Back and Busy

Okay, I’m back and busy as ever. For those of you who didn’t hear from me personally or through social media, my wife have birth to our first child at the end of September. So that combined with a four class load and lots of projects has kept me busy and a little too overwhelmed to get on and post.

But now, its time to catch up and post some new developments in R&D projects and experiments.

This week I will be posting about some summer time experiments I did for my collaboration with Ryan Hackett. I would have posted these earlier, but I wanted to meet with Ryan and discuss the outcome before posting and by the time we met the semester was in full swing and my daughter was only a few weeks away.

So in June, I made a weekend trip to Durham, NC to experiment with Brian Gonzalez of the University of Sharjah, formerly of Supergraphic. Brian demonstrated, last March at the SGC International conference in Portland, the use of a new style of ink, thermochromic ink. This is in that changes color based on its temperature, which can be altered in a variety of ways.

Ryan’s initial idea was to explore the idea of creating a print that could alter based on the viewer/owners interaction with it and I thought this ink might be the perfect solution. So I contacted Brian and he offered to help me play around with it for a bit.

So over a two day period I drove to Durham and created some test prints using Brian’s thermochromic ink and other imagery. Here are some of the results.

Ryan’s interest was to see how the thermochromic ink would affect or alter our perception of a CMYK image printed over top of it. Our theory being that certain colors would disappear and cause a loss of visual information as the thermochromic ink started to match its color. We also tested a black that would disappear at a certain temperature to see how that would affect the image.

In conclusion, we found they it might be possible with a larger dot pattern with a more obvious alteration of the color backing, but at the detail level we were exploring it would not work. The main issue overall being that the thermochromic ink must be printed on a black surface to allow for the color shift to be recognizable. This caused an immediate loss of information that never resolved and came back with the shift of color.

So Ryan and I are keeping this ink and process in the back pocket as a tool we could use, but are now exploring other avenues for his edition.

Next post will expand on some personal experiments with a toner wash intaglio process. So keep any eye out for it.

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