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remedies for curling shrink art

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From: Foell, Marlyn_at_TeacherArtExchange (Marlyn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 28 2002 - 07:59:30 PST


I have several "tricks" for warped shrink art. Long post, but good info, I
feel. I have a lot of shrinking experience (except on my body...)

First of all, if you're using a toaster oven, it sometimes takes longer or
needs a little kick up of the temp, as they tend to cycle on and off and the
temp isn't very true or even. If I have a larger piece or one that ihas
more long, skinny areas, say from cut out letters or that the shape is
complicated on the edge, I use a metal cake cooling rack and put it over the
piece. Then when it starts to curl up, it hits that metal rack and lays
down on its own.

Another thing is that different shrink plastic, be it commercial pieces or
recycled #6 PS, actually have a grain and a mind of its own. Each type
shrinks a little different. Experiment and remember--it's ART. The
unexpected is the fun part.

If you're using a heat gun, you can turn your piece over and heat from the
back, edges, etc. If it starts to curl up, apply the heat from the opposite
direction of the curl so it pulls the curled edge out (I hope that makes
sense). I use a bamboo skewer or a sharpened dowel rod to help hold the
piece in place. Let me tell ya' that the heat gun for my shrink wrap system
is the way to go! Real heat real quick. It tends to blow the piece around,
thus the bamboo skewer helps.

Shrink art tends to pop off whatever surface it is on, but it will often
stick to a mitt or cardboard that is used for flattening. I took a piece of
smooth, shiny wall tile (actually made a 4" one and a 2" one). I used some
heavy duty liquid nail type stuff for unlike surfaces and glued a piece of
scrap wood to the back. It has made the dandiest fattening tool. The
shrinky doesn't stick to the tile or if it does, it pops off with no damage
to the surface or the coloring. Sometimes heating from the back of the
piece and flattening it does the trick. You can even use another tile piece
on the bottom and flatten between the two.

I cannot recommend enough the video, books, and supplies from
luckysquirrel.com. Fill out their teacher info and they will give you a
greatly reduced price list from that which is posted on the regular website.
Go figure--a vendor who really values the teacher dollar.

Hope this stuff helps. Bunki, I've been reading posts from you for
years--you're smart and talented. Don't let a piece of plastic get you down.
This is a really fun material to work with.

Marlyn Foell in sunny, but a rather brisk 50's Florida.

Art Dept.
RHS--Contributing Excellence to Our Community

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