Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A Painful Photoshoot

This weekend I finally got to visit JJ's at Redcliffe, which has an eclectic mix of fabrics and trims. Whilst I didn't find anything particularly exciting, I was pretty thrilled to find a 100m roll of fusible woven interfacing for $10!! Here is my happy packhorse with it - my very own Mat Man!!

I received an important lesson in the difference between working in RGB and CMYK in Photoshop this week. After creating a print I was quite happy with, I decided to start making the correctly sized file for the printer. Unfortunately, inexperienced as I am, I had no idea what a large role the colour mode plays, especially when you have used layer effects.  At the moment I am still trying to replicate the original effect in the new format, but I think I might just have to pretend that the first didn't happen and just go with the flow in the new format!
RGB with 'Divide' effect

Trying to replicate in CMYK.... nawt quite happening!

Yesterday I participated in a photoshoot for the new TAFE marketing campaign. I travelled in to SouthBank with a suitcase full of props such as a design on a half scale mannequin, sketchbooks, scissors - general tools of the trade. A lovely makeup artist zhooshed my hair and face - such pampering! - then it was off to the sewing rooms for the shoot, where I started to pull out my gear so they could see what I had to offer. I'm not going to write too much about the following half hour, but suffice to say that the photographer had quite the attitude, talked disrespectfully to me, dissed my mannequin as looking like a 'toy', (I honestly don't care what you think buddy, this is what I actually use) proceeded to pose me then ask if that felt natural - well, no, that's not how I would actually do that - and to generally be a bit of a diva ass. There was no appreciation shown for my efforts, I was left to pack up and straighten the room that they had rearranged, and can I just put forward the notion that a professional photographer gets the most out of his (non professional)  model with good guidance, kind words and encouragement. After all, we're all working towards the same goal here - a well composed, authentic shot - I get that. The icing on the cake was being released at 3pm, meaning a trip home on the train with hordes of school children!!  At the risk of sounding like a bit of a sook, I'm afraid the experience is still hanging over me like a black cloud. Shame that - it was just supposed to be a bit of fun! Anyhoo - if it all comes to fruition, you may see me pretending to cut out a pattern in some truly hideous chiffon in a TAFE advertisement near you!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

WAM shoot

Pixie Tenielle!

This Saturday I experienced the most relaxed photo shoot ever! Finding myself sans model mid week, I put a call out on Facebook, and ended up with this delightful pixie - a complete stranger to me, but obviously intended by fate, as she does the kind of groovy makeup I wanted, and lived right near the location! So young and new to modelling, she did a superb job! There was a strong breeze at times, nearly blowing the poor waif over, so I had to hold onto her! Chantal and I traded insults as usual, and generally messed with each others heads - much laughter and shenannigans! We had chosen a graffiti wall as a background, but when we arrived, found that it was in the process of being transformed. We shot with some other walls, but they were just too much with the outfit, so we ended up using the creek greenery instead, which really made the colours pop. Looking at it now, I am astounded at how colourful it is, even though I have been living with it for months!
Yummy lycra!
Although I don't have to keep the photos secret, I will just show some hints in order to keep a bit of mystery to the Wearable Arts Mandurah competition and showcase. Oh, I'm so well behaved!!!
On the way to the shoot we stopped at Reverse Garbage, where I found these beautiful glitzy lycra fabric bargains - and guess who's making leggings in class this week?!! 
Goodlife Morningside cycle room - a place I would not usually
venture into!

With this one out of the way, I have two left to focus on for WOW. One of them is for the UV section, and I had a brainwave this weekend about shooting it in UV light, and checking it along the way. My gym has a blacklight cycle room!!! YAH!!!

The other piece has had me sewing my own feather trim this week, and trying out some painting on them. I've never done it before, but with some bias strips, and some hemming tape, then a few runs under the machine, I have myself some nice-looking trim!

Wearable Expressions opened in Palos Verde, California last week, and I found this comprehensive photo album on Facebook. There are some amazing pieces on display, but I was slightly crushed, but not altogether surprised,  to see mine sideways on the mannequin, on top of some-one else's work. I'm sure they're as thrilled as I am about that. Whilst I understand space and display restrictions, you can't just go jamming two disparate pieces together! 
As it should be....
This knitted? metallic piece won my heart with its fluid and organic movement.

