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[mad scientress outdoor lab]

[montpelier public library]

[the drying rack i found]

The idea is pretty basic. Take a new photocopy or a sheet fresh out of the printer, mix it with some chemicals, use it like a transfer image. Rad!

I figured I would make a copy of the picture I took of the Montpelier Library and include it somehow. First step, print reverse images of the library picture. My printer is ten years old and probably weighs as much as a car battery. I think it is made of solid steel. Or rocks.

I take the pictures with the digicam, photoshop them with the iMac, ftp them to Seattle so I can ftp them back to Vermont and to the PC, print them, begin experimenting.

Using chemicals inside makes the propane hot water heater smell funny, so I went out to the porch. Set up a card table, got out the paint thinner, found some granite slabs for pressing. Tested it out some. Arrived at a recipe that seems to work:

home made photocopies

  • newly printed image or photocopy
  • paint thinner
  • thing for pressing or rubbing: spoon, rocks, etc
  • hair dryer helps
  • drying rack
  • rags
  • smoothish paper for transferring images onto

- dampen paper to be used to receving transfer
- put image face down on paper [yes, this makes a reverse image, I hope you planned ahead]
- rub back of image with paint thinner soaked rag
- heat image if you have a hair dryer, this makes the toner sticky and is generally a good idea
- rub the back of the image with a spoon or other pressing device. this will make the image HOT, so be careful. I had no spontaneous combustion occurences, you may not be so lucky.
- has the transfer worked? take a small peek.
- if not, press images together with large slabs of granite or functional equivalent
- wait. do a hopeful dance. if the image is dry, try re-dampening it again. remember to breathe air that is not all thinner-y
- did it work yet? if not, maybe today is not your day. sunspots. repeat steps tomorrow, after a proper breakfast.

But back to the project, I made enough successful copies that I decided to include them. I stuck them on with some rubber cement on the backs of old New Yorker covers on the backside of the little book thing. I also included the originals so you can see how much ink is left on both sides.