String Art Demo from Dapper Ink

Artist Showcase, ProjectsElizabeth Ramos

A few months ago, we shared our love of string art---that is incorporating string into an existing piece, or creating art entirely out of string. So we were pretty excited when our friends at Dapper Ink (a local screen print and design shop here in Greenville) decided to do a new installation that featured string art. Over the past years, Dapper Ink has hosted installations created by local artists. With the addition of letterpress printing to their shop, however, they wanted to do something that showed off their love for all things print, and the Long Live Print plans began. So check out their behind the scenes video. They've proved that string art (though time consuming) can be an accessible form of art. Maybe this will even inspire you to try it yourself.

If you're interested in making some string art of your own, Jen from Dapper Ink has shared a few tips:

1) Rather than just going at the project with nails and string, have a plan. We actually printed our design on a banner printer, attached it to the plywood and used that to guide our nail holes. The paper is also great because it keeps your wood underneath clean. Our hands got REALLY messy because of the oxidation on the nails. Chances are you might not have access to a banner printer. No long as you're not doing a huge installation, print outs from home should work fine.

2) Recruit friends to help you put in the nails. It WILL take you longer than you think.

3) Look at string art inspiration online to give you an idea of how you want to wrap your string, that is, how you want the pattern to look. Do you want it to be very uniform? Or is it ok to be messy and random? Either choice can be fine, but it's difficult to change your tactics once you've started to fill in the nails with string.

4) Use one continuous strand of string or yarn for as long as you can to maintain an even look to the design. However, tie off the ends often. If it starts to unravel, you could lose all of your work to your last tie off point.