Saturday, October 31, 2009


As i've continued to work with the counter intuitive fabric I have come to realise that intuition alone is not enough for me to create something from it.
Having worked intuitively with it- through the many destroy processes, I wasn't able to get the fabric to a point where I could progress to creating a garment/outcome from it. At this point the way I was working had to change to generate and outcome. It still involves significantly altering the material but in a more careful and considered manner. The random elements I was working with are still there to a lesser degree, and they are no longer the starting point of the garment.
You can take a fabric you love and do most anything to it, and still keep that feeling. With materials that are uninspiring I have to work at it much harder to get to a point where i'm happy with it.
Essentially i'm restructuring the fabric- having cut sections away and joining them back together using gel medium. A kind of collaged fabric/garment. Using this new process/new material my feeling was to mould it to the body as the new material lends itself well to moulding, rather than draping as I had been working with.
I will post images soon- as my computer died i'm having some difficulties.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

getting somewhere

paint sample #1-
as the fabric has dried parts of it has stuck to itself.

Painted fabric piece #2- still random 'drape' but I laid it over a watering can to alter the shape a bit. (which I dont see as a major 'design decision' as its a common object in a backyard, and the first thing i could grab, rather than something premeditated)

Gel medium sample drying on a crate

Gel medium applied to plastic bag (i'm hoping it will peel off) with sparkles from large sanding sample sprinkled on top.

Through my struggles with the snakeprint I feel that i'm finally getting somewhere.
The addition of liquids that dry to change the qualities of the fabric are the key to this.
By a happy accident one of my masking fluid samples dried partially scrunched, which basically is a kind of draping. As this is something that has been key to the aesthetic of my intuitive work I thought 'draping' in this different way would make sense.
The process has become simplified and more random now, as I allow the added liquid material to dicate the shape/drape depending on the surface it is place don to dry. The second painted piece of fabric was not engineered to be in the position it will dry in- that is how it lay when i had finished painting (except for the addition of the watering can).
Once the fabric is dry I will try aplying it to the body.
Another idea that I had was on sculpting the painted/gelled fabric on the stand when its still wet so it dries in a garment form.

Monday, October 26, 2009

+ paint

Finally got around to painting the fabric. Pretty sure the neighbours think i'm loopy.
Ran out of paint tho, so may have to go back in for round 2 as its still looking pretty blue and snakey. Perhaps I should buy a mega bottle of masking fluid and use that in combination? However I'm looking forward to the possible hardening of texture that I thought might be achieved.

+ masking fluid

sample #1 with masking fluid.
When dry, the textural qualities of the fabric are significantly changed- becoming firm and rubbery. Unfortunately I put this on a piece of paper while drying- which got stuck to the back of the fabric- so not really an acurate outcome of the effect.
#2 on the way.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

book thoughts...

I have been thinking about how I can make my book aesthetics relate more to my work.
With a focus on the handmade and imprecision I was thinking perhaps my text should be handwritten, and scanned in.
The paper should be matte and unbleached, or off white/cream- something less than perfect.
I have planned to hand stitch it myself and have found bookbinding supplies to do this with.
I have also thought about aplying effects to the images to make them look more aged- relating to the degraded/patina in my work.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

transfer prototype #3

from the book shoot

trying and failing

Once the fabric was sanded I felt it still wasn't something I wanted to work with, so destroyed it further by twisting and slashing it.
Then i folded the fabric, and cut into it- hoping these larger cut lines might inform a way of putting a garment together.
At this point I put it on the stand, and atempted to create a garment with it, but everything in me was wanting to set it on fire and run away! FAIL.
So the next step i s to aplly other things that will almost completely change the apearance of the fabric, while also adding other qualities. I tried sewing the fabric to other like felt, but this wasnt very effective. My next thought is to use house paint, or lacquer.

large scale sanding

So I decided I should take the fabric destruction to a larger scale- in the hope that I could create a garment out of the destroyed fabric.

