Trying to get the papers and metals to go nicely through the printer without jamming, crumpling up, or smearing ink was the trickiest part. The metal shim went through the printer easier than the papyrus which according to Mom went “ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk” as it went through. I’m going to have to get a separate printer for experiments, because hearing a piece of rice paper get jammed in the good printer is rather nerve wracking. I was probably lucky because I didn’t manage to destroy the printer.
Below is a sheet of papyrus painted with Opaque InkAid. It got quite wrinkly when it was painted. Ironing the papers once the InkAid dried with a Teflon press cloth over them worked great to flatten them out. The papyrus was definitely the thickest and most textured paper that I tried to get through the printer.
|Papyrus painted with Opaque InkAid|
|Photo printed on papyrus painted with Transparent InkAid|
|Photo printed on rice paper painted with Transparent InkAid|
Using double stick tape to tape thin papers or paper scraps to printer paper was the easiest way to prepare InkAid coated papers for printing. You don’t want to be too skimpy with the tape or you could end up with crumpled paper and a paper jam in your printer.
These are three pieces of paper painted with InkAid that were taped down to printer paper with double-stick tape. You can see that the left piece of paper crumpled up at the bottom in the printer because I didn't have enough tape securing it to the printer paper.
|Glacier Bay, AK photo printed on: Rice papers on right and left painted with Transparent InkAid & Hand-made blue paper with silver flecks painted with Opaque InkAid in the center|
Here's the very thin copper metal shim painted with one coat of Opaque InkAid on the right and Iridescent Gold InkAid on the left:
The primary difficulty for me was that the InkAid instructions recommend that you wait 24 hours after you’ve painted the InkAid on your paper or other substance before you print on it. Urgh. The waiting is tough. In some cases you might want to put on two coats of InkAid which means you have to wait for it to dry once, paint it again, and then wait 24 hours to print. I suppose I could try printing on it as soon as it’s dry and see if I notice a difference, but is it really worth the risk…? I would think the InkAid manufacturers put that instruction there for a reason. Oh well, must be patient.
The Opaque InkAid really covers up the original color of the paper if you paint it on colored papers even with only one coat. When you paint on the opaque it looks like it is going to be transparent and then as it dries it becomes opaque.
One thing that I found fascinating was the way the colors from the original image were changed when you used the Transparent InkAid with tinted paper or metal. I suppose if I gave it some thought I could figure it out to some extent… yellow printed on a copper is going to be more orange than when it is printed on white. Even with the Transparent InkAid on a colored surface like copper though, more of the original ink color is retained than you might expect. The blue ink printed on copper still looks blue as opposed to brown.
One issue to keep in mind with using InkAid is the smell. If you are sensitive, you may want to wear a respirator while applying the InkAid. The instructions don’t say you have to wear one but they do suggest that you have good ventilation. You are also supposed to wear gloves while you apply the InkAid. I missed that part until it was too late this time, but the InkAid rinsed off my fingers fine with soap and water.
If I had some more time to experiment, I think I would be thoroughly addicted to using InkAid. (Until I discover another art obsession anyway.) I want to paint any remotely flat paper-like substance with it and send it through the printer. There are so many possibilities. Maggie Grey shows how you can create collages of things like papers and lace, paint InkAid over the collages, and send those through the printer in her book “From Image to Stitch.”
I’ve created numerous cool pieces of paper so now I have to find a way to incorporate them in completed works of art.
|Image of tree roots printed on hand-made paper|