I have been struggling, the last few weeks, to find a use for some photographs I have been taking. In a previous post I showed a photograph of the string figure called ‘mountain’. It was difficult to get the photograph in the first place; fiddling to get the right focus on a tiny thread held in my fingers. The image, once perfected, lived on my computer screen for a long time and I realized that I had no idea what to do with it. I am not a photographer and I didn’t feel that it existing as a photographic object would be right for my work…but what to do?
I have also been working on another drawing. One where I was trying to reproduce a photograph of the crochet island I had made, using the process of photocopy transfers. Using this process you can transfer the ink from a photocopy to another surface by rubbing hard on the back of the image while it is damp with acetone solvent. This project was also causing me trouble since the transfer was coming out too inconsistent or not at all. In the search for solutions to this drawing, I found a new method for transferring photographs that is perfect for my string figure work.
I am creating monoprints using wax paper and a computer printer. By attaching the wax paper to a regular sheet of printer paper I am able to print out my photographs onto the waxed paper. After dampening a sheet of watercolour paper, I simply place the wax paper image gently onto the watercolour paper and rub with a spoon. The watercolour paper takes the ink away from the waxed surface creating a print. What I like about this process is that each one is a copy and an individual. Depending on the quality of the print, the creases in the wax paper, the amount of water on the receiving sheet and the pressure I place on the spoon, I will get a different result from the same original image. They can be anything from watery to gestural to crisp. The ones I have included in this post were todays experiments. Final copies are soon to come!