I just finished my semester! This one was hard. I don't know why exactly, it's not like it was really that different than any other semester, but somehow it was harder. As I've been talking about in my last few posts I've just been having a bit of artist's block! I really want to get over it. I'm trying to figure out what the best way for me to get over it is so I can really utilize my time over break. I think I'll try just not making anything for a week or two and wait until I feel excited about an idea or feel antsy to create. Hopefully this feeling will make it easier for me to make things I'm excited about. I just don't feel so excited right now. The thing I'm most excited about is an paper I wrote/website I created for a humanities class. All the art I've made this last few weeks I've just felt so-so about, with the exception of a few pieces. (I'll include a link to the website/paper late in this post so y'all can take a look and read it if you want :))
Firstly, I just finished my journal! It's the entirety of last semester, the summer, and this last break.
This class was all about weaving (obviously); all semester I've been at a loom painstakingly shooting thread across the warp. Because it's about weaving stories, I did text based work (that I always love), but after seeing everyone else's work I'm super interested in trying abstract work. I'm not usually as interested in abstract work, because I don't think I'm very good at it--I find it much harder than figurative work, but I think with weaving I could get into it. Although it's difficult, I really loved the work from people in my class that was more abstract. I'm thinking over this break I want to try this. Stay tuned!
Blood Sweat and Tears
This project was to learn tapestry techniques. I adapted a poem from my journal into small vignettes describing Blood, Sweat, and Tears using colors that I felt exemplified those three things. If you don't know what tapestry weaving is, this is a good video showing how tapestry works (you're not supposed to have lines curve like that, because the weaving will curl when you take it off the loom, but otherwise it shows how to do it). One of these days I'll film myself on the loom. Basically tapestry means the weaving has a discontinuous weft, which means you have multiple yarns going across your loom at once. I think the most I had going at once was eight or so--you can see this in my progress images below. But now at a museum if you see something called a "Tapestry" this is how it was made--it's pretty amazing. Because tapestry is colloquially used incorrectly now, I think a lot of people don't know what it actually is. Once you understand what it is it makes these historical tapestries so much more fun to look at!
Tears: "crust of salt"
Blood: "metal sweat"
Sweat: "sharp (& sour) sting"
Left: shows some in progress tapestry so you can kind of get an idea of the number of threads I'm using. Right: a fanny pack I made (I didn't embroider it) for a project for my fashion class, which you can see below
This project was to learn another technique called double cloth pickup. Again, if you don't know what this technique is (which most people don't), here is a video that shows what it is. Yes, you have to hand manipulate the strings for this technique. But I kind of loved it. I made this rug, like a welcome mat to my emotions. I used blush and eyeshadow to dye these yarns I used to weave with, continuing this experimental technique that I used last semester for my crying handkerchiefs (scroll down to "Narrative Stitches"). Funny enough, both this piece and my crying handkerchiefs will be in the textiles show in January. I guess I'll just be the girl who makeup dyes everything.
The reason one word on here is backwards is because with double cloth pickup, the back of the weaving is the inverse of the front. In other words, on the other side, heart would be backwards and hurt would be forwards and the colors are inverted--heart hurt in pink and the background in brown. I had to give it to the woman who is curating the textiles show, but when I get it back I'll take a photo of the other side and upload it. Hopefully I can also get a better picture of this side then too.
Fashion Studio Three:
This class was more pattern making and sewing with loose requirements like "you have to make a lined jacket" or "you have to make pants" etc. I learned a lot of stuff about designing and how to utilize my textile work within my fashion design.
This project was to make a lined jacket so I took a journal page and adapted it to be on a jacket. I'm not very happy with the result except the embroidery so I just have photos of that here.
in progress photos of design and embroidery
close up of the jacket
This project was to make a two piece or jumpsuit: we had to make pants for our own fit. I posted photos of this already, so here's a link to that original post. I was happy with the fact that I'm getting better at drawing something from my head and turning it into reality. Also; merging my textiles with my fashion design since I printed this fabric myself last semester. It's the same print based on my grandma's broken plate design that I used for the jacket I made for her but in a different color way.
This project was pretty difficult for me, but I think I ended up with something I'm happy with. I struggled with making something evening more thanI expected! I actually think evening can be really beautiful, but my teacher had a draping requirement that threw me. I changed my plan for this design so many times, finally ending up with this after buying fabric for a whole other design and changing it at the last minute. I think overall, even though this material was incredibly difficult to sew, I'm okay with how it turned out. Its hard to tell, but this is a long skort with a bow in the back. Underneath, I made this bodysuit. I think one could dress it up to evening, or wear adidas to dress it down.
This is the bag I made to go with the dress--I wove the fabric and it even converts into a backpack!
Zero Waste / Jedi Fashion
This final project was to make a zero waste garment or outfit with sustainable/reused/recycled/salvaged fabrics. I used a bag of old fabrics my aunt gave me to create this look. I also used clay to dye the pinker color fabric. It made a really subtle color that I'm really in love with. I dyed a few of my stained clothes as well once my friend had made the dirt dye bath.
I made all the items in these photos except the dark sleeves underneath. I even made the bags from the salvaged fabrics my aunt gave me. I love how the fanny pack turned out! You can see my marker here (shows how the pattern pieces fit together to use most of the fabrics.) On the jacket, I used the extra pieces left over to patchwork together the ties for the jacket. I'm happy with how it turned out! I can't wait to wear it around!
Craft As Social Justice:
For this class we had to create a curated website that was supposed to be like a show discussing some social justice issue we wanted to discuss through objects. My project was about how gender roles get perpetuated by clothing companies, especially because of the monetary gain of splitting up the genders (called market segmentation).
There are some really great videos to watch that give an idea of what I'm talking about. This isn't specifically about clothing, but it talks about the same issues.
Also, if you're interested in this topic, definitely check out my bibliography and resources page for more information.