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Photographic image transfer workshop with Anna Tomczak



The museum recently hosted a workshop with the talented photographer Anna Tomczak. Participants learned techniques for transferring their photographic images to various materials such as paper, fabric, wax and wood. They chose images from their own collection and made laser copies of them to use for the transfer process.

Participants learned the many steps it takes to transfer a laser copy of a photograph to another surface.  The first method was to paint a layer of acrylic medium on a piece of paper and then apply the copied image to it. After the acrylic medium was dry they wet the paper to remove the photocopy paper. All that was left was the image on the desired surface.

The next technique was transferring using a Chartpak blending marker or lacquer thinner. These chemicals were applied to the back of the copied photo so it transferred to another surface when pressure was applied on the back. The advantage to this process was that the artist controlled what parts of the image were transferred by tracing the parts of the image they wanted and then applying the chemicals only to those areas.

The third technique used wintergreen oil. The oil was applied to the back of a copied image much like the lacquer thinner. The paper was then pressed onto another surface using the force of a printing press.

Anna taught participants about the the use of wax in photo transfers. She heated wax and then dipped the transferred images so that there was a thin layer over the entire surface of the paper.

Then she demonstrated the encaustic technique. She used a piece she already started, that had photo transfers and a real leaf applied to the piece of wood with a layer of green wax over top.  She started by melting the layer of wax with a hair dryer so she could work with it again.

She used an etching tool to draw freehand into the top layer of wax which created thin etched lines.

Then she used oil paint to fill in the etched lines and add definition to her drawing.  She wiped away the excess paint with oil.  She then painted another layer of hot wax on the top of the piece.  Then she demonstrated how she transferred images from paper using the hot wax.

If you are interested in learning more about future workshops being held at The Cummer, review our slate of programs here. If you are interested in the work of Anna Tomczak and even take one of her workshops, check out her website.

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Director of Art Education

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