Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Altered Element surface design pack - more twisting Tyvek

I thought I'd try another way of working with Tyvek, so I gave one side of this piece a thin layer of watered down fluid acrylics in Nickel Azo Gold, and Jenkins Green.

Once the paint was dry, I cut the piece in half, and turned one piece over so that the painted side faced down. I covered the Tyvek with silicone baking paper, and used my iron to distort it. This is a process where you don't have much control, Kim Thittachai says the secret is to 'kiss and caress' the paper with the iron (definitely don't apply any weight or pressure, the iron should hardly touch the paper). The tyvek always distorts so that the 'creases' are nearest the iron, and the rounded 'valleys' are furthest away.

If you click on the picture below to enlarge it, you can see that the piece on the left is the side where the unpainted side was nearest the heat of the iron, and the rounded areas are more prominent, whereas the piece on the right had the painted side nearest the heat and the creases are more prominent.

My tyvek now had interesting texture and shape, but I wasn't sure what to do next. So, I cut one piece up, using the lines which had formed when the Tyvek was distorting. That gave me some interesting shapes. And then I had a moment of madness and decided to attempt an abstract embroidery piece!

I used my embellishing machine to create a piece of wool and silk felted fabric to use as a background. I then laid one of the Tyvek pieces on top, and used some hand painted silky thread to attach the Tyvek using some irregular cross stitches. The Tyvek was surprisingly easy to stitch through.

I finished the piece by adding some french knots to the background, and some beads tothe Tyvek, to give the piece more texture. You can see some of the detail in the pictures below.

I think I'll use this as a book cover.


  1. This is really lovely - I have just bought some Tyvek - now I know what to do with it!

  2. I don't think it was a crazy idea... I think it came out AWESOME! You've inspired me to give it a shot on my own. Now all I need to do is find some Tyvek (which I *know* is here, somewhere) and water down some paint.

  3. How nice, I work too with tyvek.
    grt. Helmi

  4. I feel much better now. Your ironed Tyvek looks like mine. I'm impressed how you manage to get your colour to show the fibres to start with.
    The soft colours of the finished peice are lovely.

  5. Tyvek is a new product to me. Where do you buy it please and what formats does it come in? Many thanks!




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