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“Ghost Images” on aluminum plate…..possible ??


John Landstrom
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Hi all,

After seeing that there are numerous folks here that have some awesome talents, I thought I’d throw this out to see if anyone knows if this is possible and/someone who does this type of thing.

With all the lousy freezing rainy weather that just won’t seen to go away and allow us to have an actual springtime here in the Pacific North West my mind has been wondering more than usual.   
I have a concept for a tabletop stand for my wall mount Emerson fan - a 1942 12” model - made from aluminum plate between 3/4” and 1” thick.  I was looking at some of the photos my wife has had put on aluminum by Shutterfly.   I’d like to have a B/W image put on the aluminum, but don’t want it to be the focus of the project - rather more of a “Ghost” image that you see up close.   Not brilliant B/W, but more of tonal grays that almost disappear on the silver aluminum.   
 

I’ve looked up the processes and it seems that commercial outlets use thin sheet aluminum, some with a specific name for the type of aluminum it is.  Sometimes they mention a painted on white base coat etc.  I was hoping to find out if there is a way to take a B/W digital image and “infuse” it onto the aluminum.  I’m talking about the standard aluminum plate I can get from the local metal supplier; maybe buffed shiny.  Thinking of 1” thick for stability.

Possible ?    Where ?

and for those who are wondering…….”no” I haven’t been smoking the “evil weed”…….at least not today….

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31 minutes ago, Mark Olson said:

I think that a laser engraver/cutter may be able to produce the effect that you are looking for, but I am not sure.

Interesting idea.  I’ll have to look that up.   What occurred to me, and what I wanted to avoid, was etching (cutting) which I associate with lasers.  But that’s coming from my limited knowledge of lasers.   

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17 hours ago, Steve Cunningham said:

Check photoetching.

Been looking at that.  Most do etch into the surface.   I’d prefer a smooth surface.  
 

Am hoping to find something like a silver tone naval image ghosted onto the surface.  Have a message into one of the local vendors who does the standard framed metal prints on aluminum to see if he could do a thick plate or not.  It would have a few pre-drilled holes and a deep groove in it.  
 

I could do it in wood.   I’m used to working with wood and I know there are people who laser etch that too, but I’d prefer metal for the color weight and strength.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting. I am going to do a fan soon with this "ghost candy" technique. Probably on a 16 inch 77xxx Emerson or one of the R&M 1920s steel tanks.Screenshot_20230322_152353_Chrome.thumb.jpg.21a7a7d5c6f2d03a928005fb1b315eb9.jpg

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On 3/22/2023 at 10:08 PM, Chris Campbell said:

Look at the youtube videos of PNP Blue etching with salt water electrolysis or an acid bath.  
 

@Trevor Andersen you can buy ghost pearl pigments and mix into inter clear.  It is cheap and easier than mixing in clear top. PearlEx has a good micro pearl and Paint with Pearl sells the iridescent and interference and small handful of for color shifting as well.  That pic looks more of a maco pearl whereas the ghost pearls will change color of highlights and reflections.


 

 

I have been using Createx wicked colors and their line of metallics, pearls, candies etc. Im thinking something simple to start like this style paint I did on my 19666 with pinstripes or small scrollwork that only shows up in certain lighting or angles. FB_IMG_1679690629711.thumb.jpg.26c24704098780c08fbff244ceb9c218.jpg

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