An excerpt from Bonny Lhotka’s book Digital Alchemy on how to make pigment transfers.
IceBud is from a series of photographs take after and ice storm. To print this work I developed a method of transferring images to papers that emulates the Polaroid emulsion transfer. I like the directness of the process and the ability to distort each image in a unique way. No two prints of an edition are ever alike although they are all pulled from the same digital file. I use a Nikon D700 with a telephoto lens for all my photography.
I use the DASS SuperSauce Concentrate to make the SuperSauce Solution that is used to move the image to the stone paper paper. The solution is made by adding 4 tablespoons of the concentrate to 16 ounces of 91% isopropyl alcohol.
Shake the mixture frequently and let it totally dissolve over night.
The first step is to prepare a digital photographic or artwork. It must be printed on DASS Transfer Film using pigment inks. I use the HP Z3200 with pigment inks but any desk top printer with pigment inks will work. The Epson 3880 is another printer that works well. After printing, the film must be allowed to dry over night so all the solvents in the ink evaporate.
I like to alter the edges of the image with a brush or other tool by dipping it in water to alter or wipe the ink. The altered print must be allowed to completely dry before it is transferred.
After 2-4 minutes the solution dissolves and encapsulates the coating on the film and the pigment, moving it to the paper surface.
The film is lifted from the corners, twisting and turning it to create a floating emulsion skin. Any bubbles in the emulsion can be popped with a pin. After the image dries it is press tightly to the paper with a brayer.
Full details on the process can be found in Lhotka book Digital Alchemy: Printmaking techniques for fine art, photography, and mixed media.
Stone paper is a new material that is made from crushed limestone. It is an environmentally friendly product. No water or chemicals are used to make the paper. It will degrade in a landfill when exposed to sunlight, heat and moisture.
Moisture will not pass through the paper, which is why it works so well for this process. The SuperSauce solution is trapped between the film and the paper so the alcohol cannot evaporate before the image is dissolved. This paper and DASS Transfer Film are sold by Digital Art Studio Seminars.