art to wear


Hand Painted Tribal Tattoo Sneakers

These were another project produced during grad school. These were plain white sneakers that I hand painted with tribal tattoo designs. I used a rub-on transfer paper to put the outlines onto the sneakers, and then colored them in with fabric markers. It made it easy to hold the shoe and color with the other hand, and I could turn them to get to every part easily. The designs are from around the world: Celtic, African, Malaysian.

tribal tattoo sneakers, top view
tribal tattoo sneakers, right view

I've gotten several e-mails, asking "Just what kind of transfer paper was that, and where can I get it?" As it happens, I was cleaning my apartment recently and came across IT! The tranfer material is the "Pressure-fax® Transfer Pen" actually. This item is © 1979 (yow!) and was originally purchased by my mother. She had never used it, and I first used it sometime in 1985, while working on the Dragon Jacket. The fact that I still have this in my possession in 2001 only proves that I got the pack-rat gene from my Oma!

The package states that the pen "makes transfers that work on wood, fabric, ceramic, metal, plastic and more." It is water-soluble and comes with a special transfer paper .

Graphic Techniques
2531 Neff Road
Dayton, OH 45414

tribal sneakers

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