Sunday, 11 February 2018

The almost final throes of WOW journey 2018

I can't believe it's over a  month since my last post - it seems like no time at all! There have been many long days of hand stitching and beading - probably the most I have ever done - in fact, I no longer have finger prints! I am very close to finishing - but only 3 of the four pieces I had planned. I'm quite fine with that, as there is a lot of work in the pieces I have made, from pattern making, to a great deal of handwork. I have made two which I hope to enter in the Avant  Garde Section of the 30th Anniversary World of WearableArt competition and show, and one for the Bizarre Bra Section - a political statement in art! Made of satin and venetian blind material, painted over, and over again, finished with mica paint and dimensional fabric paint, the final touch was this bead as an eye.....
The two Avant Garde pieces have unintentionally ended up sharing the same colour palette and therefore some fabrics, as well as some insect characteristics, although they are quite different in concept and construction.  People say when they see them that they can tell that they're mine, that they're always pretty, (not actually a good thing) and I know that they all come from the same well of inspiration - a fascination with the beauty of nature, and a penchant for intensive work! A lot of my material this year has come from either my stash, or Reverse Garbage - the biggest outlay I think has been on sequins!
Leather, rhinestones, metal earrings!

Leather with rhinestones, gel medium on organza

Sequinned shoooooooez!!

Gel medium and free motion embroidery on organza, with cellophane, and sequin material
The piece that won't be finished for this year is the one made of plastic drink bottles. Although I received a large donation of bottles from Karoline Cumming, many have resulted from the large number of mojito's drunk here throughout this hot, hot summer! I rinse, remove the label, use orange oil to remove the glue, cut off the top and bottom, and cut along the seam, then iron it flat - ish - it creates quite a bubbly texture. Then I make some cuts, shape it further with a heatgun, and spray paint a base colour. Others are cut into graduated scale shapes. They will be sewn onto a base made of yoga mat foam. It's too good to rush, so I guess we'll be living with this in the lounge-room for another year (studio is not high enough for mannequins with headpieces....) I don't know... maybe I can get it done...?!!

PET plastic scales on yoga foam bodice

The WOW photoshoot has been booked in for March - International entrants have lost a month due to the reinstatement of preselection (which I totally understand) - and if there is a tall, thin, model with attitude out there who wants to be a part of it - please let me know!

Monday, 1 January 2018

January 1st, 2018

Today has been filled with destruction and creation - all inside in the air-conditioning, of course! It took several hours to turn Aoetearoa, my rejected 2016 WOW entry, from this

into this.

Metres of plastic tubing, a pile of LED light strips, a bag of sequins, 4 wire structures, a pile of silk and sequin fabric, and disturbingly, 13 pins! I've never de-constructed one of my pieces before. It wasn't too sad - I think because it was largely made from scrap satin and tulle, the fabric loss didn't break my heart - I just won't think about the hours. I was impressed with my construction - some firm stitching there, and the tubing joins were excellent! I had put it up as our Christmas decoration, the first time I had touched it since it returned, but was saddened to find that none of the lighting worked. There was a stripped wire, a missing connection - it was a mess. Matt couldn't get one bit to light up. So I'm guessing that's the reason it didn't make it on stage in 2016 - I just wish they'd have said.
The rest of the day was spent working on some iron age leather shoes for Matt's next  visit to the Abbey Medieval Fair in June. Thanks to a brilliant 'Instructable', it was pretty simple, and the sample was successful.
 Every New Years Day I felt a new cover for my diary - I laid out this one yesterday whilst Jenelle was researching our Bunneh Adventure for the year. No textile workshop options appeal to us this year, so we're just going to have a holiday! In the Dandenongs!! We'll miss catching up with our textile friends, but I'm sure we'll be back - until then, we'll keep in touch on Facebook. This 'cracked earth' technique was featured in the latest FELT magazine, in an article by Dawn Edwards.
I'm very happy with the result, and it was great to be playing with wool again. There are some ideas bubbling away, and over Christmas I ordered some delicious English Leicester fleece - 3kg in fact - so there's a great reason to re-connect with wool. Just got to get through the next 3 months of WOW creation first!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 - What I did - the highlights

In the wee hours when I couldn't sleep, I started to worry - what had I achieved this year? Had I done enough? So began a slightly desperate search through the diary and the year's photos, in an attempt to mollify the questioning beast inside.
Completed Anthozoa

Liam's Family Crest Leather book cover

Felt photo shoot
Display in TAFE windows of WOW garments

Continuing work on Cordycephila and Freyja until shipping in April

Work on Bubble Drift - unselected for WOW
Studies at TAFE in Digital Design and Swimwear resulting in Fighting Fish outfits for graduation parade, and two commissioned watercolours of design.

March: TAFE photoshoot for marketing

March 12 - Matt's son turns our world upside down by landing in Intensive Care for several months......

April: Jewellery Workshop at Fibres Ballarat, working with Aluminium and Titanium

May:  Flamingo Kit dress pattern drafted and made
Begin making 4 top hats, two out of hand made felt.

June:China holiday
Graduation, and display of Return to Earth at TAFE
 Felted wrap made for Beatrice for her 80th birthday, out of silk shibori pieces she had gifted me
Experimented with making several half scale mannequins
 Dress altered and headpiece made for Miss Chrissy
Dress made for Matt's grandaughter
 August: Ekka Natural Fibres Market - some new works made

New website created.
Practice painting for Traffic Signal Box before actual painting in September

 September: World of WearableArt
Jimmy Choo Symposium and ABC footage - Fimbria Figura and Forest Floor paraded at 2 events

Seat covers for Ziggy and Bruce the Studebakers made
October: Leather cover made for nephew, Antony
Odalisque on display at TAFE graduation
 Work begins on new WOW pieces Emergence and Coccinelle
November: Isolda on display at Reverse Garbage Queensland
Work continues on WOW 2018 pieces

Thursday, 30 November 2017

TEXTILE Fibre Forum #128 Cover!!

November has been a fairly consistent month of working on WOW pieces. Funnily enough, the two details here are from two different works, yet they have ended up sharing the same colour palette, and therefore quite a few paints and materials. Lots of leather, beading and irridescence, but no feathers this time. Oooh, except for a few floaty purple ostrich feathers!
 And because I clearly don't have enough sequins and beads, I simply had to visit Bead Trimming and Craft this week for more - funnily enough, managing to duplicate some!
 These are the inspiration boards for some of my current works.
I was delighted to receive an email in late October advising me that my garment Anthozoa was to be the cover image for TEXTILE Fibre Forum magazine Issue 128. What an honour! Although no longer edited by founder Janet de Boer, it is currently safe in the hands of Moira Simpson. TEXTILE Fibre Forum has always been a huge inspiration to me, and at a time when we didn't have the internet, was THE place to find out about workshops, suppliers, and inspiring artists and exhibitions. My copy arrived today, and I am still grinning!
Last night I attended an induction at The Edge for using the Laser Cutter.
"The Edge’s Fabrication Lab is an open access community makerspace with equipment and tools available to anyone with a creative idea. If you have a hobby, project, assignment or an idea for a business that requires specialist tools like a laser cutter, soldering station, 3D printer, sewing machine or CNC Routers, The Edge’s Fabrication Lab can help".
That's pretty awesome. I don't have any particular project in mind, I just thought I'd check it out - and it turns out that you can use Illustrator files - yay!

I end this post with a very sad picture. This here is the tragedy of a broody hen, which I get to see every time I walk downstairs to the studio. It's pathetic. She has spent more time like this than she has as a normal chook this year! Oh Ginger, what are we going to do with you?!