Friday, October 9, 2009

counter intuitive- sand

So I was thinking of what else I could use to destroy the fabric, or at least what might get rid of the sparkles. Sanding worked well, and has a pretty similar effect to shaving. This time I worked the piece of fabric down to a very fine films of its former self, which I found quite beautiful.
I'm not sure where to go with these from here. I could be interesting to make a garment from the fabric, and then destroy it, see how it changes the silhouette/shape. It wouldn't be too difficult/time consuming to sand a larger piece of fabric- I was thinking I could tape it to a table top and sand the larger area, but then what do I do with it?
My destroy explorations have mostly been focused on changing the apearance of the fabric, one of the main reasons for my dislike fo them. I feel that I now need to go beyond that, altering other undesireable qualities. I bought some felt and quilting wadding today that I plan to add to my counter intuitive fabrics to alter other qualities (such as drape and weight).

counter intuitive- shave

In class last week I was using scissors to cut off the sparkle pile of the fabric, a process which was pretty time consuming- and I thought shaving the fabric might work. It did, and is better in the that its harder to controll the outcome.

counter intuitive fabric no.2- complete destruction

communication proposal on the old blog...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A good time to redefine aspects of my work- what joins it all together, and WHY I am doing it.
INTUITION- without rational thought, second nature, personal, individual. Intuition is an expression of the culmnation of all that has come before for any individual. Every experience we have shapes our views/choices and intuition.
TOUCH- A key element that links my works/series/explorations is the textural nature- the desire of others to touch the items is key to their greater engagement with them (one of my central goals).
RANDOM- the random and imprecision are a guideline/rule within my work to begin the making process (aplication of elastic etc). Also it is key in creating unique situations (of materials) to work with, so I can engage more deeply with each individual piece.

Ricarda keeps asking me what I like abou the degraded-
A few ideas
The degraded = authenticity?
I have always found more beauty in the imperfect than the perfect, and in things with visible age. These things tend to hold more sentimental value, and authenticity for me. When I encounter something old, I can't help but think of the people or experiences that have come before me. It makes me feel as though I have some secret and intimate knowledge through it.

I also think my ideas of authenticity via the degraded are a reaction against the constructed, confected fashion that dominates. This fashion conveys a myth of sorts- of perfection, of ease, and creates distance from the makers in the sense that people dont think of the person who may have made the garment as they look almost machine made in their precision. This is also linked to my ideas re: a garment as a record of process- in that many garments hide their records of process- while I am working in ways to highlight these.

Pleat + elastic prototype

Trasfer Prototype #2

Monday, September 28, 2009

against intuition #3

This time i destroyed by burning the fabric. I got a bit scared so only burnt a small section.
Destroying was intuitive with this fabric so I am wondering how I would work with it against intuition. I think this could be using a pattern and making a pair of hot pants or some other design that is outside of my aesthetic? I think that as the fabric is against intuition, anything I made out of it would also be. In destroying it, however, I came to like the results- so does that mean that I could take any material and reach a point where it is pleasing to me?

against intuition #2

This was my second DESTROY process- pulling the fibres apart which changed the apearance of the fabric, destroying the snake print. Again I like the result much better than the original.

against intuition

I chose this fabric- as something against intuition- something I would never usually choose to work with. Why?- it feels cheap, scratchy, clammy, and looks cheap, nasty, trashy, frivolous, comical, i dont like the shade of blue, or the plastic sparkley bits, or sparkly stuff in general. It is far too loud, and flashy. Perhaps some mad blue rinse LasVegas grandma would be into it, or maybe a 'trailer trash' gal. These are the associations i make with it via my accumulated knowledge. I guess that means what I do choose intuitively are what I percieve to be opposites of these things.

Although I chose the fabric against intuition I worked with it intuitively- which was to DESTROY it.The above images are of me pulling the fabric apart entirely, a process which was quite physical. I find the resulting pile of fibres much more apealing than the piece of fabric I started with.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

T shirt deconstruction

Stumbled accross a similar idea to my trasfer series of garments-

T-Shirt : Deconstruction

What's the difference between commodities and objects?

They seems identical yet somehow quite different. 
In this project, a pattern printed on the surface of a compressed block t-shirt is part of the packaging. 
During the process of transforming a commodity into an object (i.e., opening the packaging) the pattern converted into a new visual impression.
 You'll be surprised to see the distorted image now becomes part of your outfit.
Han-Hsi Chen

Friday, September 18, 2009

Transfer Prototype 1 / samples

Some more samples using a different brand of iron on transfer.

Further development of iron on transfers to prototype stage- again I have responded to the treated piece of fabric on the stand. I plan to video record the interaction of the wearer with the garment, in changing the shape of the garment by pulling apart the transfer. I had hoped this would occur of its own accord when worn, but realise there may not be enough tension in that area of the garment for that to happen. If it doesnt it may have to be a manual process.