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

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