Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Processing More Shuttles

I have not really posted much anywhere the process I have been using to create my image shuttles. Well, I have decided that I will post here with all of its flaws so that others may know how difficult the process is to get it right. It is definitely a learning process from start to finish.

Blank Shuttles after prepping for applying the image

I started with blank shuttles and I am giving away my source in doing this: 
    1) I start with Tapestry/Tatting/Thread Shuttle "Boye" that I purchase in bulk from Lacis Online catalog. 
   2) I will remove the point and sand the surface to prepare for applying the image. This is done to both sides of the shuttle, not just one.
   3) I then select the slices of images from my various Fractal images that I have created over the years. (I have more images than what you have seen in my shop so far, so don't worry, I can go on for quite some time and not repeat an image.)
   4) After image processing to produce the correct size for applying to the shuttle and how I want the image to end up looking, I cut it to fit each blade of the shuttle.
   5) (This is where it changes from the first time I did this.) I will take and seal the image on both sides of the paper before applying to the shuttle as the Mode Podge will influence the image by absorption of water from the glue. (This must be done in order to preserve the clarity of the image detail as these images are very detailed).
   6) The images are then attached to the shuttle and allowed to dry overnight. I attempt to coat it a couple of times to make sure everything is covered and smoothed down. This also includes the edges to make sure it is attached and will not easily peel off.
   7) These are allowed to dry thoroughly before applying the final sealing coat to keep the shuttle from appearing and feeling sticky. My mistake on the first batch was not making sure it had been allowed to dry for a couple of days before moving on to the other side and then waiting to list them in Etsy once they were ready. 

The learning process here was to make sure that I could handle them well before sending them out into the world. For that I am sorry as some have received shuttles that now have marks in the sealing layer that make them rough. I am hoping that by extending the time they are in the drying process and slowing down to send them out will produce better results in the long run. I do appreciate the ones who have been so kind as to let me know how they arrived and that they were still willing to keep what I have sent in spite of the flaw. 

Images added and ready for trimming out to the first side.

I am still on the lookout for something to use as thread winders that I can make to match the shuttles that I produce. I would love to find the 2 inch wood shape of a "60's" style flower but since I have wanted to use it, that shape has been very hard to find. I may have to settle for some other shape to use for the base of the thread winder. I could use the 2 1/2 inch popcicle sticks that I can purchase in bulk at Walmart until I can find something better. That will be an ongoing project that I hope to add in the near future. Tell me what you think of that idea. The drawback to using it is that the space available for the image is very narrow and will not give very much of a sample of the image that is used. 

These were still drying from the top coat of Mode Podge

I don't know how many saw but I will also provide a 5" by 7" image of the full fractal just for the cost of printing at the time of the order if requested by shop conversation. Remember, what you see on the shuttle is only a small part of the full image that I generate.

Well, it is time for me to end this entry and start planning the next batch of shuttles. (There are 100 blanks waiting for images.) I do hope the ones who have already purchased the first batch have wonderful tatting adventures with them.

Happy tatting,

Arial - the Tattered Faerie