Sunday, 29 May 2011

How NOT to Make a Glass Tile Pendant Part 4 - Sizing

So I made a rather beautiful pendant (image inside pendant credit to Digitalya).

I struggled a little bit with the US-letter-sized digital collage sheets as when printed on A4 paper the images come out bigger than they were intended to be.  Of course, you can avoid this by choosing not to fit-to-page on your printer settings, but this was a rather big professional laser printer and the shop assistant at the printing shop I went to for these had only just started working there and seemed not to know the printer too well, and neither did I, so I didn't want to push it.

And there is another little issue, that a lot of these gorgeous images are sold as 1x2 inches, and my trays and glass are 24x48mm - a fraction smaller.  So not only are the images slightly big for my purposes anyway, but I also had the printer issue which meant that in the end my images were a couple of mm bigger per side.  This slightly larger size would be fine under normal circumstances but these beautiful images have a deep shading around them that frames the image and gives them a feeling of depth that I like a lot.  So because I had to end up cutting the images to the smaller size I needed, I had to cut pretty much all of the shading out, which made me get annoyed at myself for not pushing the printer guy to get it done properly!

Anyway, problem number two, as a result of the image being bigger than I needed, I had no natural outline to cut around, and no craft punch to use (like I do with my circle images) - so I cut it by hand.  But I got cocky and decided not to use a template.  Freehand cutting!  Now that is a recipe for disaster in my hands!!  And so it was.  It looked nice at first, huh?  And then you saw the other side:

 See anything yet?  No?  Try this:

See it now??  Yep, I cut away too much, ruined a perfectly good image and a good bit of effort.  I did realise it was cut slightly too narrow when I placed it onto the glass, but I thought I had centered it nicely only to find out that actually, it couldn't be more askew if it tried. Also for those of us who use glass, it's worth remembering that the glass will magnify all your mistakes...

So another one resigned to the soaking bin.  Moral of the story, if you can't use a paper punch to get accurate images, make yourself a template - this is very easy, just grab a piece of card and cut out your shape from it, then use it as a viewer to center your image so that you know where to cut, and draw around the shape on pencil onto your image and cut around that line.  This drawn line will sit at the edge of the image so won't show behind the glass or under the glaze or resin.  Of course if you're using glass you can just use the glass shape as a template, but the card version is useful if you use your images over wooden blanks or scrabble tiles for example.

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