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about ironing

 
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pipsa



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
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Location: Finland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: about ironing Reply with quote

I just made my first designs (really small ones) and now I'm praticing ironing them.
Do you iron until no holes are visible or leave some holes?

I tried to look at the complete things and some showed holes and some didn't.

So is the idea to cover to holes or just iron so that the beads will hold together?

I think this is totally opinion matter but please give me yours Very Happy
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Oobgarm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personal preference.

I prefer to leave the holes visible. It maintains the look of the medium.

I've seen that if you melt one side entirely, it's going to curl big-time. That might prove to be a roadblock when going for the fully-melted look.
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pinkdramon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can go either way.

Me, personally, I much prefer a fully-fuzed look, with no holes. But this is usually only possible to do well when you're making a relatively small sprite.
If you try to do a full fuze with a larger sprite, you run the risk of getting the dreaded "Shiny finish."
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Zaghrenaut
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: About Ironing... Reply with quote

I usually iron it until it holds together, if it has holes, great - if it's solid, great...

I aim for leaving holes, but occasionally (on larger ones), some parts are solid... some small ones too when I press too hard...


EDIT: changed oes to ones
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DoctorOctoroc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject: SHINY Reply with quote

I've actually found a good way to implement a semi-shiny finish. It happened by accident.

I was working on a small bead sprite (16x22 pixels) and what I usually do is 10-20 seconds on medium heat, then leave the iron on while I grab something from the fridge, then remove it (all this for about 30 seconds, with no pressure, since I'm not there). Well, I do this with the front, then the back. The other day, my girlfriend was over and I was playing a few seconds of a song at a time for her on the piano and one time I ended up playing a full song and forgot about the iron on top of the sprite. Much to my suprise, the sprite was perfectly flat and the entire surface was a consistant sort of a semi-gloss.

The setup was this:

I ironed the front 10-20 seconds then leave the iron on, covering the whole sprite, for about 30 seconds. I remove it, then immediately turn the pegboard over, with the sprite still on it, and the paper still stuck to the beads. After 20 seconds I lift the board up and drop it on top of the sprite that's still stuck to it. I drop it at a slight angle so it bounces a bit, instead of landing flat. This gives it the slightest 'kick' so the bead sprite can come off by itself while still warm without having to be peeled off. I repeat this if it doesnt come off the first time. Then I turn it back over and continue ironing the front. I hold the iron sideways and drag it down to smooth out the holes so they cover completely. Once I have accomplished this, I place a heavy book on top (still stuck to the paper) for a minute or two.

Next, I remove the iron paper and place it on the back to iron the opposite side. I use the same method, but I don't bother trying to smooth out the back since I mount most of the sprites on a board or magnet. Here's where I forgot about it. When I intended to leave the iron on for 30 seconds, i left it on for about 4 or 5 minutes. It warmed up the back so much that the front side, flat against the smooth surface of my kitchen counter, got warm and began fusing to the table (but not fully fused, since plastic will not fuse to firmica unless really melted). I initially thought it was done for but i let it sit for a few moments under a book. Once it no longer gave me resistance between the table and the sprite (where initially if felt stuck, but not so stuck that I couldn't pull it off if I wanted to) i lifted it to find this:



It's not the highest quality image but it should show the general smoothness of the bead sprite and the not-to-shiny finish. Notice, no holes (and about the edges - that was a crap shop in photoshop. I didn't feel like cutting it out with the lasso tool so I just used the magic eraser on the background, hehe).

Anyways, keep in mind, the instructions for perler beads were written to be child-friendly. For us older perler-beaders, we can get more creative in how we iron. I'm still finding better ways to iron. However, some colors do iron better than others. My main suggestion, don't try to be a perfectionist. Be happy with variances.
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Zaghrenaut
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: about ironing... Reply with quote

Okay I'll tell of my idea that I tested sometime october-ish when I was being desolate... it's quite funny and this quite flat pokemon inspired me to tell my story..

Ok, so in an experiment, I re-made a classic FFI blackmage, because he kicks ass (and he's one board big)... so anyway, I wanted to test the theory of which is better in looks and durribility of the "holed" and "complete" ironing techniques since I've seen really good A's and B's it was hit or miss, so I made my own experiment...

