Friday, 30 December 2011

Final Parcel for Nicola

I have tried to in some ways respond to the materials Nicola had sent to me in my final parcel for experimentation and to also, act on my own instincts when happening upon materials for Reworked. Below are images of the items I have collated, beginning with a trio of vintage gloves. I have been intrigued by the idea of our deconstructed, reworked pieces interacting with the wearer and thought a most immediate way of exploring this could be through the use of preworn gloves. The notion of covering/encasing hands in another skin of sorts (in this case, leather and suede) and then breaking down or affecting this protective layer is interesting.

Leather Lace Gloves
These are rather structured, a heavier leather, whilst still remaining soft and pliable. I love the lace detailing at the wrist. I also like the fact that this pair are joined with a little gold pin.

Soft Leather Long Gloves
These move almost fluidly - especially at the wrist, where obvious wear has occurred and the leather has puckered. The contrast between this soft area and the strong stitching on the back of the hand is lovely.

Brown Punctured Suede Gloves
I was drawn to the punctured surface of these gloves and to the colour - soft and feminine but also, a nod towards our 'broader' colour scheming! 

Recycling Centre Silk
This is a beautiful, piece of abandoned silk - the ends have been pulled and in areas, it is snagged but perfectly suited to our needs! I imagine this working well in printing.
Cotton Ladies Collar
This was a pre-Nicola's parcel purchase. I found it funny that both of us should choose collars as part of our experimentations. I am intrigued to see the contrast between Nicola and my's ideas for use. Though, of course working with and most likely being led by the materials (the men's collars I am working with are starched and Nicola's is soft cotton), I look forward to seeing our different interpretations side by side.
Gold and Silver Studs
Laser Cut Wool Circles
(A repeat item)
Itty Bitty Laser Cut Wool Circles
Though I have previously sent Nicola some of these wool circles, I wanted to send more (and made some tiny versions to allow more room to be playful with scale), when I was considering possibilities for embellishment of the gloves. I wonder if Nicola will see an entirely different outcome for either?

Deconstructed Vintage Bodice
This was part of a 1950s wedding dress. I guess that with this inclusion, I am largely responding to Nicola's pink corset top. I wanted too, to include a defined item as opposed to just fabric, but also wanted   to not be too rigid in suggesting it's use - hence my liking its deconstructed, pulled apart state. 

Charity Shop Buttons
I received these at the same time as some other fastenings for Reworked a long time ago and had other plans for them. They have, however sat rather lonely. I wonder if Nicola can, through the Reworked ethos, put them to better use? Perhaps they could have potential in branding and/or embellishment.
Natural Twine
(Another repeat item - given the earlier earthy browns/beiges, this inclusion is led purely by colour)
Staples (Lots of)
Found Rusties
I found each of these on the same day in November and loved their textures and shapes. I wonder if they could be included in some experiments? We have, to date, 'catalogued' some rusty finds but haven't actively used many in our explorations into form and texture.

I have also included in this parcel, sample sheets of light weight waxed cotton as I thought Nicola might like to try some branding similar to those she tried in an earlier post - the wax might produce some interesting resist-like results? I'm sure Nicola will have other ideas too!


This was the winning mode of embellishment for me. Quite pleased with the progress of this collar, though I am unsure of how I will move it forward in terms of rusting or affecting the pearls as I do not want to 'attack' this piece with too harsh a process. As it is in the moment, (I am still stitching - those pearls are fiddly and require a teeny tiny needle!), I think the collar is very pretty and still rather delicate and I want this element to remain true as I continue to work on it.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Some ideas I've been throwing around for the mens collars that Nicola sent me...
Apologies for the quality of the images - I haven't the best scanner in the world and I had to use photographs from my phone (note the yellowing collar second from the bottom is not so yellow in real life!)
I have been thinking mostly about composition, combinations of materials (though nothing too wild as I don't think that these pieces should be overcomplicated), weight, shape and scale...
I feel that it is important to put real thought into the process before I apply anything to any of the collars, particularly the white ones as I am unsure as to how well the starch will take any rusting. I want to get them right. Though it is tough to predict what an erratic process such as rusting will do!
More to follow...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Parcel From Nicola

This again, is a late post. I am finding it rather frustrating that the day-to-day is getting in the way of our project so I have taken great advantage of a free evening to catch up; Nicola's final parcel has proven very exciting. I have been eager to experiment!

