The challenge of creating unique and memorable invitations for the media is relating them to the Dystopia theme. The inspiration photos for our fashion show featured images of wreckage, collapsed buildings, exposed timbers, and crumbling walls. As ideas were tossed around, using exposed wood for the invites came into play.
First a classmate collected discarded wood from her apartment building but the dimensions were wrong. So we procured ten perfectly cut pieces of wood from Michaels that we distressed with sand paper, x-acto knifes, hammers, pliers and fire. After, to give them an aged colour, we rubbed them with coffee and tea then let them dry.
Next we we needed to transfer the invitations onto the wood. The first idea was to print invites then glue them on the wood like tattered old posters. However with an art background I knew of an easy way to transfer an image onto any surface.
The process, despite being somewhat lengthy, is a simple one. First you take the image you want to transfer and if it has any text in it which ours did, you digitally reverse the image so all the text is backwards. That way when you do the transfer it’ll be legible again. Secondly the image needs to be a photocopy, the ink for photocopies transfers better. Then thirdly you take a mat medium and put a thin layer of it on the image side of what you want transferred as well as onto the wood. Once dry you smoothly apply a larger amount of mat medium and paste the image on the wood and smooth out any air bubbles. The mat medium should be allowed to dry for as long as possible, two hours at minimum. Once dry you soak the paper and rub off as much as you can till nothing but the matte medium and the ink of the image is left. It is hard to get all of the paper off and the image can come out milky looking from the left over fibers of the paper so adding a very light layer of oil will make those fibers more translucent for a less milky look. Lastly you can apply another layer of matte medium just to seal the image fully.
This process allowed the wood to be seen through the text and worked perfectly for the Dystopia theme.
DYSTOPIA the fashion show happens June 16th, 2014 at Performance Works on Granville Island, doors: 6:30pm, show: 7:00pm. Tickets are available at JCI (220 Cambie) for $20 or $25 at the door. All net proceeds go to Covenant House.
Sarah Shaneman, JCI Fashion Student