Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A frustrating day, but fun

Yesterday started with me waiting like what seemed forever on Dana. In order to keep from going crazy while waiting, I decided to try an Alisa Burke technique. She is the artist who makes handbags from plastic grocery bags. True to form, I didn't make mine according to Alisa's directions.

I began by cutting the bottoms with my paper cutter.

I also cut the tops the same way. Alisa used scissors.

Instead of turning them inside out before I cut them, like she did, I turned mine once they were cut. Then I aligned them, one bag facing one direction, another the opposite. I stacked six bags together because they were very thin. These were bags I brought back from California last year, thinking I would try this technique because I loved the colors in the bags.

Not sure you can see this, but my iron is set on 3, which is a medium low heat.

Although I used my craft sheet, I also laid an old (but clean) tea towel down on top of the craft sheet to protect the table. After all, I don't have an ironing board, so I had to use something with a bit of cushion. I laid a sheet of heavy card stock on top of the tea towel, but under the stack of bags, then another sheet of card stock on top. I pressed slowly in circles until the entire sheet of card stock had been covered. Then I moved the card stock and checked my progress. You can tell as soon as the section has fused because it will feel thicker and like plastic fabric that is pliable.

When completely ironed, my bags were distorted, but completely fused. I have no idea how to keep the edges from fraying or the bags from distorting, unless you use less bags. You will probably also get a few bubbles. Also, I nicked the bags a couple of times and caused holes in one layer of the bags. Hopefully, these imperfections will be hidden in the next step.

Although I forgot to take a photo, the next step was to use silkscreen ink. Since I had no silkscreen ink, I at least listened when Alisa said acrylics have a tendency to flake. Somehow I have a gut feel and believe this is true, so I decided to use gesso to cover the bags. I'm hoping the gesso will work. So right before Dana came by for me, I painted one side of the bags with a coat of gesso. I guess we'll see how my little experiment works today when I finish the bags.

Dana and I stopped at Carriage Crossing in the Amish town of Yoder to pick up some more of those huge homemade cinnamon rolls.

This sign was on one of the walls of the restaurant as we walked in. They were also along the highway.

This sign was on the other side of the door, but I've never seen a highway sign like it.

Although I tried to take photos of this wall the last time we were there, my camera batteries died. This time I not only recharged them, I took a second set for good measure. I have no idea why I did that, because this was the only photo I took of the wall of quilts and paintings.

I also only took one photo of the outside of the cafe in the tiny town,

and one photo of small grain elevators. In fact, I believe they call these storage bins, not elevators.

Dana had the four cinnamon rolls and was on the way to her car. You can see how many people were there, and it wasn't even the lunch hour!! This was a popular place, and someday we'll grab Kathy and take her to Yoder to eat lunch.

Kathy's tree is beautiful behind her as she says good bye to us. We didn't make any art, although I had intended to show her and Dana a new technique I learned. Guess that will happen another day, maybe even today!!

3 thoughtful remarks:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Autumn left me a nice note this morning about my tutorial. She also informed me I had won a gift from her blog. She asked me to delete the message because it had her e-mail with it. Unfortunately, I was unable to delete only part of her message, so I copied the part that didn't have anything to do with her e-mail address.

"Neat tutorial, I've been seeing a lot of this.

~ Autumn Clark"

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

those grain elevators sure are cool looking, neat Amish signs too!

I ended up going down the page and am at where your plastic fusion began

I did some fusing of plastic bags...had to do it outside...I have a very sensitive nose...I've not taken it to the next level ... need to get my sewing machine tuned up something is not right and I miss it!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

oh and congrats on your win on Autumn's blog, she has really had some fun ideas and sharing, great prizes too!