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.
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.