"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thinking outside the Crayon Box

I can't remember who gave me this idea ... it was probably someone from the Art Techniques yahoo group. Anyone who has kids probably has gobs and gobs of used crayons languishing somewhere (an old lunchbox in my case). I have melted crayons onto fabric and paper before, and I have done the proverbial crayons between waxed paper art project with kids. But this is the first time I have transformed something like this:

On the left is a piece of handmade (not by me) paper in various shades of gray. On the right is the same paper, after I went at it with crayons. Below is the entire colored piece, which I have used as the back of another project I am working on.
I wrote the poem on the paper first, in permanent ink. Then I used a Clover mini iron (it is handheld with a small triangular plate) to apply the crayon. I melted the wax onto the iron, then swiped it across the paper. I continued until the background was covered, then I went back in with a pink crayon and used the triangular shape of the iron to create petals for the flowers. After I was finished, I sandwiched the paper between paper towels (I think plain paper would actually work better for this) and then put all that between parchement and used my regular iron to heat the piece. The towels absorbed the wax (most of it) and left the pigment behind.

This is a piece of fabric (plain old cheapy muslin) that I treated the same way. When I finished appying the crayons, I added a thin wash of textile paint to the back side to fill in the remaining white areas. It was more difficult to remove the wax from the fabric, but boiling it with a little detergent seemed to help. It still has a little stiffness to it, but with a little effort I'm sure I could get all the wax out. If you have ever tried batik, you know what I mean. Lots of potential in this technique!


Elizabeth said...

Oh there you go getting me all excited to try something new!!! My plan had been to finish up the studio cleanout- but that idea has been pushed aside- Playing with crayons will be way more fun!!!! LOL!!! Gee thanks Michelle!!

No really, Love this!!

Margarita Korioth said...

It is beautiful, love the effect specially the combination with the hand-written poem.

Stef Stewart said...

not gonna lie- that's kind of incredible. :D


Threadhead said...

Just beautiful!!!!

Marilyn said...

Love your results. I've worked with melted crayons and the Clover iron, but I haven't sandwiched between paper towels and waxed paper and ironed to remove the wax. This gives a really pretty result. Again, thanks for your technique.

MargaretR said...

These are very effective Michelle. I like the idea of writing the poem first.

Quilt Rat said...

WAY COOL! I have recently been playing with ways to print/paint fabric and this looks terrific. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing