Monday 25 April 2011

Piecework using Friendly Plastic

Friendly plastic piecework technique
Supplies needed:
3 strips of friendly plastic, rolling pin or tube, strong scissors, cooking oil, small towel, strong tin foil, pokey tool or similar, heat source, heat gun, thermometer

The friendly plastic will only work if the water temperature is between 60 - 70 degrees celsius.  Any lower and it will be too cool to melt the plastic, any higher it will be too hot and the plastic will go all gooey!!!!

You can simply have a pan on the gas or the electric hob.  If you have the choice I would recommend the hairdryer style heat gun opposed to the other type.  If you only have the other type, it's not a problem, but just keep in mind it gets hotter quicker.

Cut some strips off your plastic in differing widths.

Arrange them in a pleasing order.

Taking the opposite ends you are going to 'tack them together using the hot water.

Place the opposite ends in the water for about 10 seconds.

Bring them out and push them together as above.

They should look like this.  They won't feel that stable, as you've only attached them together at each end.

Carry on with the pairs tacking them together as above.

Once they are done, take 2 sets of 2 and tack them together using the same process.  So above I have tacked a 2 and a 2 and a 2 and a 2 and a single piece.

I then took the 2 pieces above and tacked them together, so now I have a full strip.

Place the full strip on a piece of tin foil.

Float it in the hot water. 

After about 10 - 15 seconds, push the tin foil in the water and the strip should submerge itself. Leave in for about 20 - 25 seconds.

You can tell if the plastic has melted enough as when you pull it out it will 'bend' on the foil.  If it does not bend, it needs to stay in longer.

Once out of the water, rub a tiny bit of household cooking oil on your finger.  Rub it over the creases.  This will smooth it and fill in any gaps without leaving your finger prints on the plastic.

Take a small rolling pin / tube and roll once over the strip. 

Then place in cold water to cool.

After 20 seconds pull it out of the water and dry it off.  The tin foil can be used again and again and again.

Take your strip and cut thinner strips off in different widths again, this time length ways as shown above.

Mix the strips until you are happy with the way they look the same as above.

Using the exact same process, 'tack' the first 2 pieces together and so on

until all 5 strips are tacked together.

Dunk in the hot water again, exactly the same as you did when making the first strip.

Pull it out the hot water, put some cooking oil on your finger, rub along the joins.

Roll once with your rolling pin or tube.

Dunk in the cold water to cool for about 20 seconds.

Dry off on the towel.

And this is your piece of piecework friendly plastic.

The piecework technique was founded by Liz Welch and I strongly recommend that you check out both her blog and her DVD, 'Bend it, shape it'.  Without it this tutorial would not have been possible.


Zoechaos said...

Thank you Sam for this fabulous tutorial. XOXO Zoe

Anonymous said...

Looks like you took pretty good notes Sam! You have explained it all very well, and as I have come to expect, your work is lovely.

Unknown said...

You gotta love Liz Welch and for me she is the Queen of FP.
Great work there, makes me want to get out my FP. My craft room is almost sorted and play is beginning.
Carol C

chinamommy said...

just found you thru pinterest. i'm #315 - your newest follower... are you still blogging?

Kristina said...

This is amazing, Ive never heard of this stuff before!

Carol Lima said...

Cool technique! Your blog is great :)

whereorwhat said...

so interesting!

Hello! I just came across your wonderful blog and was wondering if we could follow each other?
whereORwhat.blogspot:Ilustrations, design and creativity.


Maryjo McGraw said...

Nice technique for friendly plastic