Friday, August 5, 2011

ITS on Tile part 2

Yesterday's blog introduced using ITS on tile. Above are image from my stepson Chris' and Hailee's wedding. I decide to do these in color because the orange and turquoise color scheme really pops. You can see the imperfections in the images, but that's part of their charm.

Image transfer, especially on tile, is not an exact science. It’s best to make a few extra copies of your images in case they don’t turn out the first time. Your images will not be perfect, but will have variation because of the natural contours of the tile, the saturation of the photo and other variables. That’s the beauty of this kind of image transfer, though. Each tile is unique and a has a special character. If you do need to re-do a tile, just soak it in water (before you put on the sealer) and then use coarse sandpaper to sand off the image.

Depending on your image, you may want to tear the edges so it doesn't have a hard edge. Above is the difference between a straight edge and a torn edge. If your photos are black and white, the light parts of the photo will naturally disappear, creating a soft edge even when the image is cut straight, such as in the image below.

The tile below has a lot of white spots because the paper bubbled. Sometimes, like in this tile, they turn out looking great. In general, though, you want to avoid bubbling because if you get a white spot on someone's face, or an important part of the picture, it's a do-over.

White Film
The white film on the lower part of the image means that all the paper has not been removed yet. It needs to be polished some more with the blue 3M polishing sheet under running water.

Picture Placement
Since tile has natural dips and bumps, sometimes it will interfere with the picture. The bride's face on this tile gets lost in the natural contours. It would be best to start over and turn the picture a quarter turn.

Remember that your own images might require some experimentation. Luckily, if you don't like the first result, it's easy to sand it off and start over. I've had so much fun with this new technique, I've got more coasters than I know what to do with!

New Project! ITS on Tile

Sherri's been working for a while to perfect a method to successfully transfer images onto tile. We finally got great, consistent results after some trial and error. Above you can see black and white images from Sherri's daughter Rachel's wedding, and color images from my daughter Brennyn's wedding. I love this project because they are great handmade gifts that anyone can appreciate. The images don't turn out perfectly, and they have a quality that makes them almost looked painted on. You can turn them into coasters (my favorite use) or put them on small easels for tabletop display.

You will need:
4 x 4” tumbled marble tile
ITS Solution
ITS Paper
3M Wet/Dry 1200-grit blue abrasive sheet
ITS Matte or Gloss Sealer
Felt chair pads or 4 x 4 square of felt

1. Soak the tile in water and scrub it clean to get all the dust off. Let dry.
2. Paint a layer of ITS solution over the tile. Let dry.

3. Size your image so it is slightly smaller than the tile. Remember that the image will appear as a mirror image on the tile. Copy the image onto ITS paper using a commercial copy machine or print it on a laser printer. Use the color setting even if your image is black and white. Cut out the image. If the background of your image is dark, you may want to tear the edges for a softer look.

4. Paint an even layer of ITS solution on the tile. (The layer of ITS should be thin enough to still be transparent, but thick enough so there are no bare spots.) Place the image face down on the tile, being careful to center the image.

5. Press the image on the tile, working from the middle out toward the edges. Smooth the image firmly, pressing out any air bubbles. Turn the tile over on a flat, sturdy surface and press on the back of the tile to help the image make full contact with the tile. If there are still air bubbles, you can use a barely damp sponge to help smooth them out, or prick with a pin or point of a blade and press them flat.

6. Heat set the tile by placing the tile in a pre-heated 325 degreee oven for 30 minutes. After removing from the oven, it is important to let the piece cool thoroughly before the next step.
7. Soak the tile in water for a few minutes. Use your fingers to remove the paper, carefully rolling off layers of paper, working from the center out.

8. When you’ve removed most of the paper, use a 3M Wet/Dry 1200-grit blue abrasive sheet under running water to remove the remaining fiber. The fiber is removed when there is no longer a white film covering the image.

9. Paint a layer of ITS Matte or Gloss Sealer over the image. Wait 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to heat set. Let cool.
10. To make a coaster, stick felt chair pads on the back of the tile, or glue on a square of felt so the tile won’t scratch furniture.

Next blog: Troubleshooting

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tune in to Jewel School

What's better than taking classes from Sherri Haab? When they're free! Sherri will be appearing on Jewelry TV's Jewel School on Thursday, August 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While promoting some exclusive kits on the show, she will demonstrate both metal etching and ITS image transfer. These are examples of the projects she will be teaching you to make.

You will also want to check out the kits that will be sold on the program at a great price. The metal etching kit contains everything you need to etch, along with a bonus of all of the jewelry findings for several pieces of jewelry and a selection of transferable images designed for the copper shapes in the kit.

The ITS kit contains all the materials and findings you need to make a charm bracelet and matching necklace, a full sheet of images ready to transfer and five blank sheets of ITS paper to use for your own personal images.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to see Sherri in action and learn some exciting new skills. BUT WAIT! Of course they will be offering some special deals during the course of the show, so tune in!