Thursday, January 04, 2007

Class Project, 5th-6th Grade

I got talked into designing a class fundraising project for Mrs Maultsby's 5th/6th grade class. It wasn't hard, she just acted like I had already volunteered. I went home and checked my forehead for some kind of special mark. It must be invisible, but if so, then how did she see it?

She wanted to make T-shirts with Andinka designs. Maybe stamped or sponge painted? So I pondered it and decided what I wanted to try first, then I called Dharma Trading Company about fabric paint and told them what I was thinking. From their experience, that wouldn't have worked, but I ordered some paints anyway.

Then what I needed to do was get some blank t-shirts to practice on, but I couldn't find the time to do that, so I ended up using some shirts I already had. They have been worn and washed, but for experimental purposes, should be OK.Then I made some stamps out of craft foam, and sketched out some stencils to make and got a new Dremmel bit to cut them with. But before I cut them, I decided to try some background stamping.

I tried stamping with burlap to get a visual texture, but the burlap held the paint too much and you can't get it off onto the shirt.

I tried the craft foam stamps and got very unsatisfacory results. The stamps were not porous and didn't get enough paint onto the fabric which was very absorbant and needed a lot. I tried loading the stamps with more paint, but it oozed over the edge and made the stamped edges blobby without getting enough on the fabric. You can see this indistinct blobby mess in the green spirals on the orange t-shirt. Yes, those were supposed to be spirals.

I tried sponges next, but the sponge soaks up too much paint and won't let it go when you try to stamp the shirt.The triangles stamped on the blue sweatshirt are done with the craft foam stamps. See the design on your upper left? That's the craft foam stamps.
The background on the orange shirt is green heat puff paint, but it was very hard to get it hot enough to heat puff. I need to look into the cost of a heat gun.

Then I got a sponge with a scrubber on one side, and that works better. The scrubber holds enough paint and then lets it go more easily onto the shirt. I used it to add more white paint to the side of the sweatshirt with all the paint. I think it still needs more. This worked well for getting an interesting background visual texture but impractical for the Andinka desings.

So I went back to my original idea. I cut the design out of sticky label paper and stuck it onto the fabric, then dabbed the paint on with the scrubber sponge. That was difficult to get a good enough cover for crisp edges. I tried one of those paint brush sponge things and got better results. That's good becuase you can get them at Harbor Freight Tools for a good price. You can see the paint 'brush' laying on the orange t-shirt.This olive green piece is about 10 inches. I cut it off of another t-shirt. The spiral designs with white paint are sticky labels dabbed over with a sponge and peeled off.

The top purple design on the orange t-shirt is done the same way. I peeled the sticky paper off before the paint dried because I was afraid the paint would work like glue to adhere it to the shirt. That peeling thing was difficult and messy!

I don't like it because of the mess and the rough margins around the edge. so I masked new edges with masking tape, but I dont like the results. What I DID like was putting the purple over the green puff paint. The texture was great.

Next, I tried cutting out the design so that the design was a hole and the background was masked by the sticky paper. I cut the edge the exact shape I wanted. I applied this to the orange shirt and used the sponge brush to paint the purple on. I liked this much better because the design is the positive rather than the negative. The peeling off part was still messy. Did it have to be messy?

So, I stuck a sticky label to the green piece of shirt and painted over it with purple, then let it dry. It was a little tricky to get off, but possible, and not messy! Yeah!

So then I played with gold glitter paint on the orange shirt. The data has been gathered and it sits in my brain awaiting correlation.

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