet paper. I think I tried this
one and found the transfer wasn't very good.


A warning about the next method. Remember that solvents can be hazardous to
use and they need to be disposed of in a safe fashion. Read the label of
the solvent, wear gloves that are rated for the solution, if need be, wear
the proper type of mask.

3.Using solvents: GO OUTSIDE. Follow the same initial steps as with the P-O
Blender marker. Then instead of using the marker, brush on or dab on
solvent. I believe I used acetone, but she recommends Thin-X and paint
thinner. You can try soaking the base paper in solvent first to speed up
the transfer. You may need to apply pressure to the copy to transfer the
image, back of a spoon or a brayer seem to work well. I tried this at the
workshop and ran my image with base paper through a press, it came out
great but the smell was powerful despite the fancy venting hood that was
over the press. Then I tried it outside, with a spoon for pressure. It
worked fine, but I had a Plexiglass surface on which I was working and the
entire piece adhered to the Plexi and I was unablt to separate them. It
must have chemically melted the Plexi to the paper. As I recall I used a
color photocopy that had been made on a plastic substrate, as to be used on
an overhead projector. I also had them flip the image so that it would read
correctly once I made the transfer. I think the plastic copy was good
because the ink/dyes were sitting on top of the plastic and perhaps more
available to transfer. But, I had to apply the solvent onto the paper first
and then set the copy down onto it, since the plastic wouldn't let the
solvent go through it as a paper copy would.

And yes, emulsion is the wrong term...it is toner. Forgive my photographic
terminology.

Stephanie


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