Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spin 'n' Splash Techniques Class (Part 1)

We all love Spin 'n' Splash backgrounds ! So here is my attempt at a class to help those just starting with the technique.

It is, indeed, nothing new and Spin Art has been around for a very long time. Some of us old enough to remember have practiced our art on machines situated in stores and at fairgrounds where we have dribbled various coloured paints from a plastic squeezy bottle onto a card attached to a revolving turntable and produced one-of-a-kind multi-coloured creations which were then placed in a mask or frame for display.

We will need some supplies and more importantly a machine to enable the spinning to take place. There are both mechanical and electrical variations available and there are even downloadable plans available online to make your own enclosure. But assuming that you are not that adept at woodwork and electricals you will probably want to buy some type of machine to work with. Prices vary enormously so it is quite important to get the whole buying thing into perspective. It really depends on whether you will be using it a lot and I would suggest that most of us will only want to use it occasionally for home use and therefore will not want to invest a lot of money on the machine. This means that price will be our main buying criteria, with functionality coming a close second.

The machines come in either electrical or mechanical varieties. The mechanical type need to be wound by hand and consist of a gearbox and a handle, a turntable and a clamp to mount the machine on a bench but are difficult to both wind and to apply colours at the same time. The electrically operated variety is powered either by batteries or by a mains adapter. Usually running at either 3 or 4.5 Volts DC. Here is a link to one at Toys R Us but you will also find others available on Ebay. I actually bought a machine directly from WH Smith online for around £6.99 when on offer.
This particular one doubles up as a potters wheel and a spin art machine and I run it using a mains adapter which I bought from Maplin. Yours will start off being a bit cleaner than mine - the stains are from colours I have used on my backgrounds. These machines normally have around a 6 inch diameter turntable (limiting your maximum background card size to this). Most of these are really designed as kids toys but do the job very well. There are two speeds for my turntable but I find the slower one too slow to do the job as the colours do not spin off at this slower speed and the slower speed is for the potters wheel activities.

Anyway, assuming that you have your machine you will also need some colouring mediums to work with.

Here is a list of what I have used to date (links for product information are present on most items):

Ranger Alcohol Inks (including silver, gold, copper and opal mixatives)

Ranger Blending solution or other solvent (isopropanol)

Thinned down acrylic paints (Lumiere etc.)

Dye Inks (re-inkers)

Transparent, Opaque & Pearlescent Acrylic Inks

White and Black Glossy Card, Silver & Gold Mirri Card

This list is not exhaustive and you will not need all of them to get started, of course, and the choice is yours. I am sure that many other colouring materials are available which will give other effects - so experiment. I will try to give you examples of using most of them when the class continues in Part 2.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Have you tried water color crayons and lots of water while it's spinning. My machine only holds paper that is 3.5 x 5. What size paper do you have.


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