by Marjorie Lee Jin En DeQuincy
Tyvek is a multi-use Dupont-made material that is commonly used to wrap and weatherize houses during the construction process. Tyvek is also used to make novelty fashion garments or safety suiting, but we most readily recognize it in the form of envelopes used by the U.S. Postal Service. We can purchase Tyvek yardage and envelopes or recycle the postal priority/express mail envelopes that we receive.
Start with a manageable Tyvek piece about 18″ x 12″. Yes, all that blank space can be intimidating. So let’s get out our crayons and get busy rubbing a few impressions or making a few scribbles.
Practically any flat item can be placed under the Tyvek for rubbing.
Take a leaf from your garden.
In this instance, I sprayed the surface with water to dilute the paint. Tyvek is not absorbent, so the diluted paint puddles. Yikes! Not to worry. Just keep a paper towel handy. Mop up the puddles. Let the piece air dry. It will take 2-6 hours.
The drying time depends on the amount of paint dilution, whether it’s dried inside or out in your yard and how MUCH you really want to touch it. Solution: paint several pieces. When you’re done, the first piece could be dry or your testing finger will leave a smudge on it! Smudges are design elements which add visual texture. It’s your art! Have fun!!
Note: DO NOT try to speed up the drying process with an iron or hot blower. The heat will melt the Tyvek and startle you when the material begins writhing before your eyes! Also the fumes are not good for your health. This heat/melt characteristic will be explored in another article.
Different paint patterns appear as a result of your mop up process. The pattern shown here is the result of patting the towel up and down on the Tyvek surface. Experiment with your own mop up procedure to determine which pattern you like best.