Sunpainting has to be one of the few crafts that is mostly limited to summer. At least around here. We have a sunpainting season that begins in May and is mostly over by the end of August. It is too cool and there aren't enough leaves before May and the leaves are mostly old and too brittle after the dry weather hits in August. So we paint while the sun shines.
The picture above is a close up of a new design I am trying. If it works, it will be called mulberry. Mulberry, because the leaves I am using are from the Mulberry tree. The glass beads are just there to hold the leaf tight against the fabric. Mulberry leaves are particularly nice to work with because they wilt into the fabric and form a tight bond that leaves a clear impression. The picture above is the whole shirt laid out drying. I said this would be a new design if it works because you really can never tell what is going to happen when you sun paint. I think I will try to paint more leaf-ish shapes with the green rather than go with the splatter paint I used this time. I like how the mulberries look before the paint moves. Since it is drying as I type, I will have to post an update to show you what it looks like in the end.
To be perfectly obvious, we have developed a number of techniques that allow us to sunpaint all year round. The biggest improvement is hand cutting stencils out of thin plastic. The orange and yellow shirts are an attempt to up-size a design that works well on onsie's. Big people all say they want to have one in their size. I don't think I quite have it figured out yet, but I've got a few more ideas before I give up on it.
Kokopelli and the petroglyphs is design I make quite often. You can see the whole shirt below. I use salt and some fine lines to try and make the shirt look like a canyon wall. These are fun to do.
This little scottie dog is another favorite on kids shirts. I used him here as a back detail on the shirt below. The scottie dogs on the front are much larger than this
This is the front of the Scottie dog shirt. I painted the plaid on in mostly straight lines. The paint moves however it wants to. In this case it flowed around the stencils. I also didn't go back and 'straighten' the lines. I may dry paint over it a bit before I finish it.
This is a detail of another one of my winter designs. You can see the whole shirt below. It is laying on the stack of shirts I have made over the past couple days.
Submitted as my entry for the Iron Craft 32 Summer Contest
All of the shirts are upcycled either collected at thrift stores or donated by friends and family. These particular shirts still have to be heat set, washed and ironed.
I've added some more pictures of the mulberry shirt here.