January 21, 2011

Friendly Plastic Masterclass ~ Day Five

day 5 ~ colouring techniques and the art of making things double sided

Hello again gang! Can you believe its day 5 already???
Today we are going to focus on colouring FP, both changing its colour and recolouring parts of the plastic where the foil either is not present {on the back} or where it is exposed by our designs and we wish to rectify this. This is particularly important in pieces such as jewellery that you may wish to be double sided, so I will show you a couple of ways of achieving this.

Technique twelve ~ back to back shapes

The most obvious way to make a double sided piece is by making making double the pieces! If you make two pieces the same symmetrical shape, you can simply attach them back to back and both sides will be the *good* side. The pieces can be attached either by simply gently heating the back of one piece until it goes shiny {foiled sided down on the a non~stick sheet} and then gently pressing the back of the other piece into position. The heat in the first piece will cause the two pieces to fuse together. Alternatively, you can join the two pieces with a strong glue, like an epoxy glue.
One of the great things about this method is that you can easily sandwich a small item between the two pieces, especially useful if you are making jewellery, as a piece of wire sits neatly between the pieces which you can bend to make loops for beading or threading.
You can also make quite chunky pieces this way, as the finished piece will be a double layer. However, if you squash or iron the pieces before you join them its still possible to make really thin pieces too. Versatile, huh?

This technique was used to create my red and gold necklace {heat melded} and the blue and gold keyfob {glued}.

Technique thirteen ~ using foils on *raw* FP

If you’ve been playing along with me, you’ll have noticed by now that the back of a piece of FP is different to the front. The back may be black, white, or coloured, but it is not foiled prettily like the front of the FP strip. I think of this as the *raw* side and to me this means two things: it doesn’t look so nice, and when its warm it sticks to your fingers if you’re not careful!
In order to get around this it is possible to foil the *raw* side {and any pieces that become *raw* as you play with the FP}. No technique could be easier than this. Simply heat your FP foil side down on a non~stick sheet until the *raw* side starts to shine. This is very quick! Then simply take a sheet of transfer foil and press it gently foil side up, onto your warm FP and gently smooth your fingertip over the top. The stickiness of the warmed plastic will lift the foil from its clear plastic carrier and when its cool it will simply lift away leaving a blank space on the foil sheet as you can see in the picture. {The foil i've used is by Colourcraft.}

This technique can also be applied to the edges of cut pieces too as a finishing touch by simply dipping the edges quickly into warm water and then rubbing the foil gently into place with your finger. Its a great way to finish off a jewellery item and make it look really professional :0)

The FP pellets, which we’ll come to in a moment, have no foiling on them at all and are effectively *raw*. Foiling the molded pellets is also a simple way to create super metallic, shiny pieces.

Another great use of this technique is to refoil scrap FP...but we’ll talk about scraps more on day 7...
Technique fourteen~ recolouring FP using other art media

As well as in stick form, you can buy FP in plain white pellet form, and this is a great way to create subtle colours of FP for your projects.
I have only just discovered these pellets...so I’m still playing around to find out what works best here. So far i’ve discovered that you can colour them beautifully and delicately with a few drops of Ranger Alcohol Inks...which is perfect as i have a whole collection of them! :0)
To do this, pour a handful of pellets into a small heat resistant container {i’ve used the little tins that tea~light candles come in} and add a few drops of alcohol ink. Mix gently and add more drops of colour if you want a deeper hue. The ability to do this means that you can create your own *shades* that will perfectly tone and make matching colours a dream. *Hurrah!*

To create a single coloured piece of FP {though not a flat tone as the finished piece will be mottled with colour} heat your pellets in a cookie cutter {to stop them blowing/rolling away} until they melt. At this point they will glisten like jewels and its worth doing it just to see this stage as its sooo beautiful!! To create a multi~tonal piece of FP add pellets of several colours into the cookie cutter and heat. Leave to cool or plunge into cold water and then work with it like any other piece of FP.

There are obviously hundreds of other media that could be used to colour and recolour FP. Topically you can use alcohol inks to alter the colour of foils just as you would on glossy cardstock, but you are not limited to inks...think oil paint, nail varnish and gilding flakes too! Experiment, have a go...and if it works well...be sure and let me know so i can have a go too :0)

Ok, so now to today’s little project. I’ve created a brooch piece using some of today’s techniques and you could too...here’s how:

Construct a piece of stripey FP as we did on day two, and without squashing it, sink two cookie cutters into it, a circle and a smaller heart. Leave it to cool. Separate the pieces and keep the circle with the heart shaped hole in it handy.
Warm a piece of FP slightly bigger than the circle cutter and with wet fingers carefully ease it outwards from the middle, breaking up the foiled pattern. While this is still warm, lay a sheet of transfer foil over it and gently buff with your finger tips. When it cools completely lift the transfer film away.
Now very gently warm the foiled piece and push the circle piece into it. Add a blue pearl while its still warm and then leave it to cool. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy...a perfect piece to use as an embellishment, a brooch or a pendant!

Thats it for today...and i’ve decided to give myself the weekend off...so days six and seven will be next week! Have a super fun weekend...maybe treat yourself to a little FP and have a go...and then come back and tell me how you got on!
just popping back to say...i forgot to mention why i cropped that last photo so oddly, but it was to show you what the pellets look like when they cool. The colours are much more subtle and waxy looking...really pretty!


Handmade Hannah said...

Brilliant - just brilliant!

misteejay said...

Super ideas

Toni :o)

Claireliz said...

They are amazing Alix, I don't own any FP but when I get some I'll be trying your techniques

alexa said...

Love those multi-tonal ones - glorious!

Jinny Holt said...

Thanks for the master classes on FP, I have learnt lots of new things from you!! I look forward to your next instalment.

Thanks for sharing

Jinny :~)

Scrappy~Sarah said...

me thinks I might be on the look out for FP :)

Elaina said...

I think I love the pellets more than the strips. I just need to pursuade my husband to take me to get some. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

Sue said...