Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mixed Media art technique for April

Charms etc from recycled metal and plastic

My goal this year is to use as many recycled items in my art as possible. I have been experimenting with painting metal and plastic items. I do not have it all perfected, but I will share my experiments. Feel free to use these ideas and do some experimenting yourself. For the metal pieces I used International coffee tins cut to small pieces with tin snips.

For melted plastic bags, I found an old clear plastic rain coat worked well. I also use clear grocery bags and any clear plastic bags that come with new products. i.e. bags holding cords when I got my new computer. Dry cleaning bags work well too. You have to experiment to see which kind you like. I also like to melt clear plastic drink glasses and dessert plates.

I use a variety of spray paint that I get at ACE Hardware store. I use an instant dry clear lacquer, clear acrylic medium either gloss or matte. I also use their Fusion paint that sticks to plastic. It is opaque so you loose any sight of the original material. I use golden acrylic paint, heavy bodied and fluid. I also use golden mediums and mod podge to make paper sturdier and sometimes translucent.

Plastic bag: I use a firm table that I put an old sheet on, then lay the plastic bags several layers thick and cover with a piece of canvas and iron over it with a hot iron. You can experiment with putting acrylic paint on before ironing. I have used paint both before and after ironing. You can also use a piece of paper over or under the plastic when you iron. I have tried using old magazine pages and tried to get the plastic to adhere to the paper. Then you can wash off the paper and the print will transfer to the plastic. I have had this work a couple of times, but it is far from perfect.

For clear plastic drink cups or clear plastic desert plates I cut and place under the canvas cloth, then I melt with the iron. It turns opaque when you melt it. These melted plastic pieces are flexible enough not to break but sturdy enough to be a backing for UTEE application. Acrylic paint will stick if you layer it with a clear acrylic spray or lacquer. I use white plastic carton lids in a similar fashion.

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