Me: How and when did you think to use teabags in your art?
Judy Coates Perez: The first time I used tea bags was when I made Illustrated Document No. 1 for the Quilting Arts true colors paper quilt challenge. All the illustrated imagery was drawn on individual tea bags, adhered to the fabric.
|Illustrated Document No. 1 by Judy Coates Perez|
JCP: I have drawn on them with a permanent marker, then added color with paints and colored pencils, put them through my toner printer and printed illustrations and vintage photos on them and I have adhered plain tea stained ones to fabric to make a textured background that I have painted on top of.
|Take These Broken Wings by Judy Coates Perez|
JCP: I use acrylic matte medium and gel medium to glue them to the fabric, but they could also be attached to fabric with fusible web.
Me: Any other pearls you want to add.
JCP: I like using tea bags because they are a thin, strong fibrous paper and they have a lovely stained patina from the tea. When tea bags are glued to fabric they do not add the bulk and stiffness of regular paper making them ideal for combining with fabric. I have also discovered that abaca paper, which can be bought in large sheets, is often used to make tea bags. That's pretty cool because I can put a sheet of abaca in my printer with less likelihood of loosing it, like occasionally happens with a tea bag, lol. I have recently used abaca in a few projects and see some nice potential for more exploration.
Inspired by Judy, here are my teabag works:
and detail shots:
and detail shots:
Jazzed? inspired? ready to drink tea 24/7 and then make art with the bags? Use the process below and you'll have a supply of teabags to print on, glue on, draw on and some lovely tea dyed fabric too.
I just get the big box of iced tea bags (they're larger) and brew them all at once.
Tie them together and stick them in a big heat resistant bowl. Add boiling water and steep.
You'll what to have two pieces of fabric. (I use white muslin.) One piece I put in a container and put the used teabags on the fabric to dry. The teabags will stain the fabric and the fabric will soak up some of the moisture left in the used teabags. The teabags can take a couple of days to dry.
The other piece, you'll put in the brewed tea, after you remove the teabags (previous step). Let the fabric sit in the tea for an hour or two. Wring out, and put in the clothes dryer. Iron for lovely tea-stained fabric.
Once the teabags are dry (they don't need to be bone dry) disassemble them. Use a staple remover, or Xacto or fingers to remove the staple.
Unwrap carefully, discard tea grounds or put them in your garden.
Flatten the teabag paper. Each will be softly and uniquely stained.
Iron the teabags.
Now you've got your stash of teabags prepared, look at Judy's tutorial on how she applied them to cloth and painted on them.