Rusty, rusty rusty

A rusty week--both literally and figuratively. I've been scrubbing rust furiously with coke and vinegar off the bottom of a barber chair, and I've been easing back into the idea of actually having to fufill assignments.

But before all that school junk, the -final- roundup on my winter break projects.

The quilt keeps on keeping on. I swear it's going to take several years to finish the top, let alone quilt it.

The eye-ball skirt is finished! Eyes might be second below horns for motifs that I repeat a lot. Thanks to my matey Astrid for the dramatic modeling!

That placket is a total mess on the inside, but it looks pretty clean from the outside, and it works.

Hand quilted bottom hem. I'd see stuffed, quilted hems in a book of historical costumes, and I liked the way they held the shape of the skirt.

Eyeball border made with some odd upholstery trim I found at Jo-Mar.

I've also been working on these portraits since the beginning of the break, and I'm hoping I can continue to work on them in my spare time. Eventually, I'd like to make a quilt of all the characters I've ever come up with--like a giant character map.

Annnd on to work designated for school. Wood is nothing photo-worthy, learning how to hand-plane, Metals is basic mess-around welding.

Advanced Fibers--Narrative Object. The idea is to take an existing object and modify it to give it narrative, or create an object with narrative qualities.

The Sketches:

I actually really like all three ideas, and I want to do all of them eventually, but for this project, I choose Option #3, because, well, my mate Astrid found a barber chair in back of her building! How could I resist?

Here it is as of yesterday, when I was priming it. It had been sitting outside for a while, and the metal was badly rusted. No picture, but I've just finished putting the first coat of red enamel paint on it.

And Projects--Formalism

Ho boy, not my best area. Forget any and all content, context, meaning or narrative. You're only allowed to think in terms of color, form, shape, line, and texture.


Anyway, just making some stupid little samples right now, nothing interesting yet.

Exploring some ideas with color and geometric shapes.

Just a little catch-up

I'm still plugging away with more projects at home, but seeing as I've left my camera at the studio, this post will just be a catch-up on the three pieces Astrid and I did for the "Production" project in Projects II.

It was a really good exercise in working together. One idea sprung another and another--the creativity it fostered was great. But I feel like conceptually, it was hard to keep it focused and together. Next time, I really think more time should be spent sketching and solidifying a unified concept and work-plan.

Dress no.1: Earth--muslin, gauze, cardboard, varnish.
Astrid made the beautiful cardboard top for this--I adore the way it looks, unfortunately, it ended up being more fragile than anticipated. My portion for this one fell through a bit. The knitted skirt I posted about last time was meant to go with it, and I spent a ton of time working on it, but in the end, it really didn't work together. The skirt you see on it now was a hail-mary 2-AM-the-night-before bit of work (not procrastinating on that, just I'd been trying to get the crystal done, it was due the day before)

Dress no.2: Sea--wool, garland, thread, fabric medium, silk, cotton knit
The most sucessful of the three, I think. The integration on the (very!) different parts and textures went way better then I would have imagined. I love the texture Astrid created with the felted wool on the skirt, and I'm really happy with the wool-and-fabric medium over the shiny square christmas garland I used for the top. It obscured it just enough--made it look like rough ice.

Dress no.3: Sky--silk crepe, coiled cotton gauze, cotton fabric, bleach.
Stretching the limits of dying (or at least, past my limits of dying.) Astrid dyed that beautiful gradation of grays, and I'm proud to say the black silk crepe was my dye-job--I've failed so many, many times to get accurate blacks that "failure black" is a color I've become very familiar with. And I know we both swore to never coil again, but there it is up on the bodice. Looks very pretty, don't know how well it'd hold.

All three dresses came out very beautiful, but I think the shifting focus and the fact that they aren't a sturdy as I like my finished garments to be means I'm sort of ambivalent about them. However, I do love a lot of the techniques that came out of the process, and I really hope that we can collaborate more~

This post has also shown me that I take awful, awful pictures of my work. I'm really sorry about that, I can't blame it all on my point-and-shoot piece of crap. So my belated christmas resolution is to take more care with photos of my work.

New Year, New (and belated) Update

First of all, a big thanks to the folks at Crafster for putting me on their Top of 2008 List for my jellyfish skirt It's not one of my favorite pieces, but it's probably one of my most (and I hesitate to use this word) "pretty" works. But hey, I'm proud of it. So thanks!

Anyway! I've been hard at work in my mini-studio at home. And I've (finally) gotten back in the studio (to find it a wreck and covered in sawdust from construction) so I have pictures of my work from the end of the semester.


This one's mostly a secret, because it's for my Fibes Secret Santa. But I've never actually tried bargello before, thought I'd give it a whirl.

I've been playing around with the idea of starting to scale down my work--it's a lot easier to make a small mannequin with features than a full size one. So I did a test run, and made this little doll. It's a little creepy, I admit, I haven't sculpted anything in a long time. But it's a good starting point.

I'm sort of regretting my genius idea to work as small as the fabric would allow on this quilt. It's probably about 2' by 3' at the moment, I want it to be at least 4X this size at the end. Each square is about the size of a nickel. And it's all made of recycled t-shirts.

Skirt idea I'm messing around with.

I've also been working on some tiny portraits, but I forgot to get photos. Next time!

From school:

I didn't actually end up using this as part of a finished piece, but I'm quite proud of it. This is the result 60 hours of work, about $100 worth of wool, and two pairs of jerry-rigged circular needles made of dowels and monofiliment. I'm a bit pissed that the dye took different on the different wools, but otherwise I'm really pleased with this piece. The gradation worked out really well, even as I got to the heavier yarns--I was using 4 strands of comically thick, rope like wool at the end there.

My lamp, which is now sadly, covered in sawdust from the walls they put up in the studio. I was unable to hang it from the ceiling or wall as I had planned (turns out the crit-spaces wall and ceilings are made of dryway and steel girders) so I made a base, which is kind of nice, because now I can set it up where ever.

Lit and on it's pedestal

I've also finally gotten pictures of the three garments I did with Astrid (over at
Snakes and Leeches) but they have so many detail shots that I'll save them for next post. I'll leave you with my new studio set-up

I like my red flowery wall thanks.

Pokemon and President Buffington watching over me.

And on the other wall, my 'Just Pomerianians' calender.