Sunday 22 February 2015

3D Printing at The Edge

The 'Tinkerlab"
Several weeks ago I enrolled in an induction at The Edge, which would teach me how to use their 3D printers and subsequently allow me access to them in their workshop in the future. Sadly, although I was very interested, I was a little loathe to go, as we have been experiencing some serious rain in the aftermath of cyclone Marcia, and I kind of hoped it might be postponed! I was also enjoying my time in the studio... After phoning to confirm it was going ahead, I had my lovely chauffeur Matt deliver me to the door of this rather fabulous space, where I greatly enjoyed the 2 hours of being walked through the Tinkerlab software, and the use of the UP! mini 3d printers. With 7 others, I was walked through the process of designing a simple key-ring in the
The 'raft' being printed
software, by melding shapes together and creating holes, then the physical process of preparing the printers, and watching the magic happen! It really was a fascinating process, and I was quite excited when I saw my piece done, after approximately eight minutes printing time. I'm not sure if it's something I'll be getting into, but I really appreciated learning about this amazing process, and certainly see a lot of potential for it in many, many applications, So who knows!!
The printer first lays down a 'raft', a base of the ABS filament that your design sits on. Your piece is then printed on this, and when completed, the whole piece is kind of cracked/twisted of the print bed. The raft is then snapped off the finished design. The surface is quite rough, but this can be sanded back or treated with acetone.
The finished key-ring

So back to the studio - I have to say, I went along to the induction session with black and blue hands, due to spray painting leather and then painting it. Care factor - nil. There was a whole lot more of this today - really rather a pleasant and meditative process, although quite lengthy compared to air brushing the dye on. It's quite lovely, brushing on the buttery acrylic paint, layer over layer. I'm nearly running out, so placed an order with the Thread Studio for more loveliness.
Leather moulding on the loungeroom carpet...
We now have two large beasts looming over us in the loungeroom, as the height of the ceiling downstairs means I can't put it all together. Sorry, Matt! You built me a beautiful space, but sometimes it's just not enough!! (You should have seen his face last week when I had to move some leather moulding out to his shed...  not impressed!!) It has been a watershed week, as I have finally seen the WOW pieces in some semblance of their finished selves, and, after much chopping and changing, the final pieces are emerging. Good job too, with just over a month to go!! This is the first year I have worked on them full time, yet I have never felt so behind!! Perhaps due to a number of false starts, also for the first time...
Alright, that's enough, I have two bodysuits to make tomorrow, plus more leather painting, and some general weirdness to make,,,,

Monday 16 February 2015

Desperately Seeking Sequins!

 Fabric Guru's - this is what I seek!! I have a tiny amount of this pearlised gold/white 'disco sequin' (left) in my stash, yet have decided that it is the material that I must have for one of my current WOW creations, therefore now need several metres. And I need it NOW!!! Anyone who has some, or has seen this material around lately, please let me know!
As you know, my recent attempt at an entry for the Architecture section of WOW did go well, then I tried to change it into a more organic feeling piece, shifting to shibori dyed and shaped silk in yellow orange shades.... but to no avail. It just didn't work, but amazingly, the wire framework, with some slight adjustments, now suits one of my current pair of designs, so I am pleased to say that some of these efforts do not go to waste! The silk shibori pieces will for now get packed away, but I'm sure will get used one day - I keep seeing a wild floral headpiece with them, Flora Fascinata style!!
Here is the work-bench from this weekend, covered in moulded leather pieces, beautiful Jacquard Lumiere paints and Pearl Ex powdered pigments, as well as Lindy's Stamp Gang metallic mist sprays - I just love all of these!! In the foreground are my French Flower Making tools, which I sometimes use on my leather, although, after some experimentation, not in this particular piece.
As I have said previously, it is great to be working in leather again, and throughout this process I am learning more about what can be done with it. It's almost time to start riveting all the pieces together!

Monday 2 February 2015

Dyeing Days

Two months left for the World of WearableArt deadline! Late last year I had to shelve a design I had already put at least a month's work into, and started designing for a section themed on architecture. I thought I was going quite well, until feedback from my critics indicated that no, it really wasn't working. So I've stripped it back, and will be letting loose on it with my natural aesthetic of flowing lines - clearly, I cannot be constrained!! Yes, I've lost some time and some materials, and now have some rather strange constructions I don't know what to do with, but I tried. I've also come up with an idea for the Weta Workshop section, this year themed 'Other Worlds', where we are invited to "Invent the imaginary and mythical creatures or the inhabitants who dwell in surreal realms'. Well, two ideas, actually! Sigh. I should have just started here in the first place, back working in leather, which I am loving! So the loungeroom once again looks like a workshop, with pieces of leather in piles, leather soaking in the bath, and drying leather strapped around mannequins with stockings. One of the pieces may also include this amazing sequinned fabric in my stash- you should hear it move, too!

Unfortunately, my hand is not loving any of it, and remains strapped up after I heard that there are no signs of the bone mending, and after it started doing a dance all by itself after a hard couple of days in the studio. And the gym. Well, what's a girl to do?! I can't sit around not making anything and getting fat and unfit!!! I did decide to give the paw a break yesterday, and do some lighter tasks. After a leisurely start to the day, with some guilt free reading and a nice breakfast out, I enjoyed making a mess in the wet studio and did quite a few dye batches on these devore silk scarves and silk charmeuse camisoles. The colours are rich, but the sheen of the silk just brings them alive into lusciousness!! These will be for sale in my etsy shop (currently devoid of all items - sigh, yet another task to get on to) and on my tour around Australia starting in May.