Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digital Printing on Wood Veneer

Wood veneer, what a great surface for digital printing.  For these test examples of the wood surface, I used a bark print designed from a photo taken in Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.  The print is textural and works well with the grain of the wood veneer.    The prints are created with 6 of the inkAID precoats: semi gloss, clear matte, type ll, pearl iridescent, silver iridescent and gold iridescent.  Who would want to cover the wood with an iridescent when the wood grain may not show thru?  I would, because I want to see what effect all the precoats have on the wood and the look of the print.  You never know what you may discover.

The iridescent is interesting since it emphasizes the texture of the wood and still shows some of the grain.  You can see from the pictures, the iridescent's look white that is mostly cause by reflection of the iridescent.  Up close they look mostly iridescent, but these precoats do lighten up the wood surface.

The differences in the precoats are hard to capture on camera, but there is a difference between the semi gloss, clear matte and the type ll.  My choice for clarity and the brightest image on the wood is clear matte.  Although my advice is to try all of the coatings to see which is best for your purpose.  It is always better to try them all and make notes while you are experimenting.  The gold iridescent is beautiful on the wood.

I worked with a cherry type color of veneer and also a white birch type color.  You will need to decide what is best for your purposes.  My suggestion again is to try them and play with images and coatings to see what works for you.

Here are some hints on coating the veneer.  If you are using smaller pieces of veneer (my prints measured 17" x 76") you will want to tape the very edges of the veneer to your table.  The thinner the veneer, the more it wants to roll when wet.  If you have the veneer rolling to one side or the other, even when you flatten it, you may have a little lift on the edge.  This lift will or edge curl can catch on your print heads and that is not a good thing.  I pressed the veneer with an iron after coating and drying, and set it under my 48" x 96" mats on my tables.  There was a little edge lift or curl when I coated the back side with white matte precoat in order to print the back.  I didn't tape the veneer to the table, but probably will the next time.  No carrier sheet was used to print.

My next challenge is the art pieces that are taking shape in my mind.  It will take a bit to get that going and once I do, the results will be in a future post.

If you want more information about the wood veneer I am working with, please contact Pat Dowlen.
He is a great guy and would love to talk to you about this product.  He can tell you how to purchase the veneer and sizes etc.  You can also contact me for any questions you have about working with this surface.  I am happy to share whatever I know.

Detail pics of printed veneer:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Polymer Clay Journal Covers

Book of Forests 6 was completed at the end of January during Winter Play in Port Townsend Washington. Teesha and Tracy Moore were the hosts for this incredible weekend.  Lots of time to concentrate and create as well as enjoy the other participants.  My focus was to use the polymer clay covers for my latest art book - Book of Forests 6.   To the left above, you see the front and back covers.  The darker is the front and composed of polymer clay, that has embedded wire mesh on the surface.  Holes are drilled for other elements to be attached with wires.


This book is composed of a multitude of digitally printed surfaces that have been assemble to make up the pages.
Printed lace paper with printed canvas accents.
Printed lace paper, printed vellum, wire mesh,
printed canvas, beads.
Printed cheesecloth skins, printed lutradur, printed watercolor paper.

Printed vellum, collaged and printed watercolor paper, crocheted hemp, printed beverage can, wire and beads.
Printed copper and bronze mesh with brass wire

Printed aluminum screen, beads, wrapped ring.

Top view of Book of Forests 6.  Pages are around 5" x 5".  These book pages will be included in my ebook in progress "Assemble Intriguing Surfaces"  Hopefully the book will be available in April.  
"Assemble Intriguing Surfaces" will document how many of my assemblages are created with lots of visuals and creative ideas.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mariposa Grove 2-Recycled Beverage Cans

Mariposa Grove 2 is the latest piece in my Forest Surfaces Series.  The recycled beverage cans in this piece are coated with inkAID Type ll precoat before printing with my Epson Stylus PRO4800.

Meriposa Grove measures 81" x 36" and is composed of 146 cans.

The squares of cans are pieced with 3 layers.  Each squares bottom layer is half of a can, the middle is crocheted 28 gauge steel wire, the top layer is a half of a can that is cut in 4 pieces and then wired to all the layers with 24 gauge copper wire.  The squares and other can pieces are assembled with 24 gauge copper wire.  There are detail pictures in my post of January 15, 2010-Assembling Digital Prints on Beverage Cans.

Also there is a video update on printing the cans and how I assembled them in my blog post of January 20, 2010- Recycle a Beverage Can to a Digital Print-Video Update.

Details below