20 December 2009
for years i've been struggling with the tear-away technique. for non (or new) metal clayers, the tear-away technique is a way to create your own texture surfaces so you don't have to rely on commercially made ones. it involves a ridiculous amount of attention to detail...timing, burnishing, lights positioned a certain number of inches from a surface. that kind of attention to detail is very hard for me.
the gist of it is this (look elsewhere for a really detailed clear description of how to do this, if you want to try)....
*create/find a design and photocopy it with a TONER copy machine (not your run-of-the-mill digital printer). i have only found this type of copier at my local grocery store (old and always out of order) and 5 towns away, in a little library (can you say inconvenient?).
*roll out a skinny slab of metallic polymer clay. put the copy face down on the p.c.
*burnish for 90 seconds.
*put it 7" under a warm lightbulb for 7 minutes.
*under the warm lightbulb again.
*rip copy off p.c. QUICK like a band-aid.
and with quite a bit of good luck, the p.c. particles will have attached themselves to the toner on your copy, so there will be a lovely little sparkly relief version of your original design. after baking the paper in a 240 farenheit oven for about 30 minutes, you can press that pattern into metal clay to make a texture.
this only very infrequently works for me. usually, the p.c. and toner bond together with heat and friction, but the toner ends up on the p.c. slab instead of the p.c. ending up on the copy. if it does appear to work, the p.c. starts chipping off after just a couple of uses. like this....
i really would like to make some more tear-away sheets early this winter. leafy, branchy, flowery ones i think. i could commit to being very focused on the specifics of the process. i'd love to hear tips, if anyone has them. i also heard a rumor about a SPECIFIC photcopier to use. i wonder if my friend marly that i met last summer would have some inside info on that subject?!