Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Linda Edkins Wyatt, and it is extra special because this will be her final one with us and we thank her so much for her amazing creativity and contributions to our little group! She leaves us with some awesome earrings, using my Van Vorst Fan foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.
What keeps me motivated to create art? New products!
For March, Nat asked us to think about what motivates us. I’m motivated by sooooo much: a shadow on the sidewalk, a pretty leaf changing colors, buds beginning to grow, architectural details on my daily walk, and advertising I see on a billboard or in a magazine. But, one thing that really gets me percolating with ideas is discovering a new product. Often, it’s a new stencil or stamp. But my latest discovery is something I totally missed in my childhood: shrinky dinks! One of my artist friends included a few sheets in a recent package, and I have to say, I’m addicted. It is so magical to watch it suddenly start to shrivel and buckle and turn into a miniature piece of art in minutes.
When I got the shrinky dink film, I thought, “Let me test that beautiful fan-shaped Van Vorst art foamie and see what happens.” It printed beautifully on the film using black Archival ink. I also tested a few stamps and stencils with both ink and acrylic paint.
I punched holes in the top center of all the stamped, stenciled and painted pieces with the idea of using them in the future to make jewelry. I heated the oven, put in my shrinky dinks, and waited for the magic.
Once the stamped film had shrunk, flattened, and cooled I painted the back of the shrunken Van Vorst pieces with white acrylic. It looked fine without painting the back, but I wanted to make the design pop a little more.
I got out my jewelry-making components and tools and rummaged around in my containers to find some earring wires that would work with the stamped design. I also selected a small silver ring to connect the fan design to the earring wire.
Carefully, I opened the small, round ring and threaded it through the fan and the hole on the earring wire, then closed it with my jewelry pliers.
Take a look at the final earrings with the art foamies fan stamp for comparison. The design shrunk to about one quarter to one third of its original size, and also got much thicker. The details of the design were even more crisp and clear.
Here’s the “how-to” steps:
1-carefully stamp the chosen design onto the shrink film. Press carefully, being careful not to slide the stamp. Lift the stamp straight up to avoid smearing.
2-cut the shape out with scissors. I cut close to the design edge, but you can also leave a little border.
3-punch a ¼” round hole near the top of the earring so that you can attach the earring wire or a jump-ring loop. (It will look way too big but once it shrinks the hole will be just the perfect size.)
NOTE: Be very careful when you cut and punch so that the ink does not smear. Hold the stamped design by the edges only.
4-bake in the oven or a toaster oven according to the directions on the shrink film package until the design shrinks. It will cool quickly. If your piece looks curved or buckled, quickly flatten with a spatula. Once it is fully cooled you cannot reheat to take out any curve or buckle.
5-attach earring components to shrinky dink artwork and, viola! You’re done.
You can also use the shrink film to make necklaces or pins—the possibilities are endless!
Thank you Linda – always love working with shrink film and watching the designs transform to miniature wonders :)
Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share? I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.