Saturday 23 March 2013

Orlik the Owl Onesie

Fabric stamping using laser cut shapes.

Over the years of making of stuff using the wizz-bangery black magic of the laser cutter, I've accumulated a bunch of various cut out little shapes that started their life as prototypes.
All of my designs undergo prototyping iterations that are threatening to take over my house

This stainless steel and bamboo brooch was first prototyped in various materials like acrylic, card and styrene
Recently I had a thought.  At first I wasn't sure what that was.  My head went all funny, and steam came out of my ears.  I assumed that I was about to kick the bucket, but then realised that my grey cells were getting all excited over something creative.  I imagined using these little shapes as stamps, and the limitless textile ornamentation options that would yield, and my brain went all woozy with excitement.

I grabbed a onesie, a clear acrylic Orlik the Owl, a little pot of black fabric paint and tweezers.  I poured a little bit of paint into the lid of the pot and holding the plastic fowl with the tweezers I dipped it into the paint.  I was so impatient to see the end result, that I didn't even bother attaching a handle to the stamp.  Next time I'll use some double-sided tape and a bottle cork or a soda bottle lid to make a handle.

I carefully removed the stamp from the paint and positioned it on the fabric.  The paint bled a bit in places, and the stamp coverage wasn't even.  I called this a "sample" to convince myself that the imperfections were trivial.  *Ahem*.

I stamped another onesie with an acrylic snowflake, and the [low] quality was similar to the owl stamping.  The obvious verdict, which I was pretty certain of from the start, is that acrylic is an inappropriate choice of material for stamping because it's too smooth, and the paint runs straight off.  More suitable materials that are easily laser cut are cork, plywood and MDF (after a bit of scuffing).  I'll post some experiments with those another time.

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