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Stained Glass from Your Inkjet 
by Jim McGee

Sometimes the best ideas are simple ones.  My wife has a love affair with stained glass, which if you've ever priced it, can be pretty darned expensive.  One day she was commenting on a shot hanging in my office, "that would look nice as a stained glass piece".

At the time I was preparing slides for a meeting.  So I got the idea to print an image I had laying around the hard drive onto a slide and see how long it would last when exposed to sunlight.

The first try looked awful.  Following the instructions with the slides produced a "thin" image that looked washed out, with no contrast, no color saturation, and no detail.

So I went back into Paint Shop Pro and duplicated the layer.  On the new layer I set the blending mode to MULTIPLY 100%.  This effectively doubled the density of the image.

This time the slide that came out of the printer (Epson 1270) looked pretty good.  There was some loss of detail printing to the cheap transparency but from any distance other than up close, it looked good.

Using acid free tape I attached it to an 8x10 mat board and put it in a window that gets direct sun for most of the day.  That was in January.  It's the first week of August as I'm writing this and it still looks good.  There is only some very slight fading and the mat board has bowed a bit because it wasn't supported.  That means that I can get creative about creating "pseudo" stained glass for our family room.  A quick check of the old mail order catalog tells me that Lumijet makes transparency film at 13x19 that will work in my Epson.  So I now have a unique way to display images and a unique way to decorate! (not to mention some points with the wife!)

The best images for this application would be simple and/or elemental compositions rather than detailed images and this would be a great place to experiment with a filters such as "line art" and "stained glass".  Now if I could just find the time to play...


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