My journey to connect with purpose and passion.

My First Successful Wood Transfer

A few months ago I joined the Fresh Rag Mastermind because I was finally ready to overcome my fear of calling myself an artist. I had a clear goal for what I wanted to accomplish with my photography and it hinged on my being able to transfer my work to wooden surfaces. 

There were a lot of methods available and I finally settled on the DASS Super Sauce method. I set about learning from videos, tutorials and descriptions of the process from other photographers. My evernote was filling up with tips and tricks on a daily basis.

I worked hard at it – lining up all my chemicals, purchasing a router, ordering supplies from all over the place and setting about to creating my first transfer. No dice. After many frustrating evenings, I came to the realization that the isopropyl alcohol in Canada is the wrong concentration. So I had to figure out how to make 91% pure isopropyl alcohol from what I could get my hands on. Still no luck. I changed the transfer time, the surfaces, and even tried new transfer agents. Only to finally realize that I had done too good of a job when I sourced my transfer film. The film I purchased was indeed considered the best, but only because it never released the ink. So it was great to print on but not so great to transfer from as it would refuse to leave any ink behind. 

So I ranted for a bit, drank some more wine and then spent yet another $300 ordering new transfer sheets from the states. By the time they arrived, my Mom was visiting so I put off experimenting until she left. That made sense, no?

Only then I got busy with paying work, so another week went by and before I knew what had happened, it had been a month since I had touched a piece of wood. Thank the stars above that my new artist friends started to press me. They wanted to know how it was going.  I got good at throwing excuses at them, but I finally relented and said I would give it another go this weekend.

Saturday went by and then most of Sunday. I was not feeling well and so I had decided to blow off experimenting yet again. Breathing all those chemicals would not help things, I found myself thinking.

That's when the INSANE exercise from Jon Wilkening came top of mind; you will have to wait until Episode 3 of my podcast to hear about that! I realized I was just listening to my brain and letting Resistance win. I was scared to fail again. I had done hundreds of transfers to no avail. But as you may have guessed from the photo at the top of this post, this time I would succeed, if only I would get over myself and attempt it one more time.

So I put my headphones on, cranked the tunes and set about mixing chemicals and ignoring the voice in my head.

I wish I could have seen my face when the film peeled back, leaving the ink behind on the surface of the wood. I expect my jaw was on the ground. I literally danced around the studio to my dog's amusement, whooping with joy.

The photo above is my second transfer with the new film. 

I still can't believe it worked. Now it's time to put part two into gear and start sourcing the wood cuts for the concept that started all this in motion. I sense the voice inside me is just hiding and waiting, gauging its next move.

Sean Howard2 Comments