Non-Destructive Communication Tools for Mass Public Discourse part 1
The Wax Tag:
This is the first in a series of experimental methods of communication intended to be a creative alternative to regular picketing and rioting, while utilizing accessible non-destructive materials. For this installment you will need:
1 X-Acto or utility knife
1 straight edge meter stick
1 bottle car wax (I used NuFinish and Turtle Wax brand)
1 applicator pad
1 sheet of 1/32" rubber (in NYC go to Canal Rubber 1x1 yard is $13)
1 laser cutter (if possible)
Simply we will be cutting a stencil using rubber for it's nonslip and flexible properties and substituting spray paint with carwax.
Step 1: The Stencil
As briefly described before I chose 1/32" rubber sheeting for its flexible nature and its non slip properties, not to mention it is easy to cut and easy to clean.
I am not going to go over how to create a stencil because others before me have covered it quite well, so if your new to stenciling then check here: Creating Complex Spraypaint Stencils by Hand
and if your new to laser cutting check out any number of fun projects that cut tons of different materials here: Laser Cutter..
I will say this however you will need to do tests probably varying the speed of the laser the power level, and the ppi(pulses per inch) to find a good setting that will cut through the rubber without melting it too much. Also you can format your stencil in Photoshop, Illustrator, or even Flash. Just make sure that your strokes are hairline and that there are no fills when you export it as an EPS file if your using a laser cutter. Again the links above have good information about making stencils, the only thing you have to remember is that you will be dragging your applicator across your stencil so becareful not to make alot of thin lines that could break or move during application. So now lets look at a different material to use with our stencil.
Step 2: Picking Your Target
The car wax is particularly best suited to nonporous dark surfaces, but could work on certain transparent smooth surfaces depending on the background, remember your tag will be white or slightly tinted green(Just think of movie subtitles and how annoying it is to read white on white). Examples of surfaces I have seen done: cars,signs, trash cans, store front glass, and plastic
It is important to remember that the car wax is a greasy liquid and therefore should be applied as thinly as possible inorder to keep it from dripping down and losing form.
Step 3: Applying the Material
Before going out make sure your new check list looks like this:
1. Clean, ready to use stencils
2. Cloth applicator pads (cut if necessary to have a good flat edge)
3. Bottle of car wax (any brand that you have already tested with the stencils)
Now you are ready.
1. Place the stencil where you want it.
2. Properly brace it for your needs. (for example: on vertical glass surface use tape to hold it up tight, or spray adhesive to keep it flat whle applying the wax)
3. Pour a small row of wax parallel to and about a half inch from the flat edge of the applicator pad.
4. Apply gently and evenly in full length strokes
5. Make sure all of the design is filled but not too thick.
6. Remove the stencil. Start by peeling it off from one side to the other and take good care not to let the stencil move, or it will smear your artwork around.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 responsibly
Step 4: Disclaimer
Now as far as I know there is nothing illegal about placing up a wax tag, that being said it still looks illegal and depending upon where you place it and who sees you do it your probably not going to win alot of friends. But neither will picketing and rioting so, give it a try at least it does no damage and is a custodians dream.
Lastly don't feel limited by the content depicted in this instructable, be creative, have fun, be careful.
Please send me a message if something is amiss in this instructable and comment in any great tales or new techniques that you discover. If you use this instructable post pics to Flickr with a "Creative Discontent" tag.