The Second Magpie

I’ll stop the world and melt with you

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2009 at 17:58

My experiments with melting plastic continue. I did a lot of research into fusing, melting and ironing plastic in various ways. I read, watched youtube tutorials, all very informative but you really cannot learn anything until you do it for yourself. For example, when I first began printmaking I loved the trial and error, the questions and the fact that finding out the answers was so enjoyable and you even found answers to questions you hadn’t been asking in the first place! That probably sounds like a riddle. Im so passionate about printmaking it makes me gush.

Anyway, while watching tutorials on melting plastic I noticed several saying that if you were melting a bag with lettering on it to fold it inside out (to fuse bags together to create one strong layer you should have six to eight layers) or else the ink would come off. The fact that I took particular notice of that probably says a lot about me. When I set to work the first thing I wanted to do was break that rule and see what I came up with myself. Of course the tutorials were right, I had thought they might be, but the results were fantastic. I found that when I lifted the greaseproof paper (I used this to protect the iron from the plastic) it had lettering beautifully imprinted onto it, that would make great collage material. When I re-laid the greaseproof paper on another part of the bag it would faintly imprinted the ink back on, giving a lovely, delicate print. Testing the different plastic bags was a whole new adventure, each melted differently, I had to be careful with iron temperatures, I love struggling with something new and beating it.

One lesson I have learned over the past five years is to pay attention to rules and theories, and then go back and test them for myself. I don’t intend to be rebellious, I just don’t trust the judgement of others. Perhaps I go more cautiously if the rule I break may mean me getting my head blown off. But I think losing my head would be a small price to pay for something I love so much. More plastic adventures to follow.




  1. really excited to read this article in detail…
    just found it but i’ve been messing just a little tiny bit
    with melting the plastic bags as well.
    so glad i can kind of follow in your footsteps.
    appreciate your experiments!

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