Doing Digital Textiles at TAFE has meant spending time with Photoshop again, which is fine, as we have kept up a reasonable relationship with each other, re-acquainting myself with Illustrator, a less harmonious relationship, and being introduced to In-Design, a new foe. We never really finished our introductory conversation, as my brain starting overloading during our first meeting....
I'm hoping to successfully manipulate and transform my watercolour of a fighting fish into a digital print for my swimwear design.

Here's the results from my first playing around this weekend...

Massive luvz to the talented Chantal once more, and thanks to Tenielle for taking a chance with us!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

February Fun

At the enlistment ceremony
The boys' room aka studio storage!
I can hardly believe it's only been a week since my last blog! So much has happened. Liam is now training at Kapooka, and sounds happy and well. I took the opportunity today after a very brief call from him to move my clothing racks out of my studio and into his room! The amount of space reclaimed is absolutely amazing, and I can now have my ironing board up in there. But Matt, even though I have all this space, you understand that the wearable pieces will still need to be made upstairs as they can't fit in the studio because of the low ceiling. Also, so I can hang out with you whilst I make them.....

More space in the studio! I can see the floor!
During the school week at TAFE I saw these inspiring pieces in paper hanging around in the hallway - aren't they great?!

This is one of the many reasons I just loving being on campus. One of my teachers asked me last week whether I had some wearable art works available for the display window, and after a bit of thinking, I realised that yes, I did have quite a few! Fimbria Figura (2012) and Siren of the Sea (2011) are now happily hanging out there, and Isolda hopes to join them this week!
Siren and Fimbria
 Two out of four of the current wearable art works are just stitches away from completion, and with several  more months to go, I've got to say that this feels pretty good! I'm looking forward to getting into the next one - the one with 1600 feathers.....

Sunday, 5 February 2017

TAFE 2017

Well, it was back to school this week - as always, a chaotic time trying to work out what is happening where and when, and of course, the epic task of actually trying to enrol. This term I am largely focused on swimwear design and construction, and the design of a digital print to feature on it - exciting stuff! I am already bursting with ideas! On completion of this and a few other riveting subjects such as sustainability practices (you don't think I already wring out every bit of value from my materials, time, and working practices?!!) I will - strap yourself down - graduate in June with my Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology! At the same time, my Wearable Art pieces are humming along nicely as deadlines loom - there should be another photoshoot in a week or two. I thought I had found the most fabulous piece of street art to use as a backdrop, but when I went to visit it, found that it was no longer quite so fabulous - the windows and doors are now back to being windows and doors, so essentially half the work is missing! There might be a few local opportunities, though...

Jellyfish goodness for my Oceania theme... NOT!
Norman Park Rail underpass - slightly naff but a marine theme and a good colour contrast
Local childcare centre

Cloudland stairs
Today I made a few more explorations, to some local murals, then to good old Cloudland, where the décor is ever fabulous, with the stairs really coming across beautifully today. As we were the only people there at 3pm on a Sunday, I think this could work! I just need to talk to someone there - certainly not the personality-less barman there today!! From there we walked through the valley, seeing the charming Babushka Ballerina on the way to our next stop, bar Eleven, which had us in hysterics as we channelled the youtube video....we enjoyed the lift immensely!!
Babushka Ballerina

Eleven - one of the views
I'd like to go to ELEVUN!!!
Fantastic mural in Winn Lane

Hilary Briss at your service - would you like 'the special stuff'?

Today marks the last day we spend with Matts' son Liam before he enlists in the Army - a bit of an emotional night. His siblings and girlfriend are here, and we presented him with this personalised leather book cover (with the same family crest he got tattooed on his chest for his 18th) and a pen made by ex-diggers out of a bullet. This was my first experience at pyrography on leather - got a great little tool from Bunnings for $30 (which, poetically, I got him to go and pick up for me last week!) and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I see potential here!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Felt photoshoot in a heatwave...

