Wednesday 20 February 2019

Bugs and Birthdays, Image Transfer Revisited Yet Again and Necklace Prevaricating. . .

It seems that Monthly posts will be the way to go for this blog. I intended to keep the posts coming every ten days or so, but that hasn't happened, so monthly it is. I hope. . .

There has been a particularly nasty flu bug going round our part of the UK this year. And although normally I am one of those people who 'Doesn't get ill', it knocked me for six. Admittedly, not for long, It was an intense night of constant coughing and no sleep at all, followed by a day of feeling 50% less ill but very sleep deprived, then a slow recovery over the next two weeks. I am back to about 85% normal but my work, the celebration of my wife's birthday, Valentine's day and my birthday were seriously disrupted. . .

But we did manage to get away for a night on Valentine's day, to this place. . .

And the weather was bright and clear, if a bit chilly

Anyway, back to something approaching normal now, cross fingers.

I have been getting back into making image transfer tile beads using my digital images. Trying to let the images speak for themselves a bit more than I used to. I made some bigger, more confidently patterned beads.

My idea was to sell them as plain tile beads, without bails or frames etc. This wasn't entirely successful. I think buyers like the extra element that a wire frame can add. I admit that I do too.

I tried deliberately not distressing the images, in line with my intention to let them speak for themselves as mentioned above, but I couldn't ignore the fact that my image beads look so cool when they have been knocked about a bit and scratched up, so I gave in to my instinct and gave them the treatment.

The black and white image beads seemed to respond best to this treatment. Especially once attached to a suitable upcycled wire frame.

same as the first image in this post in case you were wondering

I did discover something faintly interesting though. I had a small, bright, abstract, printed image in my image drawer that I thought would make a good tile bead. So I did the usual thing of placing it face down on poly clay, wetting the back and rubbing to transfer the image. it was only then that realised that it was an inkjet print and not a laser one. It was on high quality matt paper so the image stayed crisp and didn't run. Once all the backing paper was rubbed off I was left with a very thin but dull looking layer adhering to the polymer clay. It didn't look very good so I picked at a corner and found the whole layer just peeled off leaving the image on the poly clay. Unfortunately the image left on the poly clay was only about half as bright as the original print, but at least I got a result from inkjet paper, which I didn't think was possible. So image trans from inkjet paper is possible by the wetting and rubbing method, up to a point. As the tile bead looked quite old already I distressed it up a bit, which made it look like a very battered artifact from an alien civilisation or somesuch.

I know, but I did say only 'faintly interesting'. . .

On the necklace front, I made some somewhat more conventional bead ones, using some of my seriously grungy, rustic, crackle glaze effect, ancient look technique beads. I am quite pleased with them, and will probably try them for sale quite soon. Most likely in my own Facebook selling group, once I have created one that is. . .

Until next time. .
Jon x


  1. Sometimes when life hands you lemons - they just remain lemons. Like getting sicka and trying to recover that while your artistic abilities take a backseat and wait.

    I'm pleased to hear you are feeling better now Jon. I've my fingers crossed that I don't get it this year. I wear a mask when I'm out and about due to a very poor immune system and have plenty of hand gel with me if I have to touch anything other people do. Sounds like a germaphobe I know but it keeps me health(ier).

    So my question is this time around - is the first image the one from the injet? If so it's fab. I really like it. The softness of it.

    And once a month blogging is better then no blogging at all. I do love to read your blogs. I shared some of them with my brother who is a potter. His first comment was about the mask you made! That made me smile. He was taken with your work - probably far more then he's taken with my own work! LOL. That's okay. He does appreciate artists. So there you go.

    I do love looking at what you're working on. I also know that writing a blog and posting pics with it is very time consuming and can often feel like a chore. Especially if you don't know if anyone appreciates it or not.
    I did that for a long time - about 6 years or so - and finally took a much needed break. But I never lost touch with the friends I made while blogging. We shared emails and now can reach out and continue sharing in a different way.

    That being said - I wouldn't be able to see your work or know much of what you're doing without your blogging. I'm not a fan of FB. I rarely go on there. So I miss what you post there.

    K - enough of my blabbing. I've got work to do today and am so eager to get into my studio. The sun is shining and it's only -23C. So a perfect day for studio work.

    I'll proceed with my day happy to have read your blog. That's just me Jon.

    1. Oh yeah, ONLY -23C. . . ;-) Everything would grind to a halt round here long before temperatures got that low. We got sunny and 10C today, which is very warm for Feb. Gardening weather. Great to be outside wrestling with the brambles, 'helped' by cats and chickens. I'm glad your bro likes my work. The top image was the one from the inkjet image, one of my very early digital abstract images. i love how it looks genuinely ancient somehow due to being given the JBD treatment. I shall never get tired of that apparent contradiction ;-)