Thursday, September 11, 2014

Re-visiting the Art of Shrinky Dinks

This is a hint of what I am to put in my second ETSY shop: SuzanneUrban
My goal is to fill this shop with all that I care to put my art on and all that I dream up to create.

A while back I noticed that illustrators were using the children's art medium known as "Shrinky Dinks" to create wonderfully whimsical brooches. I even purchased a brooch on ETSY for myself.

I love the idea of using unique materials to create an art object, to me this is the ultimate in creative thinking.

So over a year ago I purchased a Shrinky Dink machine from a twelve year-old on Craigslist, I didn't know I was communicating with a kid until we'd agreed on a price and I asked for his phone number. Then I got: "Let me go ask my Mom." Turns out this kid was cleaning out the playroom closet for Mom. I did indeed meet with mother in West Hartford to buy the Shrinky Dink machine. She wondered why a grown woman wanted to purchase one, I wondered how much money her kid had made on Craigslist.

My first attempts were not good, I realized, the machine could only bake one piece at a time, thus costing me production time. I didn't want to bake these in our oven as baking plastic in a place where we also bake food isn't appealing or safe to me. I made a few more attempts and found that my designs shrunk to a major dinky size. I also found the ink sometimes smeared. So I put this project on hold.

Well, I donated the Shrinky Dink machine to our local school's art department. I decided to pull out a toaster oven I purchased on sale a few years back. I re-thought my designs, simplified them and blew them up so they wouldn't end up being the size of a fingernail. I've cut them out, but now need to bake them-this will happen this weekend.

In my next post on Shrinky Dinks it will be a tutorial, as I'm learning every medium takes time to get comfortable with and to generate a quality product–at least for me–are there any artists out there who just don't fail at first attempt? Even with Shrinky Dinks, there are roadblocks to avoid I've found. Wish me luck!

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