January 24, 2011

Friendly Plastic Masterclass ~ Day Six

day 6 ~ 3-dimensional techniques

Welcome back after the weekend...i do hope you had a good one? Now, lets get started...
When you buy Friendly Plastic in flat strips it is easy to think it has to stay that way, but this is sooo not true. Using either the pellets or the sticks it is really fun to bend it round things...shape it over things...and enter the *third dimension!* Obviously there are many ways to mold the warm FP into 3~D shapes and today i will share a few of my favourites with you.

Technique fifteen~ freeform shaping

Freeform shaping simply means using your fingers, and other simple tools to make a unique 3~D shape. This can be as simple as rolling a bead or a coil, or as complex as creating a freestanding figurine. This is by no means my area of expertise, so you won’t be surprised to see that my examples are very simple.
The pebble~like heart shape that i’ve made was created by melting down some scraps of FP and shaping with my fingers and an embossing tool. Do be careful and keep dipping your fingers in cold water as you do this, partly so you don’t burn yourself, and partly so you don’t stick to the plastic!
The simple beads i’ve made were created from FP pellets, melted down and coloured with mica powders. They are really pearlescent in real life. To create the hole in the middle of a bead, simply drop the shaped bead into cold water for a few seconds and when it is hard enough on the outside, simply wiggle a pin through it. This takes a bit of trial and error to get the timing right, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be beading everything in sight!

To show that you can also use the stick form of FP in a freeform way too, I’ve created the flower shape from a lovely pearly stick i had. I cut a rough circle with scissors from the cold plastic, heated it and shaped the petals with an embossing tool dipped in oil and then embedded a press stud in the middle. I reheated this slightly with my heat gun and then lightly curled up the petals.

Technique sixteen~ using a mold

If, like me, you are not a whizz at freeform modelling i am happy to report there are other methods of modelling. You can use all sorts of art and craft molds as long as they can tolerate the heat of the warmed plastic. I don’t personally have many of these molds, but the ones i used were designed for FIMO and worked perfectly.

Again, i’ve tried to show that you can use all forms of the FP with these molds. The pink elephant in my photos was created from pink strips cut into inch long sections placed one on top of another and melted down on a non~stick sheet using my Melt Pot as a hotplate. I lined the mold with lots of two tone mica powder in pearly gold and pink {Moon Glow Starlit Pink Gold} which gives a lovely sheen and aids release.
The other animals were made from pellets mixed with mica powders and melted into a translucent blob like we did in the last lesson. These are much easier to handle and manipulate, and when they were cooled I painted some elements with Ranger acrylic paint to give definition.

Technique seventeen~ using FP to make a mold for other sculpting media!

While we are on the subject of using molds, i thought i’d mention that you can also create molds from FP to use with cold modelling materials like air~drying clay and FIMO or Sculpey. Simply melt yourself a suitable sized blob and carefully push into it a button or a small ornament, being careful not to push so far that the FP comes up the sides of your object and keeps it for good! A little oil on the object makes this much easier. The super bonus of making molds this way is that when you are bored of them...you can simply melt the mold down and created something entirely different...as many times as you like :0)

The photo shows the warm FP with a metal charm pushed into it, which is how you create the mold. The pale blue shape is the mold made from the flower charm you can see.
All these molding techniques are a brilliant way to use up the scraps of FP you will undoubtedly have collected by now. Never throw those scraps out...simply re~melt them, re~mould them or re~colour them and start again!

Technique eighteen ~ the flat pack technique!

As i was thinking about 3~D pieces i wracked my brain for ways to make them for people who don’t like freeform modelling or don’t want to buy molds...and the *flat pack* technique was born. You know how it is when you go to the Swedish store we all love...everything is dismantled into flat sections that you simply assemble to create something rather wonderful...well that is how my mind works, and its what i’ve done to create the box illustrated!

Simply create 6 squares of FP, 5 exactly the same size and 1 a couple of mm larger. To create the box, you need to make joins between the touching surfaces and i’ve done this invisibly by dipping the edges i wish to join in hot water for a couple of seconds {60 on my Melt Pot}, then pressing them together. Easy, huh? To create the lip which stops the lid slipping off {the lid is upside down in the photo} i made 4 thin strips and attached them as i’ve just described, then i put the lid good side down and heated slightly and pressed the lip into the hot plastic. Its so cute!

Ok, i hope you’re having fun with all these techniques...as usual do leave me a comment if you have any questions and queries and i’ll do my best to help out...and don’t forget to join me tomorrow for our final day! Bye for now...


Handmade Hannah said...

What a masterclass! I love the flower and the mold techniques. Don't think I am as afraid of FP as I was before I read your blog!Thank you x

misteejay said...

You have certainly covered a lot with these masterclasses - thank you for sharing.

Toni :o)

alexa said...

I love these 3-D things! Those flowers are so pretty ... You have put a huge amount of effort into this to introduce us and teach us all about FP - thank-you!