Take it Further with Silly Putty

I’ve continued developing my ideas for Sharon’s January TIF challenge by spending time looking at the Andy Warhol book.  Most of his works were either black on vivid colors, vivid colors on black or tone on tone.  I decided to work with vivid colors on a black background.  Many of the images looked like film negatives.  The result was a bit garish, but very graphic and effective. 

Copying the negative image posed design challenges because stamps use positive images.  I decided to use a leaf as my design repeat, but even stamping with a real leaf will give me a positive image.  To solve the problem I decided to try using silly putty to create my stamp.  I chose Silly Putty over clay or Crayola Model Magic because it doesn’t permanently harden.  If this works, I can reuse the silly putty over and over.  I had to buy my own since my son wouldn’t donate his to the cause.  I also bought a stem of silk leaves to use as templates.

First I combined the two packs of silly putty and flattened it out to make a base.  Then I pressed the back of a leaf into the silly putty to mark the lines.  I cut around the edge with plastic silverware to make the leaf shape.  Then I rolled silly putty into ropes and placed it around the edge, on the leaf lines and over the stem.  This created a “negative” stamp of the leaf.  My son helped roll out the ropes after he got past me buying silly putty for myself but not for him.  Here’s the result.

putty leaf

Now I can paint the raised edges and transfer the image onto fabric.  The Silly Putty is too floppy to use as a stamp, so I need to press the fabric into the design instead of vice versa.  In hindsight, I could have skipped the putty base and transferred the design onto paper instead, getting the same result.  Taking this one step further, I could have put the putty on a small wooden block and created a stamp.  I can see playing with this for days without running out of ideas.


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