Thursday, July 24, 2008

Making Rubber Lace

Remember the melting of organza & the foiling? A very good friend of mine, Michelle, suggested I try using cheap craft felt that you can find at JoAnn's & Michael's for around 20 cents a square & puff paint & hitting it with a heat gun. Puff paint? I had to go into a store & buy puff paint? How embarrassing. When I think of puff paint, I think of when mom used to decorate sweat shirts with it. Please, lady behind the register, don't think I'm going to use this for this. (I know how silly of me to think that.) So I don't cringe every time I say it, I'll call it expandandable paint. It sounds more technical & not as tacky. (You can quit your laughing now.)

I did tons of sampling using craft felt, expandable paint, lumiere paint & a heat gun. The first two samples, I kind of consider as flops. I wanted to make 4" by 6" pc's. I cut the felt that size, applied the puff, I mean expandable paint & hit it with a heat gun. I soon realized as you can see below, with the melting, the felt shrunk in size & I applied the expandable paint to close to itself. It seemed to take over & you couldn't see the melted felt below it. I also used a green & a blue expandable paint & I didn't really like how the colors turned out.

The photo below, I used black craft felt & white expandandable paint. While the paint was still wet, I applied blue embossing powder. After the paint dried, I hit it with a heat gun & this is what happened.

I might add, when heating the felt, you need VERY good ventilation. When I started I just used one of those cheap painting masks......THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I would suggest either a respirator or do what I did, opened the garage door for fresh air & proper ventilation. I wasn't sure I liked what was happening with this piece & the embossing powder, but after completing more samples & coming back to it, I decided, I really like it. The embossing powder gave the piece this frosted or fuzzy look.

While shopping for felt, I didn't realize there were so many different colors & look they had my neon green!!

I used the green felt & white expandable paint. After the expandable paint dried, I hit it with a heat gun. The white was so overwhelming, I decided to go back in & paint it with lumiere paint which calmed the white down quite a bit. I have to say, I think this might be my favorite sample of all. Not sure how to finish it, since it just looks nice when you hold it in front of you & are able to see the space through it.

One thing I wanted to add about the different color felts, I realized that the colors melted at a different rate. I melted black, the green above & a dark blue. The black melted right away, the green took a little bit longer & it appeared to melt differently changing the look of the felt & the blue, just didn't want to melt at all. With the heat gun about an inch away it just did not want to melt. It's possible the fabric content of each color uses a different percentage of polyester, which is why they all melted at different rates?

The bottom pieces were actually why I did all of the sampling. They led up to these which are for a swap in Surface Design. We were to use black, white & a color & I wanted to create something really different for this swap & I think that's been achieved.

I used black craft felt & white expandable paint. After the paint dried, I hit it with a heat gun & then applied black lumiere paint, copper lumiere paint & black paint again. To emphasize the copper color, I painted Lutradur with the same lumiere copper paint & layered it behind the felt. It was suggested that I needed a focal point & that possibly I should add some beading to do this, hence the photo below. I'm not sure what I think, so will refrain from an opinion until I live with it for a little while. I tend to be VERY critical of my work.

The reason I titled this post "Making Rubber Lace" is while laying on the counter it takes on all of the characteristics of fragile lace, but then you hold it in your hand & realize, it's actually quite strong & not as fragile as you thought & actually has this "rubbery" pliable feel to it.

I haven't decided what to use these techniques for in a finished piece (besides a pc). They're really nice to not be backed & to be able to hold up & see the daylight through. Maybe a vessel, although I've never been good at the third dimension in creating work. Maybe in a small wall piece & creating a cut out for this "rubber" embellishment??


Purple Missus said...

Oh yes, I'm definitely going to try this one. You got some great results here. Really like the colouring on the last two.
And I just love your description 'Rubber Lace' sounds a bit naughty *LOL*

Jacq said...

Tracy, this is great stuff will have to try it out.

kiwicarole said...

Hi Tracy, your experiments are really interesting! I think I might try this too! Thanks for sharing. Oh and by the way, I am still laughing - puff paint! I know just what you mean!

Judy Rys said...

I've used the puff paint to make trees and rocks, but haven't melted the background like this to create lace. It's very unique, I'll have to give it a try.

Tracy said...

these are terrific Tracy, haven't used puff paint much, can see it has great possibilities
Just got home from school -missed lunch so after a quick coffee - off to play, hopefully have some pics to post on the forum later
Bye for now
Tracy MC