So I forgot to mention! In conjunction with the Fibers Symposium next week, all the Fibers students (all 20 of them, we're a small bunch) got a chance to show in our school's gallery space. I mean, it's a tiny place, and not too fancy, but just seeing the shiny, official looking postcards was really great.

Today was set-up day, the place was filthy! We repainted the walls and all the pedestals and had utter confusion for a few hours as people wandered in and out with their work. But it looks so good, I'm pleased as hell.

Giant Ipod decided to slump over.

Setting up.

Hammer time.

I also just got a sneak-peek at our display place at the flowershow--it looks a lot nicer than I expected.

And finally--my crystalline success.


So do you want the good news or the bad news?

Good News: I finally got crystalzation. Pictures will be forthcoming tomorrow when I'm more lucid. Turns out that while suspending string in a glass with the mixture generally doesn't do much, pouring it in a shallow pan and placing the string in that works very well. The colors you can get are fascinating, the food coloring doesn't really mix if you make the batches seperate, so you can acheive ombre and tie-dye effects.

Bad news? I am so bad at printing fabric. So bad. So bad.

It's partially because we were using paper stencils for this one, but my registration was awful and I got a lot of fisheggs and white gaps. Picture also to follow on that. On the bright side, I mixed my colors really well--we were using transparent base and pigments, not pre-made plastisol or speedball inks, and it was tricky.

And since I don't want this to be text only, I think I found my inspiration for my next Projects Project. The theme is loose, spontaneous workmanship contrasted with very tight, controlled work.

I want to take this sort of idea from the Fall 08 Marc Jacobs and really expand upon it. I'm planning to do a high-waisted skirt with really tight, controlled embroidery on the top, then bring out the last stitch around the whole thing--like the strings coming out of the patterns here, but across the whole top band. Then take these and loosely net them together into a web of color over gathered fabric that will fill it up, and bring it all in at the bottom.

That is, if I convince my teachers of the idea, we'll see.

Science in Progress

Rock Candy Mountain Dress, take one.

After finding out there are about 20 different techniques for producing rock candy, I'm doing the scientific thing and running an experiment with each 'recipe.' The curious thing is, most of the recipes contridict each other--some say to stir, others to absolutely not stir, some want you to boil the mixture, others say not to.

In any case, tonight felt like chemistry class and sticky.

The Laboratory/Dye Room.

Rock-Candy Samples--or at least, they will be, now they're syrupy liquid and string samples--they're in warm water so they cool slower, it's supposed to help crystal growth.

My first attempts didn't crystalize, they just got extremely stiff.

Ran the Gauntlet (New News)

And now for present tense. I had my Love/Hate critique today. 6 hours of 30 people presenting 12 objects each. And me on far too little sleep after scrambling to finish last night/early morning. Most people only did small samples, some didn't even make 12. The teachers were being ridiculously easy on some people. I miss last semester with Don and Walter--they would call you out for bad craftmenship in an instant. Well, then again, maybe I didn't miss them for this one, these were probably the most shoddily done pieces I've done in a while. Still, a few good ideas came out of it that I can come back to later.

Anyway, here's my 12, I ended up using most of one wall in the Crit Space:

Enjoy some slightly blurry pictures I took at 1 am as I was setting up for the crit.

Ah, this one came out terrible. But the orange blob looks a bit more like a shag run made of zinnias in real life. The patchwork one is made entirely out of the bottom bands of the t-shirts, and was really fun to produce.

I wish the backing fabric hadn't shown through as much on the scale piece, it stretched a bit more than I anticipated. And the braided one is based on a full dress I did a while back out of red t-shirts, perhaps that'll be the next Old News.

The piece on the left here is probably my most interesting--it's quilted shower curtain stuffed with t-shirt fabric that's been shredded until it was almost powder. It really starts to look like a pigment, I was really pleased with the effect. If I can shoehorn it into a future assignment, I'd love to do a really nice, tailored raincoat with some sort of elaborate design with this sort of technique.

So that's done, now I'm invested in my Constructed Surface project, where I'm donning a lab coat and attempting to make a dress and cover it in rock candy. Small scale experiments to be conducted tomorrow night.

Pink and Lumpy (Old News)

This was probably my favorite piece from last semester, the Hot-Pink-Won-Ton dress.

It was made for a constructed surface project in Experimental Costuming--take a basic garment, pattern it out, and translate it into something new. So I took a plain gray empire waist jumper, and re-imagined it in tiny pyramids and hot-pink fleece. This was probably the begining of my fixation on using lots of little modules in my work. My classmates unfortunately decided that it looked more like wontons that pyramids.

I love doing multiple shots like this, I know it's silly, but they never fail to entertain me.

Old news/New news

So in order to catch up with what I've been doing this last year, I'm going to have to post some old pieces inbetween what I'm doing now.

Let's start with the Newest Old News

Last semester, the Junior and Seniors of the Fibers department were participating in a competition sponsored by the Philadelphia Flower Show. The only parameter was to make a garment that was "Over the Top" for a floral designer to be inspired by. Well, they worked on it for about a month, and after seeing their nearly finished garments, our advisor decided, for whatever reason, to open it up to Sophomore students as well. With 2 weeks until the due date. Needless to say, my class of masochistic over-acheivers pulled out all the stops and made some absolutely amazing work. And 4 of us got into the Flower Show! Including my piece, the Multi-Purpose-Ultra-Neon-Skee-Ball-Ski-Suit:

Some mystery fabrics lovingly referred to as "Tennis Ball," "Caution Tape" and "Magenta Fleece"
And it's stuffed with anything and everything I could get my hands on in the studio. I emptied both scrap bins into it, then started in on the balls of yarn in the yarn waste bin.
5" thick at it's broadest point
15 lbs.
Bust: 34"
Waist: 36"
Hips: 39"
Includes: Overdress, Shift Dress, Dickey, Shoes, Leggings, Tights, Hat

And now some New News

I'm currently running the gauntlet for school right now, since our current assignment requires us to make 12 pieces for the final critique this Thursday. The problem was to take a material you hate (shower curtain vinyl, in my case) and one you love (t-shirts) and make 12 objects, 4 of one, 4 of the other, and 4 made of both.

It's an okay assignment if you're a ceramics major, they're used to throwing 30 pots in a week, but since I didn't want to constrain myself to small samples, I'm stuck with the task of making 12 tank tops. But I think I'll make it, here's some in-progress shots of my favorite technique--quilted shower-curtain stuffed with shredded t-shirts.

exhausted beginnings

All I need is a simple place to post my work and thoughts in one place. That isn't embarassing and personal like Facebook or full of other stuff like my photobucket. So hopefully this works out and I can keep it up. I really want to start keeping track of what I'm doing and taking in-progess stock, as well as presenting finished work.

So for right now, I'm going to try and keep it a mixture of catching up with the old work I've done, as well as taking a look at what I'm doing now and talking about what I'm looking at in art and fashion.