Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Human Body Inspired Tyvek Art by Former Surgeon Susan Greer Emmerson

Inspired by her medical background, artist Susan Greer Emmerson, a former surgeon, uses Tyvek to create artwork reminiscent of the human body. She loves the texture and appearance of Tyvek, and the different ways she can manipulate and use Tyvek material to create her works. Emmerson has used numerous Tyvek styles, including Tyvek 10G, Tyvek 10GX, Tyvek 1443R, Tyvek 14M, Tyvek 14-S, and Tyvek Inkjet Sheets in her creations.

Emmerson's work was recently featured at Nych Gallery in Chicago, in October 2017. She has an upcoming event at the Cambridge Art Association's Members Prize Show near Boston in February 2018, and her work was previously shown there at the 2016 National Prize Show, when her work "Mind Field" was shown, and the 2017 Summer Exhibition of Emerging Artists where her work "Redline" was shown.

Emmerson's work can be viewed at:

Gallery of Emmerson's Tyvek Art

Acrylic and ink on molded Tyvek

Tyvek and glue

Acrylic and ink on molded Tyvek

Black Tyvek

Acrylic on molded Tyvek

Bonepole: molded Tyvek with micro photographs of bone marrow

Video of Emmerson Describing her 3D Tyvek Art

Thanks to Susan Greer Emmerson for the photos she provided, used here with permission, and for the information about her art works.

All of the Tyvek materials that Emmerson used can be purchased online from Material Concepts in rolls. Or contact Material Concepts for more information.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Two Tyvek Art Works from Susan Knight

Hidden Magic and Water Bank Boogie are the names of two Tyvek art installations by artist Susan Knight. She excels at cutting Tyvek into various shapes and forms to create works of art. She describes her work like this:
An acute awareness of water drives me to examine aspects of it everywhere I live and travel. Water’s physical and metaphysical powers to unite, circulate, connect and sustain compel me to create patterns in two and three dimensions based on the physics and structure of water and the land around it. Patterns cut into paper, plastic, Mylar, and Tyvek reveal multiple aspects of environmental issues of fragile water, remediation and sustainability. My primary tool is an Xacto knife. The act of cutting makes me feel like Zorro.

Knight describes the Hidden Magic installation:
Hidden Magic consists of 12 suspended components up to 12 feet in length of hand cut 14-S Tyvek affixed to Borden and Riley paper. Folded Mylar spheres dangle in the fore-ground. It reveals a rain garden which is a small landscape depression designed to temporarily hold rainwater runoff from roofs, pavement and landscaped areas so it will soak into the ground to be filtered and benefit plants. Healthy rain gardens typically drain water within 12-24 hours so mosquitoes are not a problem. A wide variety of plants, including perennial flowers, ornamental grasses, sedges, rushes, and woody shrubs are selected for use in rain gardens to enhance biodiversity and adaptability to the wet/extended dry garden conditions.

The extensive and typically deep roots systems of the native and adapted plants that thrive in rain gardens are fundamental to garden function and health – yet their importance and beauty are normally hidden. The roots help plants to survive extended drought conditions; they increase pore space and water infiltration as they grow through the soil; and they facilitate water movement along their intricate structure. In addition, many root systems replace themselves over time, and the decomposing old roots add additional pore space for water storage and infiltration.

Rain gardens are a naturally effective way to manage rainwater runoff – but the beautiful flowers and textured grasses we typically see above ground are only a small part of a rain garden’s beauty!

Knight describes the Water Bank Boogie installation:

To hand cut these suspended pieces I employ a methodical way of hand cutting paper that fascinated Victorians in the nineteenth century. The dials and pods are constructed from 14-S and 1460-C Tyvek on Borden and Riley paper and colored with acrylic ink. The resulting porous texture of the materials mimics the porosity of groundwater deposits, a topic that has engaged me for several years. The implicit expansion capability of the material captures the physics of water and the architecture of soil. My use of color, red, yellow, green and gray is based on the colors scientists use to color code their soil samples sand, silt, clay and gravel.

Two notions inspire the installation, the interconnectedness of watersheds and the fact that the water is only as healthy as the soil around it.

My intention for you the viewer is that these particular pieces prod you to discover feelings and emotions about your own water associations and experiences and consequently open yourselves to a greater awareness of water issues.

Knight's installations have been displayed at various galleries in Nebraska, including The Kaneko in Omaha.

Many thanks to Susan Knight for the photos she provided, used here with permission. Thanks to Susan for providing the details on the use of Tvyek 14-S in her art works.

Tyvek 14-S can be purchased online from Material Concepts in rolls. Or contact Material Concepts for more information.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tyvek Art - Two Artists Collaborate

Artists Harriette Tsosie and Molly Geissman have done a few art projects, together and separately, using Tyvek in the pieces they created. They are using Tvyek 10GX in their work. From more about these two artists, please visit their websites:

Harriette Tsosie.
"Another Kind of Language."
Mixed media with Tyvek on panel
Harriette Tsosie

Molly Geissman

Harriette provides the following narrative about how she and Molly have used Tyvek in their work.

