Friday, April 5, 2013

playing with plastic

Hello Natalya here, typing with gluey fingers after the latest experiment. Lately I have found myself working with plastics once again. Those horrendous plastic bags that are still used in all the big box stores around here. Somehow, even though I mostly remember to bring my own cloth bags, I still wind up with tons of the plastic in my house. Occasionally I'll use them for texture, clear layer or shine in my work. But recently I endeavored to create a whole piece just from plastic.

In the past I have simply layered the plastic, pinned and stitched right thru it. But plastic tends to slide and that does not achieve perfect placement, which is usually OK by me, except that this time I was looking for something more precise. So I decided to experiment with matte medium.


I drew my basic sketch on paper and started cutting and layering the plastic right on top. Between each layer and the paper I added a light wash of matte medium. I smoothed things out as I worked, and all seemed to be going well. Until it dried. First off, I rediscovered that glue trapped between plastic sheets takes an awfully long time to dry... And when it does dry - it puckers. I was a bit worried that I'd have to scrap things..
I thought I'd outline-stitch my buildings first and then see how I feel. Things were still puckery, but I wanted to keep going.


By the time I stitched the details, the puckers did not bother me so much. I kind of liked the extra texture they added.
I moved on to the hand stitched details and the puckers were not an issue at all. Now hand stitching consumed all my attention and demanded more and more.
Here is a detail of the finished piece. See the full picture on my blog here

I am continuing with my plastics experiment: there is a sister piece to the "Glass Bridge" above, which is about to get its hand stitched details. It had a lot more time to dry, so I am curious to see if it'll feel different to stitch through. And for the piece after that, I intend to try fusing the plastics together. My only worry is about the fumes...glad spring is here...all my studio windows will be open!

6 comments:

BERYL TAYLOR said...

Looks a lot more interesting than when I tried it. Well done.

slkrueg said...

How was the hand-stitching on plastic? Seems like it would be tough to get through...

Natalya Aikens said...

hand stitching on plastic isn't too bad with armed with a sharp needle and a thimble...

Kristin L said...

Oh yes -- keep going! To me the puckers are part of the character of the bags -- kind of like pattern in commercial fabric -- it's part of the charm. I definitely look forward to the next installment.

Gloria Hansen said...

This is VERY cool, Natalya! Love it!

Carol Sloan said...

I just LOVE this! I Now I want to try it too! Beautiful Natalya and I hope that you share more with us.