I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break despite the weird weather. I have beem clearing up in the studio – nothing drastic, in fact most people would not even notice that I done any clearing up at all! I was doing some minor things that I have been meaning to do for ages, such as picking up all the spilt beads and bits and bobs and finding them a proper home either in some old glass mini jam jars or in the bin. In the process I realised that my collection of off cuts and scraps of Friendly Plastic has grown again. So I thought I might share with you some of the ways I recycle all the little bits.
The simplest way is to drop clumps of scraps into the hot water bath and when soft, roll them into balls which can be covered at a later date with fresh plastic. This makes great beads for necklaces, but you do have to drill the holes when the bead is cold and hard.
Alternatively I throw a whole heap of FP scraps into the hot water, and when it is soft I roll it out to form a sheet. This I then dry, and heat again. Then I add heat transfer foils to recolour the plastic. This is the process I used for the head dress of my first costume Venetian Carnival
If you are wondering about the glasses, the idea behind the costume was Dame Edna Everidge meets Christian La Croix in Venice. And for my purist photographer-sister-out-law, yes I do know that I have not eradicated the red eye!
An alternative to heat transfer foils is Metal Flake which you rub on to the hot dry plastic. This looks good just as it it, but it is senstional when you roll it out and break up the surface, then add metallic pigment powders.
Very quickly the plastic begins to look like something other than what it is. The little bowl below was recoloured using metallic pigment powders.
Any pieces of plastic that is too good to be squished and recoloured goes in to a little pot to be used for embedding into other bits of plastic. The results can be really stunning, but not easy to reproduce unless you have a lot of offcuts exactly the same.
Negatives of cut out shapes are very handy to re use in a design (see my post Lilac Lovelies with specific reference to the little heart book).
All your small but useable scraps can be used in free form dragging and marbeling, or simple embed in hot plastic for a new twist on mosaic.
I am sure there are loads more ideas out there for reusing the Friendly Plastic scraps, so do let me know what you do with all your little bits.