Wednesday 25 April 2018

WOW Crate 2018

The tenth, and possibly final, WOW crate send off - an annual photo tradition with celebratory bubbles in hand!
This year we had a disgruntled Trumptopussy joining me on the crate, very upset that he is not also going to the show. After a small struggle, we made our peace. Creep. He kept singing, "What about me"......
I've spent the week making a few adjustments to the accepted work, due to it being placed in a different section to the one I intended it for. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do a new photoshoot with the changes, but that's just the way it is. If my mannequin could wear the shoes it could almost work, but she can't!
Work continues on the paper piece for 'paper on skin' in Burnie Due to my going off on a tangent towards a whole new colourway which turned out not to be suitable in the end, I had to order some more gummy silk cocoon strippings from The Thread Studio. This also gave me the chance to order some gummy silk carrier rods, and some more Starburst Sprays - I just love these! I've mainly used them on leather - this is the first time I have actually used them on paper. Look at that lovely subtle purple glow on the edge up the top there!! Of course, having just ordered, I've now nearly used that one up - it never even appealed to me before! A little bit of action with the heat gun and the whispy bits get burnt out, and a nice bit of colour appears as well. I'm doing a bit of free motion embroidery in the middle for some texture, as well as for a little extra stability. I'm using hand dyed crochet thread in the bobbin, so am sewing with the silk paper upside down on the machine so that thread sits on the surface. Then I'm stitching on some silk cocoon pieces, dyed and painted with gold around the edges, to represent the cupola shaped often found on lichen.
And here's a little taste of the silk lichen pieces pinned onto the headpiece - there's also a couple of pieces of the paper string I am using for extra texture. I'm looking forward to seeing the piece completed soon.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

WOW Preselection 2018

Having completed my three entries with time to spare (due to the decision not to attempt the fourth!) I assembled the faithful team for the photoshoot.  A week later, I submitted the photos for preselection, a preliminary step for International Designers before we ship the pieces for initial judging. Another week later, to my utmost horror, I received the first email beginning with the fatal words "Thank you for entering...". ( The good ones begin with "Congratulations!") Okaaaaay. The next one was a good one, but with a change of section, but to my further horror, the third was yet another rejection! Nooooooooo!! I was truly stunned, as I honestly thought the pieces were very strong.  The one entered in the Avant Garde section was a reprisal of my first entry, 10 years ago. Same concept, of a beautiful moth emerging from a cocoon, just interpreted differently, utilising the many new skills I have acquired over that time period. It's the most couture piece I've ever done - I really nutted out

the patternmaking, made toiles, and hand finished lining. The wing pieces were made by painting gel medium onto organza, then painting, then free-motion embroidering. The 'window' panels are a textured cellophane. The tunic (created from 5?6? layers) is covered in motifs that have been created the same way, before being cut out and applied to the bodice, then hand beaded. The chestpiece of the tunic has been tambour beaded - it's been a few years, but it was great to practice it again - and includes cellophane pieces, large rhinestones and ostrich feathers. The shoulder and head pieces have wire bases, moulded leather covers, painted and embellished with rhinestones. It is a personally significant piece, so it was a bit of a body blow to not have it accepted. I keep questioning if it would have made a difference if I had sent more detailed shots, but I figure if they wanted to see more, they would have asked for it to go through to the next stage. These are just the basic shots - I hope to share the more quirky ones sometime soon!
The second entry was a Bizarre Bra that I thought would be greatly appreciated! The description of my work 'Trumptopussy' read: 'Originally just a quirky idea for a bra based on a beautiful octopus, the surrounding political climate offered an alternative story. The 2016 Trump campaign became notorious for the phrase ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’, and searching the phrase ‘‘hands like an octopus’ online now leads straight to articles on Donald Trump. His presidency has sparked an incredible protest movement, with women finally taking a stand against sexual misconduct. I have always thought of the Bond film Octopussy in connection to the animal (the character actually a powerful, impressive woman). Trumptopussy of course, had to be orange.'

His awful hair is made of felted merino wool, his body is satin off-cuts stuffed with pillows, his suckers are made of window blind material from Reverse Garbage. He too, sparkles with rhinestones, and has a creepy, beady eye, which looks at you whilst one of his tentacles creeps down to the groin area.....
I'm sure Trumptopussy has a future out there....
Many thanks as before to Matt, Jenelle, Chantal, and Edwina.
Fingers crossed the third makes it on to the stage!!