Sunday, July 01, 2007

Summer is for Mess-Making : Shaving Cream Dye Experiments

Last week, my 6-year old and I made a royal mess in the backyard. This is a great project to do with a kid. He loved it!

Instructions came from Dharma for Shaving Cream Dying.

We were able to get some of the beautiful marbled textures above, without investing in the equipment and materials for yet another surface technique (marbling).

What worked really well?
  • Using the pink sheet of insulation as a work surface was great. Though I was surprised at the initial cost ($26 for the sheet from a local building supplier), it makes clean-up a snap! All you have to do is hose it off and set it out to dry. This was a tip given to me by Evelyn Byler, the Hand-Dyer (and artist) at Sulky who was gracious enough to give me some tips and advice, along with samples when I was first getting started with hand-dying.
  • At some points, I was trying to fill the fat-1/4 with the marbled dye patterns we had layed out. Near then end, I was running out. Afterwards, I discovered that the less busy areas were just as pleasing, giving they eye a chance to rest.

What would I do different next time?
  • After dissolving the dye powder initially, use less water when adding the shaving cream. We had a problem with the watery liquid dye separating from the foamy shaving cream. This happened not only in the mixing cup where the layers were very definate, but also on the pallet. At one point I poured some of the dye on top of the shaving cream. It ran right through it, so that the shaving cream floated on top like a cloud. Then the dye started to run out the side far and away from the shaving cream. We got some beautiful colors that way, but it wasn't quite shaving cream dye anymore.

  • Use a tray to contain the dye (as the instructions suggest) from running down the incline of the insulation sheet on our lawn.
  • We were using a wire whip (analog) to whip up the shaving cream, but probably a electric mixer would have been a better choice to more thoroughly do the job.
  • I'd get the sheet of pink insulation up and off of the ground--up on tables or work horses, maybe. I must be getting old--crouching down to work on the ground was hard on my back.
  • Next time, we'll hold back and not blend the colors so much in the shaving cream. They were starting to get a little muddy (you know purple bruise color) in places. Oliver was having a lot of fun mixing and playing with the medium of shaving cream with the addition of color.
I wonder--would this method work with Koolaid as a dye? Oliver's hands got pretty full of dye, as I didn't have rubber gloves to fit him.

1 comment:

Mande's J-Life said...

that is so cool! i'm glad you two had fun with that.