My use of Tyvek as an art material began in collaboration with Albuquerque artist Molly Geissman. Molly and I were preparing a site specific proposal for Eastern State Penitentiary. After attending one of ESP's orientation sessions we concluded we would need a durable material to withstand the harsh Pennsylvania winter climate and the prison's leaking roofs. Tyvek met our requirements.

Our concept was to create a series of hoods, referencing the hoods prisoners wore when arriving at the prison or when being moved to and from their cells. The reigning penal philosophy at the time the prison was built was that prisoners needed solitary confinement so that they could reflect on their crimes and repent. We envisioned hoods hung alternately within the cells and suspended outside the doors.

Although our project was not funded this year, we have continued to experiment with Tyvek as an art material and to develop Molly's overall theme of "Hoarded Spaces." Hoarded Spaces addresses both physical and mental hoarding and its consequences. We are currently working with two metal cages (formerly used for sorting mail). They are a metaphor for hoarded space that can contain: *trauma memories (PTSD); *cultural artifacts; *incarcerated people; *outmoded ideas, prejudices or political beliefs; *finite natural resources; *grudges and jealousies. Each of us has developed our cage according to our personal interpretation of this theme.
Molly Geissman.
"Hoods."  India ink, alcohol, pigment,
clear labels on Tyvek.

Molly left her cage open and filled it with Tyvek boxes that are stuffed with styrofoam peanuts. The boxes represent prejudicial, irrational thoughts, arising from fear of the "different,” the "unknown," or the "frightening." The boxes are worked with ink, graphite, and thread creating a visual image of conflict. The limited black and white color palette represents pervasive, uncompromising attitudes. Compromise is represented by shades of gray. For change to occur, the boxes--which are sewn shut--need to be opened, exposing and re examining the irrational thoughts.

I wrapped my cage in a large Tyvek hood, painted with images of brain scans, x-rays of the human head, and the imagined drawings of solitary confinement prisoners. A large branch sitting atop the cage represents the occupant’s deprivation of contact with nature and with other humans. The cage is a solitary confinement cell. It could house a POW or troublesome prisoner. It is emblematic of institutional power and its exercise. Its very existence repudiates ideas of rehabilitation or forgiveness.

While working on this collaboration I continue my usual artistic practice, making paintings and scrolls. Initially, I painted with encaustic (pigmented wax) on paper surfaces. The papers tended to wrinkle, develop holes or tear. Tyvek proved to be a better surface. "Once We Were Birds" is made with cloth like Tyvek, painted with Sumi ink and acrylic. The challenge of Tyvek was finding a medium that would work on its impermeable surface. Water based paints seem to sit on the surface, chip or scratch. I prefer alcohol based inks, which stain the surface and do not smudge or rub off.

My Tyvek scrolls will be exhibited in and sold from my studio, during the upcoming South Valley Open Studio Tour, Sunday, November 12, 2017.

This gallery of photos shows more of the Tyvek art from Tsosie and Geissman.

Harriette Tsosie. "Hoods." Mixed media/Tyvek

Harriette Tsosie. "Once We Were Birds." Mixed media/Tyvek.

Molly Geissman. "Hoarded Spaces Boxes 1" Mixed media/Tyvek

Molly Geissman.  "Hoarded Spaces Boxes 2." India ink/alcohol/graphite on black Tyvek.

Molly Geissman.  Hoarded Spaces Boxes.  India ink, graphite, alcohol/clear labels on Tyvek.

Many thanks to Harriette Tsosie and Molly Geissman for the their photos, used with permission. Thanks to Harriette for providing the details on the use of Tvyek 10GX in the art works.

Tyvek 10GX can be purchased online from Material Concepts in roll. Or contact Material Concepts for more information.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Tyvek Cranes in Woodland Gardens

The 2017 Tulip Festival in the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT is featuring hanging displays of cranes made from Tyvek purchased from Material Concepts. Tyvek 8740D is used to make the cranes.

According to Garden Designer Esther Henrichsen:
We have a big Tulip Festival every year and the photos show a piece of a woodland with woodland flowers where we hung these thousands of cranes made from Tyvek from the tree branches to the ground. Soft Japanese music is playing in the background. Tens of thousands of our guests have passed by. Whenever I am out there I hear in amazement, "How is that paper holding up like that?" I tell them all about Tyvek and the many creative uses for it. Our garden volunteers folded the thousands of Tyvek cranes used in this display. We have plans to expand our use of Tyvek in the garden in the coming year.

From the Thanksgiving Point website: "Thanksgiving Point Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit farm, garden, and museum complex that draws upon the natural world to cultivate transformative family learning." Part of Thanksgiving Point, "the Ashton Gardens features 55-acres of stately gardens, grand lawns, as well as the largest manmade waterfall in the Western Hemisphere."

