Google+ The Art of Friendly Plastic: Friendly Plastic and Patchwork Quilts

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Friendly Plastic and Patchwork Quilts

I am particularly excited about today's blog post! Read on how Trish Bee, a multi media artist from the North West of England uses friendly plastic in a patchwork quilt

She writes:

I signed up for a swap over on our swap board where we have to use Friendly Plastic. Its been YEARS since I last played with friendly plastic and I was itching to have another go so this swap was the perfect excuse to actually USE the friendly plastic strips Id recently purchased :)


I’d forgotten just how addictive friendly plastic can be!


For this swap I wanted to make my friendly plastic resemble a kind of metallic patchwork quilt using different colours and shapes of plastic strips. I also wanted to incorporate hearts into the project as Im addicted to using them, at this point I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to create it. I just had a picture in my head of a metallic quilt with a heart in the middle. With that vision in my mind I set about experimenting and this is what I came up with :)


The only tools I used were:



  • A heat gun (for rubber stamp embossing)

  • Non stick cooking liner (baking parchment)

  • A cup of cold water

  • Metal embossing tool (the type used in dry paper embossing)

  • Friendly Plastic Marbling Comb (you could use a metal comb or a fork)

  • Strong scissors (for cutting a heart shape)


Before I started I collected up some different colours of friendly plastic strips and using the scissors I chipped at the strips creating random abstract pieces, I didnt think too carefully about this and I wasnt neat and tidy about it as I wanted the pieces to look as if they were scraps and chippings. If you’ve got a stash of friendly plastic offcuts they would be perfect for this!


Once Id collected a stash of friendly plastic chips and shapes, I layed them down onto a sheet of baking parchment leaving a slight gap inbetween each piece like below:


FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP1-C


Next using the heat tool, I heated the friendly plastic from the top until I could see the physical change in its texture, once that change happened I knew it was melted and ready for ‘playtime’ :)


I took the marbling comb and dragged it through the edges of the plastic to create a frilly lace type edge. I didnt want to merge the colours together too much at this point.


Next using the metal embossing tool I first dipped it into water so that it wouldnt stick in the plastic,and added little holes into the friendly plastic to add texture. The embossing tool can also be used to add dents and drag the friendly plastic around to add interest.


It was by doing this I discovered that you can use the embossing tool to make the plastic to ’sew’ itself together by dragging seperate pieces of friendly plastic together to make them form one complete faux patchwork piece.


It almost feels as if you are stiching with the friendly plastic itself!


I love doing this method as you cant completely control how it is going to turn out as the friendly plastic has a mind of its own :)


Heres an example of how it looked at the next step:


FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP2-C


Next using a strong pair of scissors I cut out a random heart shape from a red metallic sheet of friendly plastic, I could have used a cookie cutter for this but I wanted a ‘non perfect’ looking heart shape for this project.


While the friendly plastic was still warm I placed the heart shape right into it like below:


FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP3-C


I decided it needed something else so I broke off some little chips of friendly plastic in mauve and pressed them into the friendly plastic on the left hand side to create a border:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP4-C


Next, I heated the friendly plastic again; but just enough to melt the red heart in the middle and the mauve chips, then using the embossing tool dipped into water I pressed it into the heart all around the edge so that it would meld together with the previous layers of friendly plastic and also it adds texture to the heart at the same time:


FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP5-C


While the friendly plastic cooled down, I used the embossing tool to add holes and dents all over the patchwork until I decided it was finished:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP6-C


Another photo of the above quilt on a black background for contrast:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 7-C


Heres some other friendly plastic patchwork quilts I did below, Ive added the before and after photos so that you can see how I layered the friendly plastic before applying heat and adding texture:


Step 1: Various strips of friendly plastic layered onto baking parchment.

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1

Step 2: Heat was applied to the friendly plastic using heat gun; once melted I pressed the heart into the friendly plastic

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2

Step 3: The finished piece after Id forced myself to STOP prodding it with the embossing tool (its addictive)

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3


Another Friendly Plastic Patchwork Quilt:


Step 1:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1


Step 2: I decided it was a little bare so added some more bits to add interest:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2


Step 3: Finished quilt

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3


More Friendly Plastic Quilts:


FRIENDLY PLASTIC


FRIENDLY PLASTIC


This is just a piece what I used before making the quilts above, I wanted to practise using the metal embossing tool to add holes and manipulate the friendly plastic to add movement:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC

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