Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Plasti-Fab Projects! (slice, loop, & roll)

Hello Hello Hello!

It's been a busy couple days!

Apologies for not posting more strenuously, but I've been calf-deep in new projects and ideas. Like coffee, projects and ideas need time to percolate, (preferably unjostled), and that's what we've been doing: percolating!

So, to recap:

On Friday of last week, I asked my fellow SuperForesters to please bring in all of their unused plastic bags. As I'm sure you can imagine, they were only too happy to comply, and by mid morning I was happily sitting on a couch, converting plastic bags into plastic loops, and plastic loops into plastic yarn.

Here's how:

1.) Get a bunch of plastic bags.
2.) Cut the top handles off, as well as the bottom seal. Then you've got a plastic tube.
3.) Slice the tube into as many 2 inch loops as you can. Each bag will yield approximately 6 loops.
4.) Tie each loop together by simply looping one end through the previous loop and pulling it tight. Now you should have a long line of strung together loops. This is your plastic yarn.
5.) Roll your yarn into a ball.

Still confused? Peruse!

Congratulations! You've got a big ball of plastic yarn! What next?

Make more yarn.

That's what I did for the first part of the day: slice, loop, and roll. I wanted a lot of yarn.

It took some time, as I was still trying to work smoothly and efficiently, and I've never really, er... woven.

Which is what I did next: I wove.

For my first attempt, I took a two foot length of yarn and taped both sides to a cardboard tube. Then I made 32 more 2 foot strips and looped each one around the first length. This sounds confusing... I'll do another drawing. Hold on.

Looky here!:

Here's my first attempt. You can see how I started off weaving pretty loose, but then got tighter and tighter as I went along. I used a big stack of Gristedes and Whole Foods bags. It felt very satisfying.

The main problem I had with the first attempt is that all the Whole Foods bags look identical as they hang down and it was easy to get lost, drop a piece here and there, and generally make a mess of things. No matter, that's what practice is all about.

On to my second attempt:

Here you can see that my technique is improving, still not perfect, but far better than the first. For this piece I laid the top cross piece down on a table and then attached the "hangy bits" laying flat. I also wove while the piece was flat like this, whereas the first one I wove while it was hanging off of the back of a chair.

Weaving is much easier job when things are neat and orderly. What also really helped was that for attempt #2, I used yarn that was multi-colored, which made it easier to keep track of where I was and which piece came next. So multi-colored and textured bag are a big plus here.

This all leads up to a big question: Why?

What could one do with several big chunks of woven plastic fabric?

Oh ho ho! Sooo much!

Firstly, let me extol the amazing physical properties of plasti-fabrics.

1.) Strong as the dickens.
2.) Lasts forever. (Alright, not forever, but for as long as you'll be alive, that's for sure. Plastic is incredibly hardy stuff.)
3.) Looks cool. (Like part of a tribal costume, or samurai armour, or a fishnet. Woven plasti-fabric has an otherworldly quality too it. Like it's so obviously man-made, but machined at the same time. Hard to describe, but believe me when I say it is a joy to look at and feel.)

So, you've got some cool, strong, ultra-long-lasting fabric, that you made with your own two hands out of something that otherwise would've either gone into a trash pile or gone out to sea to choke a dolphin, or whatever.

What to do with it? Another drawing, please!

You can do anything with it!
You're limited solely by your imagination.

Ponchos! Punchin' Bags! Picture frames! Perambulators! Purses! That's just the P's!

And to think, they just give bags away for free! An incredible and long lasting resource, yours for the taking. Just think of the wonderful things you can create!

Enjoy it while it lasts.

So, look around you, see if there's anything you've got a lot of, that otherwise would get trash piled, and see if you can think up something rad to do with it.

If you do think up something rad, tell us about it! Email: superforestnyc@gmail.com

Love to all.

Be excellent to each other.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

or more cities could follow san francisco's lead and just stop using these things: