What you need:
*Tumbled marble tiles (available at home improvement stores)
*Golden matte gel medium
*Color or black-and-white photocopies--NOT inkjet printer printouts. Reverse text images
What you do:
Cut out the photocopied images to fit the tiles. Spread the gel medium (which is the consistency of cold cream) using an inexpensive brush or your finger on the TOP of the paper image. Place the image face down on the tile. Smooth out with a brayer or bone folder.
Here's the hard part: wait until the next day.
The next day dampen the paper on the tile with a sponge or paper towel. Using your finger, roll the paper off. As the paper comes off, you’ll see the image on the tile. Let the tile dry and you'll usually see a white haze of paper fibers, so dampen and gently rub again.
You can add stamped words or hand-color the tiles with inks, chalk, or watered-down craft paints.
Seal with 2 or 3 coats of craft paint varnish, allowing each to dry between applications. The 4-inch tiles may be used as coasters.
When one didn't turn out, I broke it and put words on the shards--this ended up being my favorite thing to do! Smaller size tiles and shards can also be used as elements in assemblages or worn as jewelry. Maria Lamb. March 04.
Here's how to do transfers on 4" tumbled marbled tiles.
I started doing these last summer and gave sets using vintage family photos as gifts (sealed to be used as coasters--which none of the recipients will because they love the tiles too much to risk it).
The 4" tumbled marble tiles come in a box of 9 tiles, and the 2" ones are 36 on a sheet of mesh. I color (with ink & chalk mostly, although I used watered-down craft paint on the Madonna-like one) directly on the tiles after transferring a photocopy. It hadn't occurred to me to color the image before transferring, that might work or the wet gel medium might cause it to run.
About the gel medium--the specific brand GOLDEN works much, much better than other products (like Liquitex or ModPodge). "Real" photocopies from the local print shop also give better transfers than toner-based copies from our home fax/copy machine. Remember to reverse images that use words/text.
It (finally) dawned on me that photocopies of other stuff I'd done could be used as tile images. The 4" Thumbling Fairy School tile and the 2" NormaJune (Kooi) Snowcap tile were from a 4x4 page from a "fat little book" collaborative. And, of course, you might recognize all the little fairies from the Wings ATC swap.