Saturday, 10 January 2015

Photo Transfer Experiment on Glass Bottles

I went back to the UK over the New Year and spent most of that time staying with a friend who is quite frankly a bottle fanatic- I daren't count how many bottles are lingering in his house. Much more fascinating than the ones used here, in fact I wish I could share with you guys photos of his place- it's kinda amazing! We spent most the time climbing up things, into things... and DIGGING. And that is where I found these glass bottles.

We actually dug up a lot of other things, mostly bottles but also bits of pottery, a few animals bones (and teeth), and some old pipes. My friend said the clear bottles were worthless and no point keeping them, but I remembered a tutorial I had seen about photo transfer and thought I would have a go...

I have a bit of a thing for animal skulls so I had to keep hold of him! (I was strongly discouraged from keeping the teeth I found or the  horn... If we were in France I would have but I was not sure what would happen on the eurostar if I had teeth in my luggage!)

So I went out and bought some modge podge and when I finally got home I got cracking.

Here are my bottles, in various conditions. They did get a good clean but I left some of the marks on there because I like how beaten they look.

Then I grabbed some INKJET prints of some of my photos, they must be INKJET, REVERSED and printed onto NORMAL paper, and cut out sections for my bottles.

From left to right: an abandoned hospital in France, a section of la petite ceinture (abandoned railway), factory floor in the Midlands (UK), more of petite ceinture and more of the first hospital. All the bottles were found in the dumping ground of an asylum. 

Cover the surface of the bottle with modge podge.

Then put your photo face down on the bottle (this was fiddly for the small or more rounded ones).

This is what it looked like flipped over, but I wasn't done... Leave it to dry THOROUGHLY before continuing.

Saturate the top layer with water then start gradually rubbing away at the paper.

The first layer will come off in rolls.

Leaving it like this.

Next you must patiently rub away the rest, every now and then adding water with a cloth. Sometimes it helps to let it dry before going back to it. This is my third attempt and honestly patience is the key, I got a bit over eager a few times and did too much in one go and the image just got over eroded or stayed too white. I had three on the go so just went back and forth between them. No kidding this took a while. 

It can also help to purposefully rough up the edges so they aren't so clean.

Once you are satisfied with the result- and make sure it fully dries so you can see how many layers you have gone through, some of my bottles took three of four attempts to get right cover the image with a layer of modge podge.

Leave to dry.

Hold up to the light.

They look so much more stunning in the light then not. I wish I had a windowsill... I hope my next place has one!

As you can see I have not finished all my bottles, some others are still drying as this was a first attempt on anything 3D I didn't want to ruin all my bottles in one go.

I think I might have to open a new etsy store!

UPDATE: I decided to put them on my Etsy store, take a peek here.