Soooo, who decides to do a multi-outfit felt garment shoot during a heatwave in the burnt out bush with five unknown models? Oh, why I do, of course! Last Saturday we all trekked out to Collingwood Park - a car load of models driven by step-son Liam, and another containing a very fretful artist and faithful assistant Jenelle, chauffeured by the ever-supportive Matt. Who proceeded to set up a change tent for the girls with some serious McGyvering with a tarp, some rope, and some trees, and sat there guarding the camp for the afternoon.
Model change-room luxury
The man responsible

Ciera wearing the dress I made for my sister's 40th, which she wore as bridesmaid to my wedding
I didn't bring a mirror, but you can use my glasses!!
The recently burnt ground, Matt later informed me, contained many hollows where roots had burnt away. These hollows I proceeded to find with alarming regularity as I ran hither and thither , fetching and carrying garments, make-up, water and clipboards, in my thongs. I didn't notice at the time, but I twisted my knee badly in one of them, and have been crippled since!
Chantal pulled up in her car screaming, "I hate you for making me put clothes on today!!", out of the window, which was a great start.  By the end of the shoot I was the one having the meltdown and she was all peaches and cream - what the?!! Midway through the shoot we found a lovely rock grotto for the group shot which worked beautifully.

 As we finished, Jenelle spotted a pile of broken glass in the centre - too late to warn anyone as they moved, but we were very  lucky! Jenelle seemed to torture me with my own list of the shoot on the clipboard, informing me of each impending one as I desperately hoped each was the last, and that we could go home, have a shower, and sit in the airconditioning. Much as I complain, I could not have survived it without her, as she dressed and organised each set of girls as I was directing them with Chantal - far too much for one Bunneh on their own! Assistant Bunneh was pushed to the limit in awful heat and dirt, and I'm sure Mr. Bun heard quite the story, including expletives, on her return!!!
Me, asking ' would this pose work, and, are we there yet?'!
I'm not going to show too many pictures here, as I want you to enjoy them when they are published mid-year in Felt magazine. So thanks to you all - Liam, Ciera, Aimee, Meika, Lizzy, Lowis, and the amazing Chantal, Jenelle, and Matt.
Lowis and Aimee

With that over and done with, I continue on with my wearable art work - one nearly completed for WAM, three out of four in progress for WOW.  I have been working on them all, solidly, over the months, and one has taken an interesting turn, with 1600 feathers now on their way in order to complete it - squeeeee! As of today, I have completed the dress form, based on one of my designs at college from 2 years ago. I was so grateful for the ready-made, beautifully fitted pattern, plus comprehensive construction notes.

 Speaking of squeees, I caught up with one Janet de Boer for her birthday recently, where we drank bubbles at the Shingle Inn, and I was the one who received a present - a copy of the book from the Susan Holmes exhibition which Janet opened at Objectspace in Auckland late last year. I still haven't had time to read it, but I look forward to it with relish!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Pantone take note!

My previous post about forecasting the Colour of the Year was retrospective, and  it appears that I am in fact ahead of Pantone, and that the vibrant purples and oranges of sunsets is the choice for 2017! For starters, here is the new felt diary cover and phone cover, and below that, a few pictures of my piece for Wearable Arts Mandurah in progress.

Shibori bubbles on polyester and highlighted with paint, with tubed pieces in the background

This is what the floor starts to look like when you are in the throes of putting it all together!! With so many bits of embellishment to pin on, I've been running out of pins, and I have a LOT!! I guess that's because I am working on so many pieces at once..... Below is the results of my fabric tidying today, brought on by unstoppable avalanches. After months of just stuffing bits back in, it gets a little out of control. I had a few pleasant surprises along the way, but it was a hard slog!
Below is a little demonstration of how the heat gun can be used to create fabulous bubbling on synthetic fabric. I wanted to make a mask, so had to calculate the shrinkage that would happen. It's all painted now and I am pleased with the results!

Next weekend I embark on another photoshoot with Chantal Brennan Photography for a magazine article. It's always exciting but absolutely terrifying, and I can't wait for it to be done and looking fabulous, as I know it will. Then there's the next few, for the wearable art entries.... better get back to that stitching!!