Material exploration: Intron Press

This afternoon, Emma and I had an induction with the old intron press, which turned out to be a long-winded but interesting process of trial and error. Jill was very kind and spent a good few hours with us, from 2pm to 4.30pm, teaching us the safety protocols of the press as well as how to use the machine. In terms of health and safety, we had to make sure not to close the door on our arms, hands or fingers and to avoid burning them on the hotplate. The process was very straightforward; the press must be turned on 40mins prior to heat up and there are specific dials for adjusting the time, temperature and pressure. Once the bar indicates two green lights, then the temperature has set and the press is ready for use.

Our material exploration with the intron press was due to an idea that Anthony had for Emma and I to imprint screenshot images sourced from the internet onto paper. In turn, this would incorporate turning digital media into a hand-made process. Anthony wants us to explore using mixed media on top of the perssed images to see whether we could this type of illustration in our projects.

After sourcing some screenshots from a video on the BBC webpage,

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 12.16.57 PM.png

The process we went through was as follows: Firstly, using Photoshop, Emma and I placed our images together into a working document of A3 size.Using the ‘transform – flip horizontal’ tool, we invert all images ready for printing onto transfer paper. The transfer paper is necessary to correctly mirror our images onto the final paper through the intron press. We then cut the images out and placed them face down on top of our chosen paper.

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 12.19.51 PM

From here we experimented with two different types of paper; some beautiful Fabriano watercolour paper and wet strength cardstock. Unfortunately, we did not have much success with the Fabriano. Out of my seven attempts, I had five successes and only two failures. I recorded the intron settings on the back of all my pieces as reference for my blog.

Attempt 1: Wet strength cardstock

test 1

  • Time in press: 1.2 + 1.2 + 1.2 and moving the paper about the hotplate each time.
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 135˚C

Result: The peeling off the transfer paper onto the cardstock was quite tricky, resulting in the image having a few times in the press. Each time did make the transfer paper easier to peel, however, some scuffing occurred on the finished image which lost some of the pigmentation on the image.

Attempt 2: Wet strength cardstock

test 2

  • Time in press: 4.0 +2.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 135˚C

Result: Here we adjusted the time on the Intron press. Having the image in the press for a longer time resulted in a hotter press. This did make the image a bit easier to peel the transfer paper off. The image result was still a little bit grainy in appearance.

Attempt 3: Wet strength cardstock

test 3

  • Time in press: 2.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 145˚C

Result: For this attempt, we decided to half the time from 4.0 to 2.0 as well as to increase the tempertature to 145˚C. This resulted in the image having just the right amount of heat for the transfer paper to peel away easily. This was our best result for the wet strength cardstock.

Attempt 4: Fabriano watercolour

test 4

  • Time in press: 2.0 + 3.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 145 ˚C

Result: We then tried to use the same settings as the previous successful trial for the Fabriano paper. It did not work very well as the transfer paper held fast to the fibers of the water colour paper. We increased the time but our peeling resulted in tearing and the image was destroyed.

Attempt 5: Fabriano watercolour

test 5

  • Time in press: 2.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 145 ˚C

Result: Tearing continued to occurr even with the Fabriano paper, despite being careful when pulling the transfer paper away. This was my most successful result with the Fabriano paper. Some large tears occurred and you can see the white grainy result where small tears have also lifted the image away.

Attempt 6: Wet strength cardstock

test 6

  • Time in press: 2.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 145˚C

Result: This was the same settings as the successful attempt 3 and so the same results occurred.

Attempt 7: my own paper watercolour

test 7

  • Time in press: 2.0 + 2.0 + 1.0
  • Pressure: 1
  • Temperature: 145˚C

Result: I then decided to use a piece of my own water colour paper, which was A5 in size. Unfortunately, the smaller size of paper did not affect the result of the image transfer. Once again, tearing occurred.

In the end, we concluded that our settings were not correct for imprinting onto water colour paper. Perhaps we could have changed the pressure as well. The next step in my exploration is to overlay my pressed images with different drawing and collage techniques to make mixed media compositions.

 

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