Friday, June 13, 2008

Recyling Techniques and Experiments



This technique takes plastic garbage bags and tissue paper, dress pattern paper, and a few images. You will also need a teflon sheet, an iron and ironing board. A well ventilated place is also a good idea.

First I assemble a sandwich of plastic bags sticking torn pieces of tissue paper in between. I used white plastic bags from various stores and clear plastic bags that my newspaper arrives in each morning. Place them on the teflon sheet and fold the sheet over so you are only ironing the teflon sheet. Do not iron on ironing board with out teflon sheet. If you do not have a teflon sheet freezer paper can be substituted. Use two sheets of freezer paper. You are making a sandwich - freezer paper/glossy side up or teflon sheet - then plastic bags and tissue - then freezer paper/glossy side down or teflon sheet. Iron away on a hot setting. Let cool. Then pull the teflon or freezer paper off. Everything should have melted together and become one sheet of tissue - plastic paper.

Second step, some images. I cut words and letters from the plastic bags. I also used some once used images on transparencies. I thought transparencies are plastic. They will melt into the bags. I put a layer of more plastic bags, these I cut up, some tissue and the transparency image then covered with a clear bag. Put my teflon sheet or freezer paper over the next sandwich layer and ironed. Melting everything together. I let it all cool. If you don't let it cool sometimes the warm plastic will distort or get small holes in it. Or the plastic letters will do strange things. You can remelt it or put more plastic and tissue on it till you are satisfied.

I played around with thickness and amount of tissue versus plastic. I found I like a tissue bottom and a plastic top. I also found that it runs through my sewing machine really well. I used a regular needle, but my layers were not really dense. I sewed and melted over the thread at times.

The most interesting thing was the the transparency DID NOT MELT. The clear plastic bag melted over it, but did not adhere to the actually transparency. I sewed around the transparency. With the clear plastic bag over it the transparency had a filmy quality that was nice. I took an exacto knife and cut the melted bag off the transparency and revealed the image. I decided with some of the images I was using I needed the detail. The example with the barn I only took part of the plastic off the transparency. I think that one is my favorite.

This technique has loads of possibilities. You could add fabric scraps, ribbon, film negatives, etc.. I like the idea of using up all those horrid plastic bags that just end up in our landfills and making art with them. This is just a few hours of play. I thought about how to use these sheet once I was finished. they are very pliable and could be used as journal covers, cut up in any size for ATC's or skinnies, etc... I have not tried painting on them with acrylics, but that might be cool, then remelting the acrylic into the plastic... Oh so many ideas and not enough time.

I also want to add that I have read several posts on some online art groups about artists using techniques to melt bags together to use in art work. I do not know if this is how they do it but after thinking about it for awhile this just seemed the most logical to me. I have not been able to find any tutorials about this nor did anyone want to share their particular technique.
I would love to see how anyone else does this and share ideas.

14 comments:

Amybella said...

I love this!! What a cool idea...you are a genius! You're right, the possibilities are endless...the first thing that popped into my head was being able to use some of the 'cool' plastic bags from mall stores to melt and the colors would be phenomenal. My favorite of yours is the one with bursts of colored tissue paper...it is very unique.

Thanks for providing the details...I'm going to try it and refer everyone on my blog to your link so they can get your instructions.

~amybella

Zeborah Loray said...

If you have areas where the melted bags are a bit thicker you can stamp/impress designs into it for texture too. :)

Val Foster said...

Wow, what a great technic. I'm very interested in trying this. And gee, I just bought a Teflon pressing sheet last week, so now I have one. Great timing! I love working with items that are not meant for art, most especially when they are free and easily accessible.

For example, I cut fresh leaves from my yard, and preserve them with gel medium on both sides. And then paint them with acrylic paint,and use them in my art Recently, I've been painting them with caulk, then using a toothpick to draw in the veins, then painting over that, then rubbing another color over them for contrast. The caulk adds great texture.

I, like you, love to share tutorials on my blog, when I've tried a new technic or come up with one of my own. Some bloggers do that, some don't. Thanks for sharing this great technic. The results you got are just great. Now I'm inspired by you to try this. Kudos to you.

Carol Weiler said...

I really am glad I found your blog. Love your tips and recipes-I will check in often. thanks!

Ro Bruhn said...

This looks great, thanks for sharing the technique

Mam said...

Thank you for sharing this. It definitely sounds like it has all sorts of possibilities. Is there a "ballpark" ratio of plastic to paper that you would recommend? Or did you keep track of that?
Also: About how hot for how long before things start going up in flames? :)
Like you and Val, I love to share tutorials on things I try that seem to work.
Nancy

Tammy Jackson said...

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing your technique. There are several people on Etsy.com selling items made with the fusing plastic bags technique. I've not seen anyone use transparencies in the layers though. Cool idea.

Here are a couple of tutorials for the fusing technique:

http://www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/fusing-plastic-bags-with-the-etsy-labs/1098/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB1mE8e35UY

-- Tammy

bockel24 said...

Your examples look great, and I definitely have to try this technique! Love the idea of using things that we throw away every day.

Gerrie Johnnic said...

Wow! I've played a little using the heat gun, but not the iron....I love it and shall play too.

Maggi said...

WOW! This is very interesting and worth a try. Thanks for posting.

Carol said...

What a unique technique...I am new at all this, but this oen soudns like something I would really like to try. I will ry it soon and put it on my blog and give you and your site credit.. I will pass alogn the link to you when I do.
Amazing!!!

purplepaint said...

Oh what a great idea! Finally something to do with those bags that produce comes in! Can't wait to try this! Marva

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you so much for the great tutorial! I can't wait to try it.

kathydkeith said...

I am feeling jealous 'cause you are crazy creative!

I keep surfin' the web when I should be doing art.

Always getting inspiration....

Thanks for the ideas.

Kathy
www.kathydkeith.etsy.com