I was very pleased that Nicola included materials that I have no experience in working with at all as yet, for example the hematite beads and pearls. Both are typically associated with jewellery as opposed to textiles, so it will be interesting for me to apply my skills in reworking them. The ring blanks too, will be interesting for me to play with; having no concept of 'building' a ring from bands such as these, I am hoping that my novice will introduce a new (and successful?!) use for them.

Nicola also provided interesting textile items, such that I am more familiar and confident in working with, though I will say, have prompted me to more consideration of my methods;

Mens' collars: I like the idea of working with this more rigid, masculine shape as I feel that I have subconsciously approached the project thus far, with solely females in mind, favouring looser shapes and softer fabrics. It will  be very interesting to see how rust might 'move' against a heavily starched surface.  I am currently pondering how I might best embellish and/or print designs onto these. It will be a great task to work with these in contrast to the beautiful, and extremely feminine vintage lace collar that Nicola also included. Having received them both in the same parcel, I am now able to consider the real difference in treatment they will require if I am to get the most from them.

 Pink Basque: I agree with Nicola entirely in that, upon first receiving this item, it did not seem to fit within our colour scheme but in considering the direction of our project now, it is a welcome addition to our palette and has wide scope for use. I can see too, it being useful as an embellished garment or in being 'stripped back', using parts of it to form other pieces.

Pins: I love that they are gold! For the most part, any pins that I have worked with in rusting experiments before, have been silver. I expect that this will prove fruitful in expanding our colour palette. Nicola is right in her comments considering shape and draping - I think their size and weight alone will provide us with a strong collection of experiments.

Large Brass Chains: I can only dream of the beautiful prints we can create with these - I want to experiment ALOT with scale here, repeats and layers. I can envision these working well alongside other items (mostly chains!) that Nicola has sent me in the past.

I am off to edit photographs (these will be posted VERY soon) and develop some sketches. Nicola has provided me with a wealth of inspiration in this package and I want to do it justice. It is worth noting as well that I absolutely love the box that the parcel arrived in (the collar case); the fact that this is a purpose built casing being used to house its intended contents as well as 'new' found members is a lovely notion when considering the ethos of Reworked.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

It has been too long

...Would be an understatement. I have been absent for a whole host of reasons but am very excited to be back. I love Nicola's most recent post (the physical parcel certainly!) and the artists/designers she has highlighted as possible inspirations.
I would like to begin by saying, I LOVE Eunsuk Hur, I found her work hugely inspirational when studying Textile Design last year.

I have also most recently been looking at the work of Therese-Morch Jorgesen - her presentation is beautiful, and very interesting when considering what Nicola and I have in mind. I very much enjoy her incorporation of found items.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Inspiration for Sara

Eve Lateiner

Eunsuk Hur

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Amy Tavern

Sharon Massey

Just a few images I have found that have inspired me for Re-worked that I would like to share with Sara.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Final Parcel for Sara.

So I have finally gotten round to completing the final parcel I will send to Sara as part of Re-worked, in order to move onto the next stage of the project. Sara and I had previously decided that we would show the contents of the parcel we would be sending online so that we could form initial ideas from viewing the items and perhaps changing ideas when getting into contact with them. This will allow us to voice the initial ideas as well as those that will come from interaction and closer inspection. We thought that we would share our ideas for the use of the items we were sending in order to compare them to the others initial reactions.


1. Box of men's vintage collars.

I came across the idea of men's collars early on when researching items to send to Sara when I was looking into buying vintage jewellery boxes. They instantly struck me as something I thought Sara would like as I think she tends to play around with androgynous styles. I like that they can act as a blank canvas for attaching something that has been "re-worked" to: I see them almost as a blank shank or necklace that needs further adornment. I think they would make great supports for textiles to hang from in a poncho-style or something chains and necklace style pieces could be attached to. Alternatively they could be pieces within themselves. The box they came from is also a fantastic piece with a crumbly surface that has been leaving little trails of powder everywhere: maybe this could be incorporated into a piece?