So the catch because obviously I was going to iron the crap out of this poor blackmage and even though the inside pixels become nice squares the outside (black border) were going to be squished into not squares was to do an additional border in clear (the beards I had a surplus of) and then iron the crap out of him until all of the original beads are squares, then either seperate (rip) the beads apart at the seems or use an xacto knife... I must say it turned out better than anything I would have imagined, but because you showed your bear pokemon thing, i'll show my attempt at complete fusing... maybe in a couple of days... but it'll come up...
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DoctorOctoroc
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually considered that method recently. The only prob is I've been making rather larg sprites recently, and haven't had the heart to risk ruining one of them. My idea, tho, was to create a border acting as a one-pixel extension of each color, so when I cut the edges off, any sliver that remained would blend right into the rest. However, clear works well, and considering how often you'll use clear beads for anything else, it's probably the best use for them.
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Annemanly



Joined: 03 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About ironing. I think I am doing fairly well. However, I keep messing up my pegboads! When they cool off after I have removed the sprites, the boards bend.

Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong?
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DoctorOctoroc
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Annemanly wrote:
About ironing. I think I am doing fairly well. However, I keep messing up my pegboads! When they cool off after I have removed the sprites, the boards bend.

Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong?


Too much ironing, probably...or you need higher quality pegboards. I've heard of people having their pegboards melt on them. Here's a diagram that should illustrate my point:



This is what happens when you iron too much and/or you use a shitty pegboard (panel #4 of illustration).

If you iron the sprite just enough to hold it together (panel #3), then remove it from the board to continue ironing on a flat surface, it will leave open space inside the beads for them to melt into (creating a more even sprite) and since the pegs are out, they wont melt with the bead, or receive any contact with the iron directly, which is what can melt even good quality pegboards (which also may cause them to bend).

- DO
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Annemanly



Joined: 03 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That might be it... Or a combination. I use the white Hama boards.
I have had problems when ironing less than I am, that they'll come apart when I try to get them off the board. Practise makes perfect I guess... It's just practise also ruins pegboards and
it's really dificult to get any beads or boards here in Iceland. so I am getting them from Denmark, takes a long time to get here Rolling Eyes
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DoctorOctoroc
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, those are the boards I've heard can be bad. I find that, for smaller sprites, it helps of you take it off while its still hot and stuck to the ironing paper.

For example, iron until all the beads are stuck to the paper (usually you can see the darker shades through the semi-transluscent ironing paper) and by that point they should be relatively floppy. If you pull upward from the edge of the paper, the beads should go with it, then you can set it down, paper side down, and iron the other side (not too much tho). Then it should stay together well enough to flip once the paper comes off, and iron the other side.

That's rough about your supply situation tho...

- DO
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Zaghrenaut
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject: about ironing... Reply with quote

Okay, so I couldn't find my super burned blackmage, so I decided to recreate what I did, and it turned out really, really well... much better than the first, but then again I knew from last time when to stop (so that it's a complete fuse not a complete burn victum)



The X-acto-blading could have been better, but other than that it came out perfect... I should note that even though the sprites a 18x26 the time it took me to cut away the excess was far too much for such a small sprite... probably could be fixed with a sharper blade, but with the size of some of the pieces I plan to do it's not worth the hassle... plus the edges have a possibility of not coming out exactly square which defeats the whole purpose...

So much for a good idea...
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like resurrecting the ironing discussion...

I was just curious to find out, now that this forum has been around for a while longer, how "well-done" people prefer their sprites these days...

I like mine somewhere between medium-rare and medium-well...I do like to preserve a fair amount of hole because I agree with another member that this technique does justice to this fairly unusual art medium. I definitely like all the beads attached to one another, even if I don't anticipate that a particular piece will be handled very much, if at all, e.g. something I plan on mounting and/or framing. I really hate it when just one or several of the beads come out "over-done," i.e. no or very little hole. And I especially hate it when the border beads end up "mushed," i.e. elliptical or distorted-looking. I've found that the beads at the periphery or nearest to it have more of a tendency to do this the way I iron. So I try to start medially and linger for briefer periods of time near or at the periphery.

I've used both a standard (iron your clothes type of iron) and a "craft" iron. I've confiscated the mini iron my husband bought to use in building his [expensive] RC airplanes (now THERE'S a real waste of good money that could be used to purchase more beads!)