Photos provided by Esther Henrichsen, used with permission.

Tyvek 8740D can be purchased online from Material Concepts in rolls or sheets. Or contact Material Concepts for more information.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Tyvek - 50th Anniversary

Tyvek was first commercially unveiled by DuPont on April 5th, 1967. So this year marks the 50th anniversary of the unveil of Tyvek. Since that date, Tyvek has become quite the versatile product.

According to DuPont's press release:

DuPont Protection Solutions announced the 50th anniversary of DuPont™ Tyvek®, a unique nonwoven material that has enabled new dimensions of protection, security and safety in a wide variety of industries and applications. To mark this major milestone, celebratory events will be held throughout the year to not only pay tribute to the past, but to focus on the future. In addition, a series of communications and special activities are planned to inform, inspire and involve customers, end-users and others around the world during this celebration year and beyond.

While Tyvek is known most prominently for building envelope solutions, such as Tyvek® HomeWrap®, and Tyvek® protective garment, there are many other uses for Tyvek.

Tyvek is now also used as graphics media, envelopes, wristbands, tag labels, archival wrap, framebacking, carpet/rug wrap, banners, cargo covers for pharmaceuticals and perishables, wallets, maps, hunting decoys, flags, currency, artistic displays, clothing, shoes, credit card sleeves, and a multitude of other applications.

Join in the Tyvek 50th anniversary celebration and use Tyvek in some new and creative way, and then tell us about it and we may feature your Tyvek project in a future blog post. Material Concepts is an authorized Tyvek master distributor - just contact Material Concepts or via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 or buy Tyvek online.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Tessellating Tyvek Lanterns from Helen Hiebert Studio

Tessellating Tyvek Lanterns were created by Helen Hiebert and are featured in her 2017 Twelve Months of Paper calendar and in Day 13 of the 25 Days of Paper. You might be wondering - what is tessellation? According to Wikipedia, "A tessellation of a flat surface is the tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps." As you can see from the photos, the accordion folds on surfaces of Hiebert's Tyvek lanterns can be described as displaying 3D tessellation.

Helen Hiebert is a Vail Colorado based paper artist with 25 years of experience, including making paper projects, teaching workshops, films, and five how-to books on papermaking. Visit Helen Hiebert Studio online for more information about Hiebert and her work.

As described on her website, Hiebert comments on the use of Tyvek to make these lanterns:
Tyvek is one of those wonder materials. It acts like paper, but is water resistant and virtually tear-proof. It folds really well too. It comes in white and you can stain it with acrylic paint, watercolor or ink. As you can see, I stained both sides of the Tyvek for these lanterns.

The 2017 Twelve Months of Paper calendar is available for sale, and the she ran a Kickstarter campaign (now ended) that successfully funded the project with 144 backers. Visit her Kickstarter campaign page to see more about all the paper projects featured in the calendar, including a video.

Many thanks to Helen for providing the information and photos used here with her permission.

Helen Hiebert is also a Material Concepts' customer and is one of many artists that purchase Tyvek from Material Concepts. Paper-like Tyvek styles and Fabric-like Tyvek styles can be purchased online or contact Material Concepts for more information and assistance with selecting the Tyvek style that will be best suited for a specific project.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Wearable Shelter Made With Tyvek

Wearable Tyvek Coat
Interior design students at the Royal College of Art in London did a design project to create a wearable shelter - a coat that turns into a sleeping bag and a tent, intended for refugees and inspired by the recent large number of Syrian refugees. According to Anne Sophie Geay, a student who worked on this project, the design has three functions:
  • It can be worn as a coat complete with a zipper, including large pockets for important items, such as passports and personal documents
  • When laid out it forms a sleeping bag
  • The insertion of lightweight kite-rods into specific seams transforms it into a temporary dwelling - a tent that can house up to 4 people
The material used was Tyvek style 1422R, which is very similar to Tyvek style 1443R that is offered by Material Concepts, insulated with Mylar (another product from DuPont). Wearable Tyvek Jacket with Pockets The Tyvek material was suggested to the project group by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), who provided insight into the challenges faced by refugees fleeing conflict in Syria. This Tyvek fabric-like was selected because it is a strong, breathable, and highly water resistant material.

This design is not currently in production; they are looking for manufacturing partners and donations. It will be exhibited at Design Dubai Week, October 24 - 29, 2016.

Thanks to Anne Sophie Geay at the Royal College of Art in London for providing the photos and the details about the project, used with permission.

Tyvek material can work very well when used for new and innovative applications of this versatile material, as demonstrated by this wearable shelter and coat. Fabric-like Tyvek styles can be purchased online or Contact Material Concepts for more information.

Wearable Tyvek Tent

Wearable Tyvek Sleeping Bag

Wearable Tyvek Design Work

Wearable Tyvek Collage

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