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LaxAllStars Must Dye - Graphite Lacrosse Head

LaxAllStars Must Dye

Chapter One: Life Isn’t Black & White, It’s Graphite – LaxAllStars founder Jeff Brunelle goes deep on life, art, lacrosse dyes, and his evergrowing love for the game.

[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”52″ bg_color=”#222222″ txt_color=”#e8e8e8″]I[/mks_dropcap]f you’d have told me I was destined to dye lacrosse heads when I was thirteen years old, I would’ve likely looked up at you with bewilderment and asked one and a half serious questions before my voice cracked:

“What do you mean by ‘die’?”
“What is a lacRROOsse head?”

I would have had absolutely no idea what you were talking about back then, and I probably would have blushed big-time when my voice cracked. Meanwhile, I hope you wouldn’t have laughed at me (too much).

Graphite Lacrosse Dye
I was excited to try out this new synthetic formula from Rit Dye!

Yet somehow, some way, my high school years molded me into an athlete and the best friends I made out on the field caused me to fall in love with the game of lacrosse. From that point forward I had my sport, and I was aware enough to know going pro wasn’t in my future. So what would my future with lacrosse look like?

I remember having some kind of nervous breakdown the summer after high school because I had no idea what or who I wanted to be in the future. Fast forward a bit, and somewhere in there a light went off and I knew I wanted to be a creator. My long-term career goal would be to own and operate my own business. My mission? Make a positive social impact that’s contagious. I’m sure I didn’t word it like that at the time, but I trust you’re picking up what I’m putting down so far.

Playing lacrosse competitively in college obviously helped propel my understanding of the game. However, it wasn’t until afterwards that I realized my immeasurable passion for lacrosse was worth putting my livelihood on the line.

Again somehow, some way, a few years on the job force helped me shape a vision. Suddenly here I am, “founder” and chief executive of a multi-faceted sports organization where we specialize in technology and creative solutions. The road has been long and not always pretty. In some moments, we’ve done it the “hard way.” But in retrospect, when I think about the journey of Lacrosse All Stars, I don’t think there’s ever been another viable way to do it.

Throughout the process, I’ve had the opportunity and responsibility to become a bonafide web developer and expert in all things administrative business. It’s been a joy to learn how to “create,” “inspire,” and “maintain” business—and sometimes I feel as if I’ve done it all by re-purposing the same paint brush.

In life, you truly can be who you want to be—you can, if you will—and you can create what you want to see. I think too many people fail to realize that.

Though I sometimes feel like I’m still just a little kid trying to figure it all out, these days I have found myself happier than I’ve ever been. The happiness stems from having dependable teammates, awesome clients, and supportive advocates. And I believe it’s starting to be held constant thanks to the time and room I now have to create.

With creation comes natural learning and iterative improvement. So, just like anyone else in my shoes, sometimes I find myself far, far, far away from being any sort of expert when it comes to trying something new. Instead, I find it’s more like I’m filling the shoes of my thirteen-year-old self all over again. The only difference this time is my voice doesn’t crack.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m on the verge having lived three decades or what, but I made a substantial commitment to myself at the beginning of this year and I think it’s time to share it.

I decided to dedicate myself not just to being a creator, but becoming an artist too.

My canvas of choice? Any and every lacrosse head on the planet. My paint is Rit Dye. I’ll be documenting my experiences throughout the process, which I expect to last until I die (no pun intended).

The photos throughout this first chapter depict the process I went through for one of my very first projects. With an Easton Stealth (circa 2012, R.I.P. Easton Lacrosse) as my canvas, I used Rit’s new DyeMore formula to change the color of the head from white to a striking graphite color.

In chapter two we’ll dive into the specifics of the process I chose to follow and how I got there thanks to the many accomplished lacrosse head dyers from whom I’ve been able to pick up some best practices. Even if this is the first dyed lacrosse head you’ve ever seen, you’ll soon see that what I’ve done here has only reached the precipice of what an accomplished lacrosse dye artist should be capable of in the long run.

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Enjoy the first chapter? There’s certainly more to come. In the meantime, feel free to pick up your own pack of DyeMore, the new synthetic formula from Rit Dye, to try to dye a lacrosse head yourself and/or chime in below in the comments section with any questions!

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How I Dyed

Originally published on RitStudio.com, here’s a look at the step-by-step process I used to dye this lacrosse head graphite.

Step 1 (Optional): Add vinyl decals to your lacrosse head
I cut these LaxAllStars.com decals from adhesive vinyl and used a heat gun to enhance the stickiness of each one once it had been applied to the lacrosse head.

Step 2: Bring the water to a rolling boil and add the DyeMore
Once I got the water boiling, I turned the heat down a notch and set the stage to allow a slow rolling boil the entire time. For this project, I used two bottles of Graphite DyeMore.

Step 3: Bathe the lacrosse head in DyeMore for 20-25 minutes
Keep the head moving and/or your head moving throughout the dye bath the entire time. I also added a few drops of dish soap about 10 minutes in because I recalled it had been shared as a best practice for Lego pieces on RitStudio.com. Sure enough, the addition of a little soap seemed to help expedite the color adoption.

Step 4: Remove your lacrosse head from the dye bath, rinse it and dry it
Don’t take the head out until you’ve reached the hue you are going for. Sometimes individual areas on a lacrosse head seem to accept the color at different rates. So far I get the idea it pays to be patient.

Step 5: Remove the decals and string that bad boy up!
There can be a little sticky residue left behind after removing decals, so be sure to clean that off before proceeding. It will only collect dirt otherwise. And as far as stringing goes, string your heart out. This isn’t a tutorial for that, so I’m not about to tell you how.

Step 6: Break in your pocket and take your new wand for a spin
Enough said. As you can see, with DyeMore the possibilities are endless!

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