Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tyvek Scenery Scrolls at Red Herring Puppets

Lisa Sturz, Artistic Director at Red Herring Puppets provides the following on how she creates scenery scrolls for productions using Tyvek from Material Concepts. Red Herring Puppets is an award winning national touring company based in Asheville, North Carolina specializing in curriculum-based edu-tainment. Lisa Sturz has worked with Jim Henson Productions, Walt Disney Imagineering, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Asheville Symphony, and many more. She has used long Tyvek scrolls for several of her productions.

Many thanks to Lisa for sending us the photos and descriptions of some productions in action. All photos used with her permission. Visit the Red Herring Puppets website to find out more.

From Red Herring Puppets production of "The Big Dipper: Calendar, Compass & Clock". This scene scrolls by as we hear the traditional song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" to show how the Big Dipper can be used as a compass. The scene is painted by C.J. Randall using acrylics.

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 1

The next three images are from Red Herring Puppets production of "Little One-Inch". The scenery is painted by Lisa Sturz using Japanese Sumi-e ink.

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 2

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 3

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 4

The last two scenes are from "My Grandfather’s Prayers", drawn by Lisa Sturz and Emily Bader with Sumi-e ink and transparent water colors. This one is backlit and photographed from the front.

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 7

This scene is lit from behind with shadow figures.

Red Herring Puppets Tyvek Scenery 6

To see the Tyvek scenery scrolls in action, view the video from The Big Dipper: Calendar, Compass, & Clock.

Thanks again Lisa Sturz and Red Herring Puppets for providing the info on this innovative use of Tyvek as scrolling scenery. Material Concepts provides Tyvek rolls to many theaters that are used for scenery. In this case, Red Herring Puppets used Tyvek style 1073D. Whatever the application, Material Concepts can always provide expert recommendations on the Tyvek style that will work best. Just contact Material Concepts or via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Tyvek Big Book for Peace Completed

In a previous post on this Tyvek Innovative Uses blog, the project Big Book: Pages for Peace was described, in which the Bookmakers and Dreamers Club, students from Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Massachusetts recently completed making the biggest book in the world on the topic peace. They made the Big Book entirely of DuPont™ Tyvek®.

DuPont donated the Tyvek material for the project - Tyvek Graphics style 8740D. Material Concepts did the converting of the huge Tyvek master roll into 15 smaller rolls and donated the cost of the shipping to the project group.

According to DuPont's press release and information on the Big Book: Pages for Peace website, the book is now completed! As the press release describes, the book contains "over 1,100 pages with 3,500 pieces of artwork, letters, quotes and messages of peace from such notable contributors as Nelson Mandela, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Maya Angelou, measures 12 feet tall by 10 feet wide – 20 feet when open."

If you are thinking of a project - big or small - in which Tyvek would be a good material to use, contact Material Concepts via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 to buy some Tyvek material.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tyvek Puppet Theater - Unfolding at UConn

Photo credit: Adam Lobelson
A puppet theater production with everything made from Tyvek? For two weekends in September 2015, that's exactly what happened at the University of Connecticut, where Margarita Blush and the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry presented Unfolding, an original puppet theater production.

According to Professor Blush,
Unfolding is an original puppet theatre production that examines the themes of women's wisdom and empowerment. The show features hand-crafted puppets, live acting, unique scenography, and composed music.

The visual inspiration for the show comes from paper art: pop-up books, origami, paper sculpture, paper installations, and many more.

The idea was to create the puppets, scenography and costumes primarily out of paper (or paper-like materials). Through our research, my designer (Dimitar Dimitrov) and I discovered Tyvek. Tyvek has recently gained a lot of popularity in the world of puppet theatre. Yet, Unfolding uses Tyvek in a way that has not been done to this point – the entire production is made with and out of Tyvek! Tyvek provided us with so many amazing qualities – it is very durable, it creates and holds very interesting shapes, it has a beautiful “glow” under theatre lighting, it can be painted, its fiber texture is gorgeous when lit from behind in shadow sequences, different kinds of Tyvek can be used for different things – set, costumes, puppets, it is very light. An added benefit was the Fire Marshall’s approval of the fire resistant qualities of the material!

Overall – it was an amazing material to work with and we are very proud and inspired by our original and unique use of Tyvek!

Professor Blush and UConn purchased the Tyvek materials from Material Concepts, and the Tyvek styles used were 1443R, 1622E, 10GX.

Thank you to Professor Blush for providing the background and insights on the production and the uses of Tyvek; her comments are used with permission. Photos from Adam Lobelson and Robert Blush were also provided and used with permissions; photo credits provided.

Thinking of making puppets or doing a theater production and want to use Tyvek? Material Concepts' product specialists are available during business hours to assist with the selection of Tyvek styles for any use. For more information via phone call 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366, or buy Tyvek online.

Photo credit: Adam Lobelson

Photo credit: Adam Lobelson

Photo credit: Adam Lobelson

Photo credit:Robert Blush

Photo credit:Robert Blush

Photo credit:Robert Blush

Photo credit: Adam Lobelson

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Inflatable Tyvek Sculptures at Plymouth State University

At New Hampshire's Plymouth State University in early November, anyone around the outside of the Hartman Union Building (HUB) was treated to views of some huge inflatable Tyvek sculptures created by students in Professor Philip Lonergan’s class from the Art Department. These blow up Tyvek sculptures were installed on the HUB lawn; some of them were 10 feet high!

