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tape samples TAPE IT copyright Sarah Fishburn
Originally published in PASTICCIO QUARTZ Issue 6

Tapes can be used as both elements & tools in your mixed-media art. Apply masking or duct tape to a piece, then rip that sucker right back off. Instant distress; that's a tool! Now more than ever, there are dozens of tapes for every use imaginable. Those are elements! A few are manufactured specifically for artists: book binding tapes & Chartpak Graphic Arts tape. Double-sided is primarily used by artists. Gaffer's tape was originally designed to hold down cables, wires, props, etc. for concerts, stage productions, movie sets, TV production, & photography but having been
co-opted by scrapbookers, it's now available printed with intriguing graphic designs & evocative words. Scrapbooking supply companies also manufacture a decent array of decorative tape styles including floral, Rococco, & scenic. They have the advantage of being acid-free, so when you incorporate into a piece, you know they won't discolor or disintegrate (like old transparent tape - although I actually love that look & have chosen to replicate it on some of my own pieces. You can spray with a fixative to eliminate further disintegration.)
Heidi Swapp, Prima, & Two's Company all include tapes in their product lines.

A partial list of other tape types includes:
--Duct & pipewrap
--Electrical insulation
--Masking - General purpose, industrial grade, indoor or outdoor, & high temp.
--Colored masking tape is used for color coding, marking, book binding, & other general uses. It's one of my faves; it comes in a variety of colors & widths, you can get it at any market or hardware store, & best of all, it costs next to nothing!
--Marking tapes are used interchangeably with gaffer tape. 
--Barricade/caution/crime scene - a specialty tape that's not for everyone, but will add a real graphic punch to your art! Can be found either sticky back, or as non-sticky 'ribbon'.
--Carton sealing - paper (draw, print, or stamp onto it), strapping (filament), clear (use for making urban grunge style photo transfers from magazines & catalogs), & decorative 
--Fluorescent spike tape is used in theatrical productions to mark the stage.
--Foil - copper & aluminum tape for industrial use; also manufactured in various widths for soldering. Also, decorative colored foils. 
--Vinyl - available in an array of colors
--Polyester film tape also comes in a variety of colors, most commonly red. It's typically used in film splicing & leaves minimal residue on removal. 
--Grip tape is available in every sporting good store.
--Surgical tape
--Don't forget Sticky Back labels - while not officially 'tape', they can be employed in a similar manner; many have very cool graphic borders.

when do
graphic
graphic masking and dymo tape
aha
dandy bow

eyeful of beauty

 

multiple tape
frame layers
decorative
decorative tape
graphic artist
graphic tape
lettape
let tape disintegrate
tape over written word
tape over written word
pigment on tape
pigment on tape
gaffers tape
printed gaffers tape
routine chaos
dinner palette
tape as frame
tape as frame

she sells


Try these suppliers for tape products:
1) artlebedev.com  carries several coolly graphic Russian language tapes
2) azumianddavid.com  tape bracelets, watches, lace, to use on your body & clothing!
3) fancythatonline.net  "Making Functional Fabulous - vintage fabric & feedsack designs" - gorgeous paisley & other pretty abstracts, repurposed from their humble origins
4) howcool.com  movie star faces, pirate, poker, retro kitty, tiki
5) thetapedepot.com  nothin' but tape!
6) tapesolutionsinc.com  this site is a bit disorganized, but you can order camouflage, metallized mylar, striped reflective, even printable glow in the dark tape
7) windycitynovelties.com  retro cool 'filmstrip' tape
8) smallstudioproductions.com - gotta love the ruler tape
9) cottonblue.etsy.com  designer tapes from Japan
10)ilovestickytape.blogspot  keeping you posted on the freshest tapes around!