A monthly art project delivered by Smart Art Box gives me a creative outlet without the worry of choosing a project or purchasing supplies. Full-size products and instructions for finishing an adult art project fill each box. The April 2017’s Solar Photogram project provided me with several hours of relaxing creative time.
The revolutionary age of subscription boxes continues into 2017. Though many fail and fall by the wayside, Smart Art Box is flourishing with new creative projects and mediums from around the world. One of my all-time favorite subscription boxes to review, I am happy to share my experiences with the April 2017, Solar Photogram box on OMG Goodies.
My Thoughts about Smart Art Box:
My sixth-grade teacher explained to my class it was time to put the sun to use for us. We each received a special piece of paper and were told to place leaves and various objects on it and put it in the sun. The sun working for us was less awe-inspiring and more expected by most of us. Growing up toward the end of the Cold War and experiencing technological advances at every corner, I remember asking why we didn’t all have solar panels and skylights. Still, taking little sheets of paper, placing leaves on them, and watching light shadows appear was pretty cool! The April 2017 Smart Art Box brought my attention back to those fun memories. I was immediately ready to put the sun to work for me again!
The April 2017 box includes:
- A 4oz bottle of purple Solarfast™ Dye
- A 2oz bottle of Solarfast™ Wash
- 10 Sheets of 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheets of Solarfast™ Film
- A Jacquard Film Marker
- An Ampersand Artist Panel of Unprimed Basswood
- A Royal Brush Wood Handle Foam Brush Set
- An Instruction Pamphlet
The instruction pamphlet includes a brief history of the art form and products, as well as tips for use, descriptions of the products, and step-by-step project instructions.
The Solar Photogram Project:
This project, as with most of the Smart Art projects, is as simple or as detailed as you want. You can finish simple projects in less than an hour. I chose to take a little more time.
The very first step of this project requires a traceable picture. I chose to draw one but printing a photo, graphic, or clip art is also a possibility. Once my original picture was drawn, I traced the picture onto the Solarfast™ Film using the medium tip Jacquard Film Marker. The film has a slightly cloudy look to it, and if you carefully examine it you can tell the difference between the two sides. It is important to trace on the correct side; the ink smudges off the other side.
I found the marker easy to use, and with care, I was able to create some fairly fine lines. (Excess ink may gather in the tip when the marker is not in use, simply wiping the extra ink on a paper towel worked well for me.) The traced picture creates a negative, so color every area you want to stay light. It may feel as if your very mind is fighting with you, but this step is imperative in order to have your project turn out as you intend it to.
Looking closely at a picture of my project, you may notice I used two pieces of film and placed them against each other. Knowing a line may appear, I was very careful about choosing where the sheets should meet.
Film and Dye
With the picture ready, I prepared the basswood panel by brushing on a thin layer of the purple Solarfast™ Dye. The tips section of the instructions suggested wiping the excess off with a paper towel, but I felt the layer was thin and even using a foam brush. After preparing the wood, I carefully placed the film on the damp panel and walked into the full sun making sure my shadow never covered the panel.
I couldn’t help but smile as the chemical reaction immediately started to take place. The damp-looking piece of wood suddenly started turning purple!
I placed the panel in my driveway where there was no chance of shadowing and left it for 20+ minutes. When I came back, I found a deep purple panel.
Set the Dye
Back in the house, I removed the film and placed my panel under the hottest water my kitchen sink could provide, then I added the Solarfast Wash to the water.
Here I followed the instructions on the bottle. The instruction pamphlet appeared to still contain information from another booklet. That’s OK — mistakes happen and the instructions are easily read from the bottle or online. Moreover, Smart Art always has someone available to answer questions. After leaving the project under running water for 10 minutes, my project was finished!
I still have plenty of Solarfast™ supplies available and I intend to use them several more times. I am considering making some shirts for my daughters . . . maybe a tote for me.
Connect with Smart Art Box:
Subscribe to Smart Art Box or order an individual box by visiting the Smart Art Box website.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."