I have to admit that I've gone over to the small side...I have grown to prefer the little iron because I feel I can control it more and get the most even results. I use both Perler and Hama beads (as many/most?) of us do. I've found that, in general, Hama beads do not succumb to the iron as quickly or readily as do their Perler counterparts (in pieces where I've used both brands.) This may be because the Hama beads are slightly shorter than the Perlers...Additionally, some colors (regardless of whether they are Perler or Hama) tend to melt/fuse more quickly, others more reluctantly. (Those whites tend to melt if you look at them funny, Hama flesh are notoriously slow melters, Perler Creme take forever, and Perler Periwinkle Blue can be pretty tricky as it is wickedly easy to accidentally over-iron them.)

That's why I prefer the little iron because I can better control how long I keep the iron in contact with relatively small areas that I know from experience will melt significantly more quickly or slowly than others. On occasion, I've used just the point/tip of the iron on individual beads one at a time in tricky areas.

Yeah, this can take a heck of a lot longer on ginormous sprites, but the better result is almost always worth the time for me...
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crazyotto



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer some hole but my ironing is horribly inconsistent and I have little control over the appearance of the result. I've decided to buy a smaller iron. Mine is huge, heavy, and has pits for steam (I've come to refer to it as "the behemoth"). I'm hoping this is the reason why I get beads with large holes next to beads that are practically sealed. I'm going to experiment with smaller sprites to practice my technique and, once I have developed some control, I'll probably try ironing the holes out of some sprites to see how I feel about the appearance.

Has anyone deliberately ironed the holes in a single project to varying diameters in order to create specific textures (e.g. as a way to simulate another layer of shading or bring out details that a blend of bead colors could not adequately reproduce such as rippling fabric)?
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone deliberately ironed the holes in a single project to varying diameters in order to create specific textures (e.g. as a way to simulate another layer of shading or bring out details that a blend of bead colors could not adequately reproduce such as rippling fabric)?

I haven't tried this yet because the idea never occurred to me! I plan to try this sometime soon...Thanks for the idea!!! Razz
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Kyra Maverick
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that I dont have an ironing board is making it rather difficult for me to get an even finish. I have to lay a towel down on my table and just be really careful.

I would love to be able to fully melt my beads, but quite often some of the beads will liquefy and not meld very well. I've tried multiple heat settings, but maybe Im just not patient enough.
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Vhazza



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use an ironing board either. It's usually the kitchen worktop or a towel (and in the case of my present project...a beach towel)

Recently tried 'steaming' the beads together and seemed to work. Beads held together and didn't seem to lose much of their size....wouldn't recommend for large piece though

Huggles
Vhari x
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Gamerfaith
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seemed to be having problems with my new iron.
My pieces are getting these warped beads and I'm getting them on the 4th setting, but the pieces take forever to melt on the 3rd setting.

Anyone else have the same problem?

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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:45 pm    Post subject: Ironing Reply with quote

Gamerfaith, are you moving your iron around constantly? That's how I avoid those single-bead or small-area distortions...
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saturnine13
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gamerfaith wrote:
I seemed to be having problems with my new iron.
My pieces are getting these warped beads and I'm getting them on the 4th setting, but the pieces take forever to melt on the 3rd setting.

Anyone else have the same problem?


I've encountered that before, it's awful. I don't think it has anything to do with ironing technique -- because you can see perfectly normal beads melted evenly right next to the ones that ripple or stretch out grotesquely. If it were the ironing, it would affect large patches, not single beads.

I think the problem is simply a bad batch of beads. I haven't been able to identify them before melting. I've noticed it mostly with Perler black and butterscotch. I really wish there were some way to sift them out, because they're gross looking and can ruin a whole piece.
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Freaky Beads Reply with quote

I've successfully done the following when one or a few beads turn out distorted after ironing:

I first under-iron the piece, let it cool a little, and remove the ironing paper to inspect the piece.  This shows me where I need to go a little heavier on the ironing and where I need to iron just a little more.

I iron some more, then let the piece cool a little again, flip it over, and repeat the above.

At this point, even though the piece is not finished being completely ironed, I can see the areas where the beads are clearly overmelted and freaky-looking.  I then use my handy X-Acto knife and cut out the offending bead(s) plus a one-bead margin of "healthy" beads.  Since the piece is not completely ironed, I can then wedge in substitute beads and gradually iron them in, usually by ironing a little on one side, flipping the piece, ironing a little on the other side, and repeating as many times as necessary.  I then do my "finishing" ironing.

I hope this is helpful.
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