My mother died 8 years ago. I don’t have many family photos displayed, but there is one of her with me when I was a baby that I really love and keep on the bookshelf in my bedroom. The photo is now 40 years old and is becoming a little faded and frayed. It’s been stuffed in boxes and exposed to sunlight and will, I know, eventually disintegrate into nothing. Paper is not permanent, and it isn’t even all that tough. If I want to preserve that image and that memory, I need to do something different with the photo, something that can stand up to sun and less than careful handling and time.
Although I’ve written several times about sublimating items using photographs, it took a friend and EnMart customer to clue me in to the fact that sublimation is a great way to preserve treasured photos. George Rivas, from MWC Enterprises, has done a fantastic job of preserving one of his family photos. He even played with different ways of preserving the photo and different color schemes. The result is a new version of what was already a family treasure, and a version that will last long after the paper photo has crumbled to dust.
A lot of people nowdays are looking for ways to preserve their memories. New technology has made the paper photograph almost obsolete. We can put the photos into slide shows, render them on to DVDs, and save them on our phones and PDAs. Despite all that, however, there is still the urge to display the images of those we love in the spaces where we work and live. A paper photo is one way to do that, but it isn’t the most durable way.
Sublimation gives you a myriad of options for displaying photos and for gifting others with photos that have special memories. You can create a special keepsake box with a meaningful photo for a graduate or a child who is getting married. You can create mugs with that goofy photo from summer camp for the camp reunion party. I’m sure almost any coach in the world would love a clipboard with a picture of his or her winning team on it. Water bottles with photos of loved ones lost to cancer would be great motivators and memorials during an anti-cancer walk. The possibilities are limited only by the blanks that are available for sublimation and the photos that you have.