Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Walking Polymer Advertisement

Text or Letters. There are so many ways to use them to create art. The September Polymer Clay Guild of Etsy challenge theme is just that: Fun with ABCs, basing your art around letters or words. I had so many ideas floating around in my head for this challenge. But, as the month of August marched on, I found myself with limited time to create. Then, the recurrence of a health issue for a family member meant I wouldn't even have time to be in my studio, so I had to come up with something that would be portable, which meant limited supplies. Hmm, this meant no pasta machine or needing to juggle sharp blades... which for my mind, spelled out using paintbrushes and liquid polymer. That thought was when my final inspiration struck!


I had purchased some very inexpensive T-shirts which I wanted to decorate with polymer, you may remember my previous polymer decorated T-shirt which you can find here. But this time, I wanted the design to be more contiguous, which meant that I needed the polymer to be super flexible, as a t-shirt decal would be. I could have tried straight liquid polymer, but I knew that would result in a stiffer (more uncomfortable) product, so I came up with a concoction of liquid polymer plus 2 additives. The cured texture of this mixture is more like a rubbery latex material and it flexes beautifully with the fabric! The only problem is that when too much of one of the ingredients is added it creates a gummy, gooey blob. And when too much of the other ingredient is added it created a smoother product, but one which didn't cure fully. So, it required a lot of patience and trial and error. I am not revealing my concoction yet, because I feel it is not perfected. I do have some ideas of how to make it even better, which I want to explore before I reveal my mad scientist experimentation results.

So, I set to work and created a T-shirt painted with my business logo. The front was bedecked with the chosen font of my business name logo, and on the back of the T-shirt, I tried my best to simplify and capture (in painted polymer) my polymer quilled globe design (which has become my business logo - see the header of the blog above), plus the text of the web address of this blog.


Unfortunately, time was running low and when it was time to paint the inside of the continents (the very last thing I did), I was left with the choice of letting them go unpainted, or painting them with a combination of straight liquid polymer from 2 different brands. As I had predicted, the result of the straight LPC, without my secret additives, was a stiff texture. Luckily, these are such small areas, that it will not detract from the comfort of the T-shirt. Unfortunately too, I was unable to add the scrolled faux quilled design to the interior of the continents, due to lack of time.


All-in-all, I'm happy with the results of my experimentation and my new walking advertisement for my business! As I alluded, I am wanting to experiment further with this idea, and have a stack of T-shirts piled up, waiting to be decorated. When I get the combination adjusted to a well workable, curable and predictable mixture, I'll be ready to share my experimentation and results, possibly in the form of a tutorial. Thanks for stopping by my blog to check out my logo T-shirt project! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this piece, please consider leaving me a comment below! Voting opens for this PCAGOE challenge on September 1st and will run through the 7th at midnight EST. I'll try to post a reminder here, when voting is open.

4 comments:

  1. Beth, you are amazing. I love how your mind works and when you have a minute I'd love to share my own experiments with fabric and lpc. This is another amazing project.

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    1. Thanks so much Line! I'd love to hear about your experimentations... shoot me an email. I'll respond to you eventually, I promise! ;) Hopefully things will calm down in my household soon!

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  2. Pretty darned awesome, Beth!!! Also, I wouldn't necessarily feel pressured to "share" everything - we have to have some secrets... ;)

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    1. Thanks so much Susan! :) Your comments mean so much!

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