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Preparing the Wood

When using wood, the grain must be raised and then sanded smooth. Wet the wood with water and let it dry. The grain will lift, and when the wood is dry it has to be sanded smooth again. Begin by sanding the edges of the wood and rounding off the corners with the 400-grit sandpaper. Wet the wood again. After it dries, sand it again with 400-grit sandpaper. Preparing the wood in this way reduces the risk of the grain rising after the image is transferred to the surface.

Trim a sheet of Arches 88 paper to be 1/2-inch smaller than the panel on all sides. Position and prepare the film on the alignment board (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4 A birch plywood substrate will absorb the hot gelatin-soaked paper.

Pour some of the hot gelatin solution to cover the panel, or dip the paper in the solution if you're using the fry pan method. Rub the warm solution into the panel (see Figure 5).

Figure 5

Figure 5 Pour hot graphite gelatin on the birch as a priming layer for the soaked paper.

Place the wet sheet in the center of the birch panel. Smooth it down with a brush, working out any air pockets under the paper (see Figure 6). If you have a few bubbles, pop them with a puff of air from a rocket blaster (see Figure 7).

Figure 6

Figure 6 After dipping the paper in the hot solution, place it on the birch panel.

Figure 7

Figure 7 Use a rocket blaster to pop bubbles in the wet gelatin coating.

Pour more of the warm graphite gelatin mixture over the sheet. Set the panel aside to dry overnight.

The next day, apply two coats of the SuperSauce Gloss solution as a primer over the dry graphite gelatin surface. Let the panel dry between coats.

While the primer coats are drying, prepare your print. Place it ink-side-up on a clean, hard surface. Wet a cotton ball with water and wipe the ink off the edge of the print to create a natural transition (see Figure 8). Also wipe off the inkjet coating on the unprinted edge. Let the border you wiped with water dry completely before proceeding. If it feels sticky at all, it's not dry.

Figure 8

Figure 8 Use a wet cotton ball to wipe the excess inkjet receiver off the edges of the print.

Using the alignment-board method, position the print, and then put it aside until the panel is prepared and ready to receive the transfer. The alignment boards should be the same thickness and size as the art panel. By taping the film to the board, you ensure that applying the image will be even and complete (see Figure 9).

Figure 9

Figure 9 Position the image over the dry panel and tape the film to the alignment board.

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