Saturday, January 30, 2021

Hydrographics

Hydrographics is a method of printing in which an object with a complex shape is dipped through a thin film of pigment floating on a tank of water. 

Image via Muscle Car Days

It's also called "water transfer printing," "immersion printing," or "hydro dipping," 

(Link to YouTube video) The image is printed on a special water-soluble film which is carefully placed on the surface of water in a dipping tank. The clear film holding the image together dissolves into the water. As the object is slowly pushed down into the water, the image adheres to the object's surface, conforming to the shape. After the object is lifted out, it is allowed to dry.

Hydrographics on Wikipedia

3 comments:

Stephen and Nyree said...

I have never seen this before, it is such an interesting process.

Hannah F. said...

Fascinating! Floating a design on water seems akin to making marbled paper. From the video, though, I didn't quite understand how the design is placed on the water surface. Is it sprayed on? That seems to be the case with the automated example. But how about the others-are they enormous water slip decals?
Thank you as always, James, for giving us such interesting and thought-provoking daily content!
Checking GurneyJourney along with my afternoon coffee is a treasured part of my studio routine- Your content provides a much-needed dose of inspiration!

Amberdreams said...

I can see how this works for something swirly and abstract but how amazing that you can get an actual regular pattern or precise design to transfer like that!