August 31, 2007
august 31, 07
Made this dress this morning. Not sure yet whether I hate the high bib-front or not; I like the apron-like quality of it, but it comes awfully close to my neck.
It's made from the last bits of the same fabric from yesterday.
August 30, 2007
august 30, 07 (later)
Later on in the evening I thought I'd take another photo to show the crocheted vest, but it's impossible to see anyway. I should have worn it all day, though, it looks better.
This is in the shop where I teach litho.
august 30, 07
I keep saying I'm going to carry around a little notebook to keep track of what people say whenever I get asked about my clothes (or have any other conversations relating to my project that are worth recording). But as I keep forgetting to actually stick that notebook in my satchel, I'll record some of that stuff here instead. I'm not sure yet if any of this information will prove useful to me later on, but better to save everything and whittle down later than to find myself wishing I'd kept better track of things. I'm interested in knowing which aspects of the project catch people's attention and hearing what they have to say about it.
Before class on August 21st, my second day of teaching, one of my students (RH) asked me if I had made my skirt and printed it. I very briefly described my project, and next he asked if my knitting was part of the project (I had knitting in my hands at the time); I said, well, yes. He then told me about the time he learned to crochet, and what he was making before he gave it up and forgot how (I resisted the urge to invite him to knit night but did say that if he brought it to class I would show him how to finish it; always proselytizing the way of the knit).
This one isn't directly related to my project, as I haven't shown or talked about my own work in the classroom: my students were proofing and second-etching their litho stones in class today, and one student (CK) asked me if she could run a few extra prints on fabric to use later. We talked about the impermanence of the inks in fabric, I pointed out my skirt and told her that it's etching ink and will fade and break down over time. My student wants to print on fabric and make stuff, and possibly do something three-dimensional in fabric for her final litho project. It's pretty exciting to me that I've got students who are already thinking about how they can combine lithography with other media, and that I've got kids with textilian leanings in my class to boot, when I haven't really given them any indication that this is an area of interest for me.
August 29, 2007
august 29, 07
I started this dress last night and finished it this morning. It's much more the sort of thing I'd been envisioning for this project, plain, utilitarian, apronly, with pockets. One piece, so that I can wear prints from head to toe, and long so that I have lots of space to keep printing on it. I think that dresses and larger garments will be important to have when I'm figuring out how to exhibit this work later on, as they will carry more impact in a gallery space. I'm cutting out a few more of these tonight; it occurs to me that I'd better finish one or risk not having anything to wear tomorrow, as all of the skirts are at studio awaiting another printing before I wear them again.
Also for fun today I tried on this dress, the experiment that got me started on this project in the first place. It's a little bit big but not unbearably so, and very stiff (Rives BFK sewn onto muslin; if I do another dress of paper and fabric I'll use something much lighter). It's also not constructed all that well, and already falling apart in places. It's not something I'd ever exhibit, but I might wear it for a lark if I can be bothered to fix it up a bit first.
In a meeting with one of my committee members this morning, we discussed the everyday ritual aspects of this project, the rules and tasks, the documentation. I need to try to make writing here a part of my daily routine, even when I have nothing to say. Stream of consciousness gibberish, vague sentence fragments, even some technical wankery about sewing and knitting is better than pictures without words. So I'm going to try to find words, every day. Being organized, budgeting time and sticking with things are difficult for me, so setting myself some rules and forcing small daily rituals into my life and my work will help.
So. Daily tasks:
-wearing clothes (goes without saying, perhaps)
-time is spent every day either creating new pieces or making alterations to existing pieces. If I print, I should always throw an article of clothing on the press as well. Draw on the clothes I'm wearing. Stitch on the clothes. I'm going to start carrying embroidery floss and a needle with me so that I can stitch on my clothes during moments of down time.
-sketchbook drawings. I slacked a lot on the sketchbook drawing over the summer, taking more than a month to fill a book when in the beginning I was filling three pages a day. I'm resolving to draw at least one page every day.
-write something here.
-date stamp clothing. I have a little ritual setup: a little square of glass, a neatly folded red shop rag, a date stamper. Every day I carry these things from my studio to the print shop (other side of the building) and line them up on an inking slab along with a can of lithographic roll-up ink, a palette knife, a razor scraper and a phone book:
I scrape down a single thin layer of ink, test the stamper a few times on the glass and then stamp it on my clothes. I scrape off the palette knife and glass with the razor (wiping this onto the phone book) then wipe the tools clean with the rag (no solvents) and hang them back up on their hooks. I then wipe the glass clean, again without solvents, wipe the stamper, fold up the rag with the inky part to the inside, tear out the top page of the phone book and throw it away. Carry the glass, rag and stamper back to my studio. I think it's the only thing in my life that I'm meticulous about in this ritualistic way. I need to give this same sort of care to the rest of my project, be more precise about what sort of garments I'm making and why. Spend time crafting perfect darts, even, precise rows of delicate hand-tacked hem stitches, and allow that work to be buried under ink.
-scan sketchbook drawings, upload to flickr, update book pages.
-photograph all garments, so as to be able to track deterioration as well as alteration.
August 28, 2007
august 28, 07
August 27, 2007
august 27, 07
August 26, 2007
august 26, 07
August 25, 2007
august 25, 2007
August 24, 2007
august 24, 2007
Couldn't stop laughing at myself long enough to get a picture.
August 23, 2007
august 23, 2007
This skirt has only been through the laundry twice and already it's fading quite a bit: it's made of the exact same fabric as that piece tacked up on the wall behind me, which is a much brighter red, never having been washed. I thought the fabric marker (the black topographical lines) would be the first to go, but so far it's staying in place while the red and green etching ink fade away. Soon I'll do some more printing over top of this one.
August 22, 2007
august 22, 2007
August 21, 2007
august 21, 2007
August 20, 2007
august 20, 2007
August 19, 2007
august 19, 2007
August 18, 2007
august 18, 2007
August 17, 2007
august 17, 2007
August 16, 2007
august 16, 2007
drawing on my clothes
My project began at the Southern Graphics Council conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2007. I brought only one shirt to the three day conference, and drew on it every day during sessions and workshops. By the third day, people were approaching me to ask about the project; many said that they had been watching me draw the day before.
a starting place
This will be a space for daily documentation of my MFA thesis work, a dumping ground for all of my thoughts and concerns surrounding this work, and any random ideas and scribblings that may (I hope) somehow become the basis for my thesis a few months from now.
*print fabrics, make clothes
*make large, wall-map size prints using existing woodblock "library"
*maintain website documentation of sketchbook drawings
*spinning self portraits, plying with wool
*document (with photographs) breaking down, wearing out of etching ink prints on clothes
*make series of sweaters to print on/from
*new woodblock: an updated self portrait, life sized
*upholster a chair using printed fabrics
*build a closet
*home interior vignette: wall, chair, rug, books
*wear clothes made from prints
*date stamp clothes as worn
*document (in notebook) interactions with others concerning daily costume performance
*update thesis blog
For the moment, I'll get myself up to date with a few backdated entries, images without comment. Later, writing must happen here every day.
See the flickr photoset for the wardrobe project.
See the sketchbooks.