According to the article by Rachel Levi in PSU's The Clock Online, "since the massive structure is the essence of the sculptures, displaying them outdoors means their surroundings are large. Trees and buildings make the sculptures look smaller in contrast." One student told The Clock Online that "it took about three weeks and a total of 20 hours to construct his sculpture. The assignment was to research microscopic organisms and make one of these organisms into something massive, non-representational and difficult to ignore."

Professor Lonergan purchased the Tyvek material from Material Concepts and was able to secure discount pricing by buying some excess Tyvek inventory that is sometimes offered. In this case he purchased a discontinued Tyvek style of metallized Tyvek and it was an off-size cut.

Thanks to Rachel Levi at PSU's The Clock Online for providing the information and photos, used with permission.

Many artists are using Tyvek in their creations, and the art students at Plymouth State University certainly came up with an innovative way to utilize Tyvek in the projects.

Contact Material Concepts via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 to buy Tyvek.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tyvek Origami Cranes Take Flight at Phipps Fall Flower Show in Pittsburgh

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania joined forces with the Origami Club of Pittsburgh to create an elaborate display of oversized origami peace cranes for the Conservatory's Fall Flower Show. As the first display encountered by arriving visitors, the Tyvek origami cranes provide an immediate burst of color and whimsy that sets the pace for the rest of this fantastic exhibit.

Durable Tyvek Hard Structure / Tyvek Paper proved to be the perfect material to construct the cranes using origami folding techniques and keep the birds looking beautiful throughout the show.

Phipps' Fall Flower Show brought a new perspective to the season's famed chrysanthemums, showcasing the unique ways the blooms are traditionally grown in Japan and their importance in Japanese culture.

In the historic Palm Court, constructed in 1893 as one of Phipps Conservatory's original glasshouse rooms, the massive Tyvek cranes hover over beds of red and orange mums and metal ornate lanterns with flickering candles.

Material Concepts supplies many varieties of Tyvek material to artists for a variety of art projects, including installation art. Just contact Material Concepts for more information via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 to buy Tyvek.

Photo credit for images © Paul G. Wiegman, used with permission. Many thanks to Phipps Conservatory for providing this information for use here.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Tyvek Fashions for 2015 from Polish Designer Agnieszka Sukiennik

Agnieszka Sukiennik, a Warsaw, Poland based independent visual artist, illustrator and fashion designer, announces her spring/summer 2015 fashion design using Tyvek material. Her brand is ANIESS. The new collections are called MON POLLEN and MON BLUE. This Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog has featured Ms. Sukiennik's work previously and she does some amazing things with Tyvek in her fashion designs.

Sukiennik comments on her latest fashion designs:
My inspirations came from nature, bloom, little meadow flowers, waterdrops, marks of rain. Collections are very light, feminine and tenuous.To create these projects, I started with photography, I made a lots of pictures, on the countryside, just next to my summer house, then I pained watercolor sketches to create the best composition, which finally was placed, repainted on Tyvek. In my collections the main medium is hand painted Tyvek linked with knitwear, polyurethane foam and natural leather. Each piece of ANIESS clothing is a singular work of art - each garment is a one and only piece, totally unique.

For more information about Sukiennik's work, please visit:

And enjoy these photos provided by Agnieszka Sukiennik, used here with permission.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cut Paper Art Installations Made With Black Tyvek

Artist Julie Friedman creates gorgeous creative and innovative installation art from black Tyvek® and an X-ACTO knife that were recently show at the 95th Toledo Area Artists (TAA) Exhibition. She "loves telling people what I use - I always say 'it's that stuff they wrap houses in for insulation' and their eyes light up!" Friedman's work manipulates light and shadows and "incorporates an exploration of positive and negative shapes through the use of images." Additionally, she often layers Tyvek® because the "juxtaposing and layering images of trees and telephone poles lead to connections both physical and metaphorical."

When asked why Tyvek® is her chosen medium, Friedman says that she was learned about using Tyvek® while attending a paper cutting workshop. Friedman says she loves using Tyvek® "because of the ease of cutting, first and foremost" and because "it is also so durable and I don’t have to worry about tearing and ripping like I do with paper." Friedman notes that
over time her pieces have "grown in scale and I have been able to explore how the viewer can interact with the images. Cast shadows create another world inside and around the structure."

Tornadoes is one of Friedman's pieces that was shown at the TAA Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. In this installation, the addition of "a kinetic element and light help stretch the bounds of the medium." Friedman comments:
The idea of the tornado came to me first as a formal design element. A shape I drew by hand to include in a cut out. Usually my cut outs are all images I photograph and manipulate on the computer. So the tornado was a scribbly form that I liked and after I drew it I realized what it was and I began to create stories and scenarios. I drove around town taking pictures of houses and using Photoshop I would change the contrast until the essence of the house was left in strong black and white shapes. I have used architectural elements in my work off and on, all throughout my career stating as an undergrad. Houses, both literally and symbolically. Shelter and security. I started to collage 3 elements: tornado, house, vegetation/ wires. Different scenarios. Adding elements of surprise in the tornadoes. Birds-fish-chairs. Sometimes there is a feeling of stasis. Like even though there is this tornado blowing through your backyard everything is still the same. Nothing has been destroyed. It is the moment before. Other times the telephone poles are broken and the wires are flying and electricity is in the air.
A Greenhouse for Life

All photos are used with permission. Special thanks to Julie Friedman for providing us with information.

If you need Tyvek material for your own art project, Material Concepts supplies many varieties of Tyvek. Just contact us for more information or call 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 for information or to buy Tyvek.

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