2. Large brass chains.

The idea of playing around with chains has also been circling around for a while, although I had originally thought of silver. However, after playing with wrapping nuts and bolts and larger objects, I thought it would be better to play around with larger chains as it leaves more room for play. I had noticed a lot of my blog posts contained sentences along the lines of "I like this idea but think it would work better on a larger scale." so I thought I would start off with large chains. Sara could possibly wrap these with threads or ribbon etc but I also thought that it would be interesting to see how she uses these on the body as these, for me, definately fall into the "jewellery" category. They also have the brass finish that left such interesting "prints" with the washers on felt so she could also incorporate that idea with them. A lot of scope for play I feel.

3. Vintage lace collar.

This collar was accidentally missed out of a previous parcel and I still feel it has a lot of relevance to Re-worked. It could act in a similar manner to the men's vintage collars but with a feminine edge - something that can be used to play around with soft/tough clashes. I like the shape of it - it could be attached to the body in a number of ways meaning it doesn't actually have to be used as a collar at all. I like the very antique look and colour: a lot of items used on Re-worked have been either white or orange with rust so I like that other shades are being introduced. 

4. Pins

These small pins will provide a lot of scope to experiment. One thing I immediately associate with fashion and textile is how they will be draped on the body and the shapes they create, so I thought that the pins could be used for working with textiles produced in the project. As well as helping us create pieces, I think these pins could be used as pieces themselves: clustered together and rusted, used to brand material and creating growth-like constructions within materials. Again, I like the play on them being almost jewellery-like: small metal objects so I am interested to see how Sara uses them.

5. Ring Blanks.

I liked the idea of using jewellery findings as a fun way of introducing embellishment to materials and also a fun and easy introduction to jewellery supplies for Sara. I personally don't use ring blanks such as these for my own work, as my shanks etc are hand created and silver, but I love them as a tongue-in-cheek take on introducing jewellery into the project. I think that, branded, these would make great shapes and silhouettes on textiles, sewn on, they will make great embellishments and also lend themselves to the rusting process. Again, because there is a lot of them, there is scope for play with these. They are very cheap so will be a great start for adding jewellery into experiments. The idea of "clusters" and "collections" is becoming apparent in a lot of the experiments for Re-worked so I think these will be interpreted fantastically.

6. Hematite beads.

I have wanted to give Sara some beads for a while now as they are, again, a small introduction to materials associated with the jewellery profession and they can also be sewn onto clothing as embellishment within textiles. I had struggled to think of stones that would lend themselves nicely to Re-worked when I came across the idea of using hematite. I've used hematite in work before but it was only when researching the properties of some stones that I read that hematite can actually rust. I've not tested this theory out so I thought I'd let Sara try it for herself and see if she can work her rusty-magic on the beads. As we have started introducing metals such as brass, I thought the steel like appearance would fit it nicely in the project. Again, I like the idea of them clustered together or used in structures within a textile piece.

7. Freshwater pearls.

Another bead that came into my attention quite a while ago was the humble freshwater pearl. I did an experiment on my personal blog, after reading that pearls dissolve in vinegar, to see the effect it would have on some garish pink pearls I'd bought, being not quite aware of the colour. The vinegar dissolved several layers of the pearls, reducing the pink dye, turning them into a softer pink version albeit with a less shiny surface. Because of the use of vinegar with rusting, I thought Sara would enjoy mixing these pearls into the process and seeing if she can combine them nicely. I use a lot of pearls in my own work so thought it would be nice for Sara to use them too. They can be used as embellishment and I thought the irregular shape will produce some interesting results. I like that these pearls have a destructive process all of their own and seeing if they can be worked into our project.

8. Vintage corset/bustier. 

This corset was actually sent to Sara a long time ago, when we were first discussing Re-worked. We swapped some initial ideas and items to get a feel for this project and we disregarded this item because it was pink and we didn't think it fitted in with Re-worked. However, on second inspection, I think this could be a great "canvas" piece for which Sara could attach items too, as well as be re-worked itself. I want to introduce some more colours into Re-worked and don't want to scrap an item just because of it's colour. The hook and eyes at the back are also of particular interest to me and I thought that even if Sara decides this item isn't suitable then it would be interesting to strip it down and use the hook and eyes from it: showing any item could have a potential use, even if it is just a small element. I hope Sara enjoys the items and am very eager to hear her initial reactions.