Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Elements

I made a set of four t-shirts for a friend and his family using a combined concept of the five elements of Japanese Buddhism and the five elements from that know, The Fifth Element, with Bruce Willis.

So we've got earth, fire, water, wind and then that fifth one. In Japanese it translates to "void", which is not very good at all considering that this was a wedding-type present.  Enter the fifth element from the movie:  love!  Perfect.  

This is a very, very loose translation of these elements, but here goes:  For earth I used cotton know, because they are, like, of the earth.  It makes sense if you close your eyes and spin around ten times.  I also splurged and got some good old American Apparel ones.  I hate them.  Well, their advertising campaign, because they seem to portray kidnapped teens.  Very pathetic.

Next up, fire!  Or, in this case, the sun.  I used that Lumi solor-powered dye.  It was pretty cool.  My stencils went on pretty easily and then I dabbed them with this dye.  Again, it still smells like a hair salon and brought back many memories of unfortunate perms from my teenage years.

So here's a shot of their backyard progress on Sunday:  
From left to right we have the shirts that have been out in the sun from the longest amount of time to the least amount of time.

It got tricky from this point, because I had two minute intervals to grab one shirt, run it to the laundry room, take off the stencil and plunge it into hot water.  (Enter the third element:  Water!  I told you this was a very loose interpretation of these elements.)  And then they got dried partially in the dryer and partially in the air (Hello, fourth element:  Wind!).

The result:
I think they are kind of nifty.  The symbol on the chest is "water" in the Japanese/Chinese character.  It has a connection to his name (well, their names) and years ago I tried to convince him to get it as a tattoo.  I don't think he did.

I tried to be so careful not to get that dye on an other locations, but a little dot is on the male shirt and a few little dots sprayed onto the neckline of the toddler shirt when I took off the stencil.  I also did not account for bleeding during that two minute interval when I took the stencil off and plunged it into the washer.  There was enough light in the laundry room to activity the dye, so many of the characters are not as crisp as I would have liked.  See for yourself:
Boo.  Oh, well.  Now I know.  I feel bad that they are not perfect.  Hopefully he won't mind.  As for that fifth element...made with love for my dear friend! 

I stuck it all in the mail yesterday with the quilt and the bibs.  International shipping.  Sucks.  Balls.

Tutorial from HowAbout Orange.
Other projects using this dye.

1 comment:

  1. I kinda like the ink bleeding, it looks like shadow effect of the characters. another nice project. -The Boy