27 Sep 2016

A series of unfortunate events

Last week the delivery of my lampshade materials arrived.  

Hooray, I thought!  They had already been lost and sent back to the warehouse twice, so I was very keen to get my hands on them.  And here they finally were, untarnished and expectant.  But after a trip to the printers, I realized there was still a lot to think about in terms of printing my drawings for lighting - opacity, durability, finish - and I wanted them to be just right.

So, until I can get the samples printed for my lighting designs, I thought I would see what other kind of materials I might be able to transfer my drawings onto.

A quick trip to the North Street charity shops (any excuse) and I had found a few abandoned bits of bric-a-brac I didn't feel too guilty messing around with, and was ready to start experimenting with my decal transfers.

Here was my test decal, soaking happily in its little dish of lukewarm water, looking perfectly innocent.   After I applied it the glass surface, I took a look at it from arm's length and... actually laughed out loud.  It turns out that making some testers first was a very good idea indeed!

A sad decal casualty
Not supposed to melt
I even managed to transfer a ladybird onto my own hand

As anyone who has every seen my knitting can attest to, I am remarkably clumsy when it comes to making things patiently and systematically.  My mind wanders and I find myself trying to experiment with shortcuts and alternative methods until I end up with twenty dropped stitches and a wonky pom-pom.  Or in this case, a weird wrinkly skins where the images have somehow half-melted off.

Is is because I didn't leave the ink to dry long enough?

Did I make them far to small and fiddly to stick?

Was it something to do with the greasy crisps I was eating shortly before and afterwards?

We may never know.

Still - practice makes perfect...

After several more attempts to stick molecule-thin decals to things, before whipping them off again in terror, I finally sat down and made my first smooth, clean, and non-melted transfers:


They may be small. They may be doorknobs.  But of all the doorknobs that I have ever made, they are definitely, absolutely my favourites.

Some people out there are born crafty.  Some achieve craftiness.  And some people have craftiness thrust upon them - even if it takes a few decorative tragedies along the way!

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