Working with shrink art this month has been quite a learning curve. I remember making shrinky dinks when I was a little kid- but I'm 38 now so that was a long time ago. I watched a few tutorials on-line and jumped right in practicing on recycled plastic with my fashion camp kids. I would not say that I have mastered the material; however I have definitely improved and practiced.
A few things that I have noticed while working with this new (to me) material that I want to share in case anyone out there is also interested in playing around with shrink art.
(BTW- CLICK HERE to go directly to my series if you don't feel like searching 'round the ol' web site)
If you opt for the heat gun- VENTILATE! (ventilate in general...but especially with the heat gun)
I also ordered some sanded plastic sheets...and I have mixed reviews. I like the way the Sharpie colors looked on the frosted surface, seemed even brighter. And because one side was sanded, I could use Prismacolor colored pencils on top of the Sharpie for a little more color depth. But once baked the surface was pretty grainy on the sanded side- not too bad if you flip the piece to the back, though. Baking the sanded plastic was fine, no real issues.
Going forward, if I create more shrink art pieces I will work with clear or sanded- or heck, maybe just the recycled plastic!
I enjoyed drawing the pieces more than the actual baking process, to tell you the truth. I mean, the first batch or two I was like, 'oooooh, ahhhhh'. But after that- kinda felt like a chore. Keep in mind I don't like to even cook food (I prefer cleaning to cooking) so that might be part of it. I was always happy with just the pieces pre-bake...then stressed during the baking/shrinking process...and then many times a little frustrated after it was all said and done. I re-did almost my entire first week of work because I was so shocked by how much the pieces actually shrank...and after that I just tried my best to 'fix' any issues as they happened- hence my chopstick and spatula method for trying to jump in an help guide the shrinking process. I didn't catch it a few times; there were some pieces that started to fold onto themselves in the convection oven. I thought about re-doing them...then just decided to let it be...and to let it be a part of the learning process.
Am I am master shrink artist? '_______________ (insert curse word of your choice) NO!' Will I keep making shrink art? Yeah, probably. Mainly for small jewelry pieces.
And that brings me to this-how do I display them? I decided early on NOT to punch holes in my daily works, I was adamant that I did NOT want them to become pendants, etc. I wanted them to be small works of art. In my mind I think I was thinking of some type of clear Plexiglas display, so that the light could shine through. But then the issue is still how to attach them even if I find the frame that I want. I know that I can always attach a hanger/wire with some clear glue...so it is still an option. And then a tiny voice offered up another idea.
Artist and Art Teacher