November 30, 2016

pvc color experiments with MEK solvent dye

For those of you who follow this blog you will recall the work done with re-purposed PVC taking different forms. The bone bangle series and some of the re-creations of neo-primitive forms all rendered in brilliant white (or off-white as the case may be) which happens to be the natural color of this type of plastic.

Here now some examples of color that are possible with PVC. These early experiments are performed using a MEK solvent and a handful of dye colors.
Left to right:
Bronze + Brown
Bronze + Orange
Red + Bronze + Brown
Red + Brown

The color is applied in two steps with the piece spending a few minutes immersed in the first dye bath, then another period in the second.

The piece is then set out to dry allowing all the solvents to evaporate leaving the color chemically bonded to the plastic.
This is the Red + Bronze + Brown piece that has been buffed post-immersion to remove some of the surface in which dye is embedded.

More effects: the hard surface of the PVC takes the color more sparingly than the abraded surfaces. Textures telegraph through the solvent process.  More later….



design and photographs copyright 2016

November 28, 2016

Hand laid twisted rope collection 4065

 A small collection of four hand made rope segments created from cotton yarn and waxed cotton cord. Made on a small rope machine these segments are used to make rope bracelets and double loop bracelets.

The cotton yarns are mostly hand-dyed in small batches then hand twisted into the finished pieces you see here.

The layout pattern code is 4 (pairs) each with 2 (strands) of yarn = "4x2"or an 8-ply cord.


A 4x2 cotton ~6 mm
B 2x3 navy and teal cotton ~3 mm
C 4x2 taupe cotton ~6 mm
D 4x2 waxed cotton "natural" ~ 4 mm

All about 72" to 76" length

An interesting property of four pair cords is the square section that emerges in the layup process. Each pair of twisted yarns nests with the other three creating a distinctive square section.
Look for handmade toggle bracelets and other designs in the ETSY shop soon. Some of this material is also available in the supplies section of the ETSY shop. You may also request a special run to meet your craft project needs.


design and photographs copyright 2016

November 27, 2016

wrap rope bracelet or necklace of hand twisted rope 4064

 Hand twisted rope made from cotton butcher twine in four pairs creates a 4 mm square rope that is easy to work into a multi-wrap bracelet. The pair of holes in clay button secures the loop ends of the yarns.

The rope machine is a small bench top size which can create finished segments of about 76" length. These wrap bracelets are about 42" not including the loop.

The waxed thread whipping secures the loop.
 Here are some other wrap bracelet designs you might like:

handmade rope with dragon tooth button

handmade rope with cork buttons

blue handmade rope wrap bracelet with button

wrap bracelet or two loop necklace  
This design and other hand twisted rope ideas can be found in the ETSY shop. Special orders are available for custom sizes and colors.





design and photographs copyright 2016

November 11, 2016

double rib bangle CPVC bracelet modern primitive design 4038

Lightweight CPVC is hand carved exposing the porous core material in the flared interior edges and center. The hand shaped form has a lot of subtle texture from the finishing process. The center recess forms two ribs that meet in a teardrop connection adding a pleasing elliptical shape.

Size "large' 8" (203 mm) inside circumference
Some other designs you might like:

massive white PVC cuff bracelet 3754

petroglyph bangles G H 3737

petroglyph bangles E F 3737

eroded PVC bangle 3672

large bangle bracelet 3560
This and other similar designs can be found on ArtFactSite your source for traditional design in contemporary materials.




design and photographs copyright 2016 

November 9, 2016

two oval stained bangles 4056

 The third group in the stained PVC experiment is this pair of square chunky bangles, one very thin the other more substantial. Together they make a pair.

The wider bracelet is made from CPVC which means it has a low density core with two surfaces. The core is more porous and you can see it absorbs the dye creating a more saturated color.

The thinner bracelet is solid PVC so the dye penetration is generally less resulting in a lighter color.
Shape is an oval 2 1/4 (57 mm) x 2 5/8 (67 mm)

Some other designs you might like:

thin oval bangles stained PVC 4058

small stack of plastic faux bone bangle bracelets with dyed color 4057

large bone bangle bracelet 4028

thick bone bracelet PVC cuff bracelet contemporary primitive design 3752


This and other pvc bracelets can be found on ArtiFactSite your source for traditional forms rendered in modern materials.





design and photographs copyright 2016 

November 7, 2016

geometry of PVC bracelets 4054

This post shows how to make different size bracelets from a single piece of PVC pipe.

The first picture shows an array of bracelets from the circular (upper left) to the oval (lower right). These shapes were sliced from the circular pipe at increasing angles.

This cutting generates a series of oval shaped sections that are then finished off with buffing to create a smooth surface.
 The 90 degree (or 0 deg angle)  cut produces a 2 1/8" (52 mm) diameter circular shape. About 6 3/16" (162 mm) circumference

A series of cuts at increasing angles produces ovals of increasing interior circumference
The 45 degree cut produces a 3" (76 mm) diameter oval shape (the short diameter is 2 1/8") and 7 3/4" (197 mm) interior circumference



design and photographs copyright 2016

November 4, 2016

thin oval bangles stained PVC 4058

One of the properties of PVC is the innate strength of the material. These two bracelets demonstrate how thin this material can be sliced to make some very lightweight jewelry.

The color is achieved by immersing the finished pieces in a dye solution. The solvents dissolve the surface of the plastic enabling the dye to penetrate creating a permanent color.

The bracelets are finished with a light buffing burnishing with a felt tip on a hand held rotary tool.
 These oval shapes are 7 1/2" (192 mm) interior circumference. These are less than 1/8" thickness but are strong and flexible.

Some other designs you may like:

small stack of plastic faux bone bangle bracelets 4057

super thin stackable bracelets 4029

bone bangles sculpted slender bracelets 3463

These and other similar designs are available on ArtiFactSite your source for ancient designs made in modern materials



design and photographs copyright 2016

November 2, 2016

small stack of plastic faux bone bangle bracelets with dyed color 4057

 This stack of four smaller bracelets is made by cutting the tubing at different angles and finishing the surfaces.

Changing the angle of the cut increases the interior circumference creating this rather pleasing tapered stack of faux bone bracelets.

Each bracelet is finished with a fine sandpaper and final polished using a felt buff to smooth the surfaces. This process heats the plastic slightly causing it to fuse together creating highlighted polished surfaces.


The color is a special solvent based dye process that incorporates the color directly in the plastic. The bracelets are placed in a retort and allowed to pickle in the dye solution for a few minutes. The solvent softens the surface embedding the dye color.
The surface textures created by the buffing process creates a natural range of color variation.

The resulting bangles are just the right size for people with smaller hands. The smallest size is 6 3/8" (163 mm) the largest is 7 1/2" (191 mm)
other designs you may like:
super thin bangle bracelets 4029

white bone bangle bracelets 3309

two large bracelets 4030 4032

See these and other faux bone items at the ArtiFactSite your source for modern primitive design in the post industrial era.

design and photographs copyright 2016