Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

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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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tyvek Used in "Kubo and the Two Strings" Animated Film from LAIKA

Kubo and the Two Strings, a 3D animated stop-action film in which Tyvek was used in the creation of its stop motion figures. The movie was produced by LAIKA, makers of the Academy Award-nominated animated movie Coraline. Kubo and the Two Strings is the story of a "young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past," according to IMBD.com. This movie is in theaters right now and features the voices of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara and Matthew McConaughey.

So how does Tyvek fit into Kubo and the Two Strings? Via Laika and their public relations agency, MBC Communications, they provided the information on how Tvyek was used in the film. The production notes that were provided describe how Tyvek was utilized:
16,725 feet of Tyvek paper was used.

According to Costume Designer Deborah Cook, "We used a lot of Tyvek [the high-density polyethylene fiber material so often used in building construction] underneath fabrics as well, because it has the dimpled surface of an older, richer fabric and resembles crumpled silk. We also used actual silks that were very fine grade so that the surface weave of the fabric looked good in our scale; these too had to be weighted and bulk out underneath."

Brad Shiff was the Animation Supervisor for the film. What with loose flowing costumes and long hair for many characters, Schiff's team of animators found new challenges on Kubo and the Two Strings. He remarks, "There is a reason that costumes on stop-motion puppets are always tight-fitting and that's because tight-fitting is easy to control. Loose-fitting has a tendency to do weird things in our scale. It's a testament to our puppet makers, riggers, and animators all working together with the costume department that this was pulled off. We were able to handle and manipulate the kimonos without them – or the puppets wearing them – going out of control. There were tiny rigs on all the puppets to help the animators achieve the most subtle of movements."

Six different materials were used as backings in Kubo's sleeves so that they could fold precisely where and as needed; origami patterns were used in the sleeves design so that they would always hang the same way when his arms were down. Sheets of Tyvek ... needed to be crumpled and un-crumpled exactly 15 times to create the required flexibility.
Many thanks to LAIKA and MBC Communications for providing the information and the photos, used here with permission.

Behind the Scenes of Kubo and the Two Strings Video

Kubo and the Two Strings - Official Trailer

Tyvek is often used by innovative, creative people in many and varied ways. Material Concepts provides Tyvek rolls to many of them - just contact Material Concepts or via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 or buy Tyvek online.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tyvek Aircraft Flies at Boston Red Bull Flugtag Competition

Gusdave and the Whiteheads Tyvek Glider in flight front view
A human powered glider made with Tyvek by Gusdave and the Whiteheads was flown at the Red Bull Flugtag competition from the banks of the Charles River in Boston on August 20, 2016. The Connecticut based five-member team selected Tyvek as the wing and tail material to create the CONNDOR flying machine, and placed 6th out of 29 competitors at the event.

Gusdave and the Whiteheads are aviation enthusiasts with a broad range of talents that include engineering, architecture, and puppet design. They are also historical contrarians, and the flying machine they created pays tribute to and was inspired by Gustave Whitehead, whose aircraft named the Condor is said to have made a successful flight in Connecticut in 1901, 2 years before the Wright Brothers.

To construct this glider, a important consideration was the choice of materials to be used for wing webbing. Gustave's original 1901 machine used silk for the wings; Gusdave and the Whiteheads used Tyvek instead of silk in their CONNDOR plane. They considered silk, cloth, tarps, and sailboat canvas.
Gusdave and the Whiteheads Tyvek Glider in flight side view
Jeff Jahnke, a team member and professional architect knew that Tyvek was a very strong material that was light weight and might provide the solution the team was looking for. Jeff was able to obtain a sample of Tyvek and the team conducted tensile tests and concluded it would be strong enough to withstand the forces assumed by the glider as it took flight from a ramp before plunging into the river.

The team said that the Tyvek was easy to cut and manipulate and was used to flesh out two wings, the tail section, and it provided a substrate for signatures and sponsor logos along the walls of the transport cart. The sheets of Tyvek were wrapped along the leading edge of the wings and fuselage and and tail spars made from super strong Calcutta Bamboo posts. Along each wing rib, a duct tape grommet was created that allowed a zip tie to poke through and secure the Tyvek to the post. Additional cabling was necessary to ensure the wings wouldn't fold due to the pressure.

Gusdave and the Whiteheads Tyvek Glider Build Session Dave (Gusdave) Mourad was the CONNDOR pilot and the aircraft placed in the top six in overall score. The flying distance was hampered by strong wind conditions and a limitation on velocity of the pier, but the glider descended smoothly and safely achieving a distance of 36 feet, better than average for the day. The unique rustle and whipping sounds of the vibrating Tyvek enhanced the drama of the glide, and the eventual plummet into the Charles River.

Many thanks to Dave Mourad for providing the information and the photos, used with permission. This is a truly unique use for Tyvek, highlighting the some of the key capabilities and physical properties of the Tyvek material in a very creative manner! And while Tyvek Home Wrap, donated by a  Connecticut contractor, was used for this project, a white unprinted paper-like hard Tyvek material style would be a good choice for a similar project. Material Concepts provides Tyvek rolls for many unique and innovative projects - contact Material Concepts or via phone: 215-338-6515 or 1-800-372-3366 or buy Tyvek online.

Gusdave and the Whiteheads For more information on topics related to this Tyvek aircraft and the competition, check out these resources:

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