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Monday, October 3, 2011

Playing with Tyvek

I don't know how many blogs I follow but it's a lot! I tell my friends, I don't need to leave my house to get inspired. I can just look at all the artist blogs and the inspiration and free lessons are there just for me! I don't have to "leave the farm" as they say!
Anyway, two blogs I do follow are ...And Then We Set It On Fire and A Creative K. Karen Silver writes A Creative K and she's now a guest artist on Then We Set It On Fire. One of her current posts is working with Tyvek. You can read what she does with Tyvek envelopes here. I really enjoy working with Tyvek and started to look at the different pieces that I have done.
The piece on the left (11" x 15") is one of the first I did in May of 2007. I pretty much use the same process...first paint my design onto Tyvek material, stitch on background and burn, baby burn! I use both old Tyvek envelopes and I also like the Tyvek fabric, which you can purchase from online sources. It's much softer than the envelopes and accepts the paints just as nice. Either works...just depends on what I have on hand or the size of my project.
This is a piece I did for our Masters exhibit two years ago showing my interpretation of Hokusai's wave. (All of the following pieces are 20" x 24"). Again, I painted the 'wave', cut it out; FMQ'd onto background fabric and then took the iron and heat gun to it!! That is the scary part but what the heck! I never quite know what or how the piece will turn out but so far so good!
I did this piece to replicate painted tree bark which is a traditional Mexican method. This was for our MQAI/South of the Border exhibit. The colors are brighter in 'real time' but you get the idea. I did blog on working on this piece last year. I ended up making two of the painted pieces. The first piece I painted then cut the birds out but that didn't work out as well as I wanted. Because of the size of this piece I did use the Tyvek fabric.
Detail shots

This is another piece I did for our Masters exhibit. It was to depict my interpretation of the artwork from Mucha. He did primarily Art Nouveau artwork. I stitched all around the painted Tyvek and then cut away parts I didn't want (I learned my lesson from above piece).
Another detail pic
So that's my fun time I have working with Tyvek. Be sure to check out Karen's blog and check out And Then We Set It On Fire (read Karen's Tyvek article too). Good inspiration and you don't have to leave your chair! Works for me! Hope it works for you too!


  1. Beautiful pieces! I agree that we don't need to leave the house to find inspiration. I'm being inspired to try Tyvek ... another one lands on my to-try list!

  2. I am so glad you shared. Great work!

  3. These are wonderful -- thank you for sharing!

  4. Beautiful work, Robbie. I've done a little tyvek work but can always learn more. I"m hopping on over to Karens blog now!

  5. Love these Robbie! How do you stop the tyvek from shrinking up the quilt when you heat gun it? I've only ever tried heating it before adding it to a quilt but after look at these and your work on the art quilts around the world group I'm going to have to give it a go! I thought it would cause the underlying quilt to buckle.

  6. Neroli, if you quilt the tyvek as part of the 'quilt' it doesn't distort your piece at all. I always use a flat iron to burn away or use a soldering iron for edges if I want a specific area burnt away. Have fun!


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