Tag: fabric

Yes.

While I was in Chicago, I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of feedback I received and consequently the number of ideas I had for my work. I wasn’t sure which path to go down and which method best suited my goals. This is how I was feeling when I had a studio visit with Gregg Bordowitz, the program director. I discussed my struggles with him, as well as my goals. He gave me tons of great advice, including one piece that became a major turning point for me.

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About a week or two earlier, I had gone to a fabric shop and picked up this piece of bright red-orange polyester material from a clearance bin. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, I was just drawn to the color. I hung it up in my studio like this for a while and didn’t touch it. During my meeting with Gregg, we looked at the material as we discussed creating a “yes” wall. His instructions were as follows: 1) For 3 or 4 days, say “yes” to everything. 2) The next day, say “no.” Cover things up and make conscious decisions about what you want to include. I was really excited to try it out and decided to use the red-orange material since it was already something I’ve never used before.

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I had a lot of fun at first. I drew a large figure without worrying about proportions. I didn’t plan, I just painted. The fabric absorbed the paint quickly so I had to change the way I usually paint. The process was quick and pretty crude. I was happy with the piece so far and didn’t really want to add anything else, but it was my “yes” wall, so I forced myself to do more.

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I added more things and started to like it less and feel stuck. I started becoming concerned with the composition and I thought that I had already put too many colors so I stepped away from it for a few days and worked on other things. I guess at this point I wasn’t following the directions anymore.

When I did come back to it, I was in the zone. I used different materials and added text, numbers, shapes, images, and texture. By the time I “finished”, it had become my favorite piece from the whole summer. I’m really proud of it.

Yes.

Here is a list of the materials I used: acrylic paint (liquid, heavy bodied, and soft bodied), ink, oil pastel, oil stick, clear plastic, liquid watercolor, diabetic socks, medical tape, and thumbtacks.

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I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this piece. Right now it’s folded up in a bag until I find somewhere to hang it up. I might add more to it, but it’s more likely that I’ll make a new one using a similar process.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Signature Stamp

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Hello! Today I want to share something I purchased off Etsy last year. I was interested in commissioning a custom rubber signature stamp to use on my hand-painted clothing pieces, so the first place I looked was on Etsy. I found a listing for a laser-engraved custom stamp where you could choose the font and the message. I contacted the shop owner and asked if it was possible to make a stamp of my signature. She said yes so I sent her the image and it was made and shipped to me–simple! I’m super satisfied with this purchase and recommend the shop. The price for the stamp was reasonable considering the amount of use I’ll get out of it. Click here to visit Salt Marketplace on Etsy :]

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I tried the stamp with regular ink on paper first and it turned out great!

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Then I tried the stamp on fabric with the fabric paint I normally use. It works well, but I have to be careful when I put the paint on the stamp because it gets into the crevices easily.

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Overall, I am very happy with the stamp. Thanks for reading!

 

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Easy Reupholstering

My bedroom went through a “makeover” recently, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about things I wanted to change or add to it. The chair at my desk has a black seat cushion and I thought it would look better with a patterned fabric instead, so I sifted through my bags of fabric that I’ve been collecting for some unknown art projects, and picked out a few that would look good in my room. This is the pattern I went with:

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I picked this one because I have a lot of color in my room already so I like adding black and white to it where I can. I also like the hand-stamped look of the pattern. The fabric came from a shirt that I got from a Goodwill Outlet in Salem, VA. It literally cost me a few cents!

The actual upholstering part was really simple. 1) Unscrew seat from chair 2) Lay seat onto fabric to make sure it’s a big enough piece to cover and wrap around to the bottom of the seat 3) Take a staple gun and staple the fabric to the bottom of the seat while pulling tightly and evenly 4) Screw the seat back onto the chair. And that’s it! Here is the finished project along with a “before” picture:

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Since this fabric is mainly white and pretty thin, I’m not expecting it to last a long time, but that just means I’ll get to switch up the pattern with a new fabric! Thanks for reading :]

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Conjoined Twins Project

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This time last year, I was taking my first sculpture class at JMU. Sculpture is super intimidating for me, but I really surprised myself with the work I did in that class. I mentioned this in a previous post about my sculpture class, but the theme of our final project was conjoined twins. We were free to make basically any kind of sculpture that related to this topic. My professor encouraged us to do a lot of research and explore all possibilities. We scheduled one-on-one meetings with him to discuss our findings and ideas.

I did a bit of research on conjoined twins in general and learned that there are many different types of conjoined twins. One type that particularly caught my interest was parasitic twins. Parasitic twins occur when twins begin developing, but don’t fully separate, and one of the twins becomes dominant at the expense of the other twin. The parasitic twin is therefore severely undeveloped and often does not resemble another human at all, rather, extra body parts. The word “parasite” has such a negative connotation and that’s what I wanted to base my project on. I didn’t want to make something that parasitic twins would actually wear or use, I wanted to create a statement piece. My idea was to alter a jacket to fit grown parasitic twins if they were to make it into adulthood. I wanted to add a cage to the front to reflect the negative connotation of the term “parasitic” and to communicate a feeling of shame and embarrassment.

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I have very limited experience in altering fabric, so this project was definitely a challenge. I got most of my supplies from Goodwill over Thanksgiving break: a wool coat, two belts, a patterned skirt, and a red button-up shirt (which I ended up not using because of time limitations). The first thing I had to do once I had my supplies was to create the cage. I created the cage by cutting a few rods of steel, bending them, and then welding them together.I added an extra horizontal rod at the top of the cage to hold a “curtain” that I cut from the patterned skirt. The pattern on the skirt was a cluster of black leaves on a white background. I chose this pattern as a reference to Adam and Eve covering themselves with leaves out of shame after they were cast out of the Garden of Eden. In the case of this project, the leaves are used to hide the parasitic twin out of shame.

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With the cage completed, I was able to figure out how to attach it to the coat. Because of my lack of practice doing this kind of work, my method was pretty crude. I did a lot of “guesstimating” and hoped that it would end up close to how I envisioned. I cut out most of the front of the wool coat and then sewed one side to the cage using thick red embroidery thread. I used the color red not only for unity because the coat itself has red in it, but I also used it to emphasize the sense of invasion. I attached two belt buckles to the other side of the coat, which then fastened to the ends of the belts that I sewed onto one bar of the cage. I’m happy to report that it turned out really nicely–in fact, it exceeded my expectations. The only problem was that the end product was a bit too large when I modeled it, which took away from the effect. Other than that, I was really happy with it and so was my professor.

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Have you ever created wearable sculpture art? Let me know about your experience in the comments! Thanks for reading :]

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