Alternate Title: How to dry prints in your oven
Yes, this is my oven. It’s old and gold (tone) and it works. It ‘came with the house’, is a relic from the 1970’s and is still perfectly functional. We don’t use it much, being modern folks, meaning we often dine on Mr. Noodles and KD or my favourite, miniravioli in a can. Okay, we’re not THAT bad, but dinners usually involve the stove top, only rarely the oven, therefore, the oven is there for storage.
Most of the time, our oven houses cat food and dog food, to protect it from predators (such as cats and dogs). It also houses rarely used cookie sheets (baking cookies is a terrible idea in my house, because I eat them all), and printmaking supplies in the form of plexiglass, glass sheet and baking trays (all for the making of my gelatine plates). Sometimes it houses the dogs dish with dog food within to protect it from Rambo the giant cat with the bigger appetite.
But today it’s looking a lot like Christmas. As usual, I procrastinate and left some of my printing too late in the year. I forgot to calculate the drying time for oil-based inks, which is much longer than the water-based inks (days/weeks vs minutes/hours). The blue thing on the left is a t-shirt, printed up on Tuesday with oil-based ink. I need to ship this, so it needs to be dry and this morning it was worse than tacky. So I needed some heat to hurry things along.
And then there is this years batch of Christmas cards (NO SPOILERS HERE) and I’m using some silver oil-based ink, and, yep, forgot to calculate drying time for these also. They were all pressed on Tuesday too. Desperation is the mother of invention (is that the correct cliche?) and so at 9am this morning I cleared the oven of all sundry kipple, turned the oven dial to 200f, and commandeered the cookie sheets into print-making duty. The little genie bottle is an air-freshener, hopefully to mitigate the inevitable oven odours that warmth may impart to the items.
Now, at 1pm, I can tell you, the oven smells very nice, and not at all edible, and the prints are reasonably dry and ready for stage two.
Now, I could warn you all, and say, “don’t try this at home” kiddies, being a fire hazard and all, but here’s how I did it. I turned the oven on while rummaging around for coffee. THEN I checked the inside temperature with my hand. If it was hot, but comfortable for my hand, I figure it is safe for t-shirts and papers. I turned the oven OFF and put the goods inside.
If you want to play it really safe, you would do things in this order every half-hour until dry. I didn’t. I just occassionally turned the oven ON again at the low temperature and managed to turn it OFF again within a few minutes. The danger of this method, is you might forget and leave things ON, which is not …. oh, oops, gotta run….
PS. Now that the oven if OFF, those little waxed paper sheets are there to protect the tacky ink from my ruler as I cut paper to size. Sometimes, procrastination adds a whole lot of extra labour to the list.
Um, oops, and DUH!!! Wax paper+heat??? What was I thinking? Of course, my lovely prints now have spots. So don't be stupid (unlike moi) and DON'T USE WAX PAPER AS A PROTECTIVE SHEET IF YOU ARE HEAT DRYING YOUR PRINTS. DUH!!!