Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thermofax --- From Photo to Cloth

For those of you who have never used a thermofax machine, I am going to show you one of the ways that I use it.

This is an original photograph that I took with a Nikon digital camera. It is an older building in downtown, and I love the lines of the window and the brickwork.

I opened the photograph in a photo editing program and cropped it to what I considered to be the most interesting aspect. I then proceeded to change the color photo into a black and white image and printed it out on an HP inkjet printer. I have always been told that thermofaxes need a good carbon print to burn the thermofax screen, but I know from experience that my HP inkjet printers work fine.

Next step is to run the black and white image through the thermofax with a piece of thermofax film. The film is available from Welsh Products. Many artists attach this exposed film to a plastic frame. I wrap duct tape around the edges and use it without a frame.

This is a sample of the screen print in black ink on a hand dyed cloth background.


Karoda said...

this is great to know about the inkjet!

are you pinning the duct taped screen down over the cloth?

can the films be rolled up for storage?

well i'm a quisitive somebodee, huh?

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

No pins --- I hold the screen in place with my left hand and squeegee the print with my right hand. No fancy squeegees either --- usually a bondo scraper from the hardware store or a fake credit card from my junk mail.

I lay the films flat for storage. I supposed you could roll them, but you'd want to flatten them out before screening through them.

Carol said...

I can see the pictures now, and well worth the wait, interesting to know you can use inkjet prints,
a lovely image

Laura said...

Karen, which inkjet are you using? I have an old HP Photosmart 1315 - it would be awesome if it worked! Thanks, Laura in Andover, MA

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

Laura --- I have a Deskjet 722C and a Photosmart 1218. They both work equally well with the thermofax. I have not tried my Epson printer yet.

Laura said...

Awesome Karen. I cannot wait to try out my photosmart. We have a thermofax in our studio (Lowell Fiber Studio) and I have yet to take advantage of it...but wiil give it a try now.
Your work is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

will the thermofax machines used by tatoo places work for this??

Judy Barry

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

I don't think so. I haven't tried it since I have access to a thermofax, but I have heard from others who have tried it.