Saturday, April 14, 2012

Socially Acceptable Mud

 Years ago, when my eldest son was in preschool, I got "talked to" about his behavior.  Okay, I got "talked to" a lot about his behavior (and, to be fair, that of my other kids too).  But this particular time, it was because he and a couple of his friends had discovered a corner of the play yard that was bare of grass and when water was added to this particular patch, a lovely mud developed.  It was great fun to use the mud for sculpting and painting.  Of course, his clothing suffered, but generally this particular son was pretty fastidious for a little kid.  So I wasn't worried about the mud.

Not so, the other parents.  Apparently my son was the ringleader in the mud art projects and had to be stopped.  I remember his sorrow as we rode home from preschool the first day after the mud artwork was halted because it was no longer allowed.  He was so sad.

I have a birthday coming up.  It happens every year around this time (no, it's not yet, so please don't make a fuss).  But I decided some time ago (actually, a very long time ago) that I would remain at 27.  The rationale for this was fairly simple.  If you say you're 29, everyone assumes you're lying.  At 27 -- you just might be telling the truth.  And thanks to fortuitous genes, I could carry it off much longer than was really fair.  But now, it's kind of a joke when I say I'm 27.  And that I have my annual 27th birthday each year.

Another reason I refuse to divulge my actual age is that I've found that people seem disappointed when they find out how old I really am.  Like I should act more mature or something.  Oh puleeze!  Apparently, there is a fine line between childlike and childish.  And for some reason, I skirt much closer to ish than like.  And ish is just not as socially acceptable as like.

But I have found that my son was right to be sad.  It's fun to play in mud.  And who cares if you get a  bit dirty?  Especially if you're dressed for it.  And now I've found a socially acceptable mud.  It's called: dye thickener.

I procured this large piece of plastic (I believe it's a tile for a drop ceiling) and found that if I spread dye thickener on it I could have a great time smooshing it around and adding thickened dyes to make prints  (there is a much more clinical description of this process on the Fire blog here).

I have long looked for a method of marbling with thickened dyes.  I haven't found it yet, but this is close.

I used the plastic combs from my marbling stuff to swirl the dyes on the plastic.  And skipped the "stuff" I was using for resists.  I rather like most of these pieces -- yes, there are a few that are dogs -- but I can use those for further research in my other evil experiments. Bwahahaha...


Beth said...

I was so busy reading about playing in the mud and refusing to grow up (paraphrasing), that I didn't look at the pictures! Went back and had a look.... I think the ones with green in them look the best!

Talin's Corner said...

Love the greens, but more than that, I loved reading your story. I really should pick an age to be too. If it keeps you young, why not?

jenclair said...

I hope your son is still leading interesting projects!

I really need to try this technique; I'm a fan of controlled mess.

Lynne said...

I say: "go for it!"