Waggons West Etsy Shop

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Iron Craft #28 Reuse: Sunpainting

This week's challenge in Iron Craft is Reuse. I don't get to play this week and probably not for the next couple weeks because the real world is about to take over my crafting time. That is particularly frustrating as one of my major craft projects involves upcycling used clothing obtained from thrift shops, garage sales and friends who are cleaning out their closets.

This is a close up of a sunprint on an upcycled t-shirt. The people are hand-cut stencils. The plant material is ordinary crab grass. In some cases, even the stencil material is upcycled from things like the backing used on printable fabric.

Here is the whole print on the t-shirt.

Sunpainting is an unpredictable process. While I repeat the use of some colors and patterns and stencils, no two items are ever identical.

This is one of my favorite prints on a thrifted receiving blanket. It is rainbow colors printed with as many different leaves as I can muster out of the garden and yard. Many of the leaves on this one are from a golden rain tree, although there are also red bud. Maple and mulberry often find their way onto the fabrics as well.

This is another one of my favorite print patterns. This is done with hand-cut stencils, Mardi Gras beads and the piece parts of an old, very ugly plastic plant. I resort to printing these in the winter when plant material is hard to come by and the price of leafy vegetables in the grocery store becomes prohibitive.

These are a lot of fun to make. A friend and I haunt the garage sales and thrift shops looking for suitable fabrics. We've printed everything from blue jeans and skirts to socks and tablecloths. Unfortunately, my kids will only wear so many of them. So I end up selling many of them at one big festival in the summer, a local shop carries a few and sometimes they show up in our etsy shop.

At any rate, if I had time this week, I would be upcycling some clothing for my iron craft challenge this week. But I can't play. Sigh...

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