Monday, 5 March 2012

PAP 2 part 4 Conclusion

Getting a sense of direction on this piece was very difficult. I knew I didn't want to approach it too literally, but had great difficulty working out a shape and structure for the figure.
I thought I'd try Ray Slater's stump doll to see if that would work for me, but I don't know if I followed the pattern incorrectly or if it's meant to look like this, either way it wasn't what I wanted.


I then went back to the original body shape and decided to use just the torso. I then went to my sketch book and tried to think of ways to express the story, beauty, blemish, boring through stitch and fabric.


I chose a hand dyed dupion silk in blue as I thought this would make a good neutral BG for the stitch. I used quite a lot of metallic thread for the beauty aspect as well as adhering to the brief for this module, which was based on metallic surfaces.






You may notice the waist detail is a sample created for this design in the proposal chapter, it's based on Tudor embroidery and I thought it might work in with the contemporary design, (it ended up being painted blue and attached under the neck detail) The neck has been machine embroidered to resemble wrinkles and the knitted wire collar is slightly reminiscent of the Elizabethan Ruff, which would have hidden the neck wrinkles in older women.

At this point I mounted the torso on a paper towel holder for stability as I had decided to work with this short length look as it's been a difficult fashion dilemma for mature women to get right with leggins.

The next step was really difficult as I didn't want this to end up being a predictable doll. I spent a long time looking at Beth Robison's web site and finally found a couple of ideas that set me off thinking in a different way, you can one of them here and the other one here.
I was particularly interested in the idea of the second one and started to sketch ideas relating to it and other thoughts which you can see on my board, 1.2.6 relate to Robinson's wire sculpture.


The metal work in Beth Robinson's sculptural doll gave me the idea to have a go at knitting in heavier wire than I'd use for the Ruff and construct sleeves. I had in mind the big puffed sleeves that Elizabeth 1 was so fond of, and as she was such a big part of Mary Tudor's life I thought it would work well to include this reference in the piece. I also wanted to have this historical reference like Valdés used in his work.


I now started work on the embellishing of the figure and worked out some hand stitches that would enhance the story of beauty,blemish,boring. I also had an idea that the figure could be holding it's own head, again with a Valdés inspired twist.




I now turned my attention to the legs and adapted Ray Slater's pattern so they'd be straight and made them out of skin coloured silk dupion which I then covered with a layer of black stretch lace.

For the finishing touches I created an Elizabethan style collar working with a set digital embroidery design which I stitched out on two layers of water-soluble medium and when it was washed away it distressed the design, so I left quite a bit of glue in it to give it form. The back piece is sheer with a digital lace design on it



The addition of the pearls was a Tudor reference.


You will see from the above pic that I decided to make a Valdés inspired face to decorate an oversised bag for my figure instead of the idea of it holding it's own head.

These are some of the sketches that I made till I found the right one, using a self portrait as a start.


Copies of Valdés's portraits.


Self portraits


More self and family portraits and I decided to use the centre one of me to work with.


The final addition was a pair silk boots.




This piece was quite a struggle and with the experience of the hanging, which seemed to work much more easily, I think it is a mistake for me not to carry on working my PAP as soon as it's been approved, otherwise I loose that initial enthusiasm and excitement and the piece feels stale by the time I've finished.

Production information

Design preparation: 29hr
Making up: 41hrs


Assorted beads £1.10
1/4m Dupin silk £3.50
1/8m stretch lace £1.10
Jacquard silk £0.50
Calico £0.10
Silk organza £0.10
1\4m water soluble fabric £0.75
Toy stuffing 0.50
Assorted yarns £0.38
1 reel jewellery wire £3.50
Mixed machine embroidery threads £2.0

Total £13.43

Size: 46cm


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  2. I'd love to see this in real life, Sharon, wonderful detail. Well done, it's worked out so well.