© Nicolet laursen - Little Big Love, Shrinky Dink

Little Big Love, Ink & Watercolor on Shrinky Dink — Nicolet Laursen

I am once again participating in the Shrinky Dinks Auction, a benefit for Surel's Place. This is my third time participating and I was just sooooo excited to make another Shrinky Dink.

Wait, what is Surel's Place?!

The best way to find out is to hop over to their website and read all about them.
Or just read this snippet I pulled from their site:
"Artists need shelter. Artists need space. Artists need time. Surel's Place, a non-profit artist in residency program, offers artists the gift of all three. Located in Boise, Idaho, and nestled steps from the Boise River, this modern live-work space is at the center of the Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District. Here you will find a community that values you and the art you make."

What is a Shrinky Dink?!

Nicolet Laursen Shrinky Dink in the Idaho Statesmen It's okay, I didn't know what it was either. Then way back in 2015 I was asked to participate in the first Shrinky Dinks auction. I attended a workshop at Surel's Place, where I learned all about this strange shrinking art. A Shrinky Dink is a craft toy from the 1970's. Basically they are large sheets of plastic you can draw, paint, and get creative with. After getting all artsy with them, you can cut them out and cook them. Then they shrink down by about 50% and become 9x thicker.

I was lucky enough to be featured in the Idaho Statesman with one of my Shrinky Dink experiments from the workshop at Surel's Place. You can read all about it, but don't be confused by the DUI headline below the picture.... haha.

Here is a before and after of my first Shrinky Dink. On the left is a colored pencil elephant cut out of Shrinky Dink plastic. To the right is the result of cooking him for just a couple minutes.

Shrinky Dink Before © Nicolet Laursen Shrinky Dink After © Nicolet Laursen

You can see that he got a lot smaller and even the colors changed a bit. I found it so much fun to make things that should be large and shrinking them down. So of course I picked a family of elephants for my first Shrinky Dink. I created the backgrounds by quickly folding the Shrinky Dink while it was still hot. I had about 10 seconds to do this before it set and became impossible to manipulate. It truly is an artform.

Here is the final piece:

Shrinky Dink Elephants © Nicolet Laursen

Elephant Family, Colored Pencil on Shrinky Dink, 2015 — Nicolet Laursen

Last year (2017), the Shrinky Dinks Auction returned for it's second year. Once again, I was asked to participate and I jumped with glee. It was early spring and I was feeling a bit of the summer joy starting to grow in my heart. So I made a summer themed dog swimming party Shrinky Dink.

Dog Days © Nicolet Laursen

Dog Days, Colored Pencil on Shrinky Dink, 2017 — Nicolet Laursen


Dog Days © Nicolet Laursen I used some of my tricks from the Elephant Shrinky Dinks to create this three dimensional piece.


© Nicolet laursen - Little Big Love, Shrinky DinkThis year, I returned to my large animal family theme from 2015. This time my subject is the Humpback Whale. I kept it a little simple with just the mother and baby floating between two sheets of glass. I think you'll fall in love with their eyes. These whales have so much character. They are so much fun to draw. I think you'll be seeing more of these in the future, but in the meantime, you can get your hands on this one-of-a-kind art by attending the Shrinky Dinks Auction at Surel's Place on Oct 6, 2018.


September 10, 2018 — Nicolet Laursen