Friday, December 12, 2008

Art is dangerous

I wanted to personalize a gift with stencils, so I got out my book of stencils that I wanted to try. While reading the instructions for preparing the stencils in Japanese Cut and Use Stencils I noticed the following advice: prepare the stencils with boiled linseed oil and turpentine (Why not just cut them in plastic?) and they make the following casual statement, "Any excess can be wiped off with a dry rag...the rag should then be immersed in water until it can be incinerated or removed by regular garbage disposal service. Spontaneous combustion can occur if the rag is stored for later use." SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION???!!!
This led me to think - well, what about the paper stencil that is soaked in this stuff? Won't THAT be in danger of spontaneously combusting? And who knew ordinary household items could be combined with such exciting results? My son was all in favor of finding out, but not wishing to create hazardous waste or burn down the house, I have decided to try my new Indygo Junction Asian Stencils instead.
My idea is to use my Paintstiks to stencil a design for a little bag for a gift. If I like it then maybe I'll stencil something larger, like a purse, a scarf or a tote bag, then maybe a coat, a shawl or a quilt, but baby steps... I'll try and fit it into our mad weekend of putting up the tree, decorating for Christmas, shopping, wrapping, baking, working, shipping...I need a little quiet sewing time, preferably non-flammable time.
Happy Non Combustable sewing!


The Slapdash Sewist said...

LOL, I love your son's sense of experimentation! `-) When I was in law school my boyfriend and I house-sat for one of his professors over the summer. We were cleaning and I was cautioning him about mixing bleach and ammonia because the combo creates a toxic gas. We were both curious so we went outside and mixed straight bleach and ammonia together. We were pretty disappointed--it wasn't spectacular at all.

Anonymous said...

I think it's leaving the rags wadded up in a ball, or a pile of them that's the problem. I would imagine that if a bunch of stencils with the oil/turpentine mix were piled up, they may have the same problem.

The bleach/ammonia combination - I'm glad it was outside. Someone did that combination cleaning in our house once - nasty!
Fortunately we could open the windows and ventilate for a few hours.

I imagine that if all the hazards we could encounter with art/crafting were thought about *too* much, not as much would get done. Just have to keep the hazards in mind and continue on!