Being Productive Again: Day 2

material tests

Today was another great, amazingly fun and productive day in 406 Pelissier! We did a lot of material tests, figured out some more details on our book, met some new people, and generally enjoyed having a dedicated workspace.

It’s going to be very hard to give up this space.

plastic bags

The day started by spreading out many plastic bags.

plastic bags

Steven brought along a banner he had started earlier and a small collection of plastic bags with a variety of weights and finishes.

Steven and Justin making planters

We organized our work table to enable using the iron and large sheets of paper.

too much heat

Steven’s first demo of the day was on a thin Shopper’s plastic bag, the iron was probably too hot.

cutting the edges

I was curious about how well the bags stay together even if you cut the edges. As the plastic fuses itself together, cutting the bag doesn’t change the strength or integrity of the material.

plastic bags, also biodegradable

Cristina got some biodegradable bags from Jenny (who would later show up with coffee!).

Cristina supervises the ironing

Cristina took in the demo Steven gave.


Iron temperature settings are important and change depending on the type of bag used.

green bag under the iron

The green biodegradable bags took more heat and more time.

weak spots

It’s easy to spot parts of the bag that aren’t fused.

Cristina and Steven

Cristina and Steven working on bags. These material tests will ultimately lead to another version of the planters as part of a larger installation we’re planning.

fusing green bags

After some more ironing the green plastic bags fused pretty well, and had a different finish than most grocery bags, most like a vinyl than a tyvek.

green bag

Cristina tests the flexibility of the green bags.

Justin by Leesa's balloons

Beside Leesa’s fun balloon installation, we tried to find the Internet.

Cristina drinks coffee (and destroys)

Cristina drinking some coffee that Jenny (in the plaid shirt) brought us.

Justin at the computer

I found some Internet and started reviewing the notes we took the other day on the book.

Steven irons

Steven working with the larger heavy paper we were using to iron on top of to fuse the bags.

the assembled plastic bag

This is an example of what can be done with the many bits of bags when they’re cut.

Steven cuts plastic bags

Even though it’s not quite as solid as using full bags, the strength is the same.

Justin at work

We also pulled out an old car seat, which makes an excellent work couch.

Cristina and Natasha talk BCL

Cristina’s friend, Natasha stopped by to get a grand tour.

Cristina and Natasha

Cristina explained the projects we’ve been working on over the last six months or so.

Cristina and Natasha

This is one of the best parts of being in this location, that people can stop by at random. We also had an offer to work on a fence for the Fireworks night, which we had to decline, and met another gentleman who promised to come back Thursday with a book on Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Cristina doing some computer work

Cristina takes some time to read up on printing options.

dollar store chanel

Dollar store bags look nice when fused.

plastic bag examples

Here are some material tests; I momentarily wondered if ink would work on this plastic, but it doesn’t, so stamps are out.

plastic bags fused

We moved on to garbage bags too.

aligning letters

With Steven’s banner he brought in, we started trying to figure out how to get a message onto the banner.

BCL in garbage bag letters

We started with BCL.

making planters

The garbage bags weren’t folded as many times, so they didn’t need as much time under the iron.

Justin oversees ironing

I anxiously awaited the unveiling of the first letters.

BCL in garbge bag lettering

They stuck pretty well.


But ultimately, doing positive letters probably don’t stand out enough.


You can see that different plastics fuse well together though.

a new banner

We hung the banner.

the banner

The banner will eventually be bigger.

Jenny signs the guestbook

Jenny signed out guestbook! I forgot to read it though.

making a banner

We thought we should try negative letters next, which would help it stand out more.

reverse banner

Steven cut out HI, because it can be flipped over and still legible.

reverse banner

He also cut out an exclamation mark.


The graph paper we were using between the iron and plastic for the letters ended up sticking to the exclamation mark, but most of it came off with water.

securing the exclamation mark

Steven scrubbing the paper off.

the banner

The final banner, well at least the first part of it. We’ll work at least one more day in the space this week, hopefully pushing forward with some work on the new planters, the banner, and I’m sure, many other things. It was amazing to realize that six hours had gone by, that’s a sign of a good day.

14 Replies to “Being Productive Again: Day 2”

    1. We can’t wait to see you in person!
      We’ll be happy to teach you, as we’ll definitely need lots of people willing to iron plastic bags for this next project (it’s super easy)!

    1. haha! yes, there were many photos of Cristina with coffee today, and yet strangely, none where she was destroying…

  1. hi, got here by random googling and i was wondering what kind of a camera did you use to record all this?

Comments are closed.