On this beautifully crisp and sunny morning my mind has turned to new beginnings, so I thought it might be useful for me to explain a bit about Friendly Plastic for those that don’t know much about it. Friendly Plastic (FP) is an amazing modelling material that can be used to create a huge diversity of things. I use it for jewellery making, cards and paper-crafting generally, household items such as boxes bowls and vases, and with my textiles for bags and accessories. I love to make masks, and from that platform I have become interested in costume as well (see previous post).
FP does not look that inspiring when you see it in it’s raw state, it resembles multicoloured bookmarks. It comes as 7″ strips of plastic with a coloured foil on one side.
But when you heat it to 60 – 70 deg C it becomes malleable and you can do anything with it. As it cools it hardens. This process can be repeated again and a gain. The heating can be done in hot water or using the dry heat of a heat gun, oven or dry skillet. (On my personal pages I have written out some of the basic techniques for using FP, and I have aslo produced two DVDs and a book on the subject) One of the things I like most about FP is that there is no waste, it can be reused and recycled repeatedly. Because it can be re-coloured as well, there is no need to throw even the tiniest bits left over from your projects.
As you can tell I am a bit of an enthusiast!
The single most important thing to remember when working with FP is to get the temperature right; do not overheat it or it will become unmanageable and too hot to handle.
Another of it’s beguiling properties is the ability to recolour the plastic using all manner of things. Sometimes I do not want the bright shininess of the foil surface, and I need to dull it down. this I do by texturing the warm FP and then applying some acrylic paint which is promptly dabbed off again just leaving some of it on the surface. This, combined with Rub n Buff can transform the FP into something that looks like tarnished metal or even ceramic.
If you want to see more of what FP can do then take a peek at my personal pages