Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here are a couple pictures of my final project in draping. The black and white photo is what the project was based on. I had to replicate the style and look of the photo as much as possible. I started with draping in muslin, then created a pattern, re-cut the muslin and made a mock-up, and then fitted that muslin mock-up on my model. Once I made the alterations to my pattern, I cut the pieces in the actual fabric and began to put it all together! I learned many, many new techniques for sewing and finishing. Overall I am very happy with how it turned out! I learned a lot and I know where I want to improve and what to watch for and fix next time!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Draping Project!

For my first draping project I was given this drawing of a 1950's era dress. With draping you build a clothing form three-dimensionally on a dress form. You start with basic shapes -- bodice, skirt, sleeves, etc. -- and then work with them on the form in order to create the silhouette that you need. For this particular project I did not actually finish the garment. The finished product is what you see; a half, muslin mock-up pinned to the form. If I were to bring this to completion, the next step would be to use my pattern that I created from the fabric peices to cut out the whole garment in muslin and sew it together completely. I would then fit it on whoever it was made for, make the alterations to my pattern and hopefully cut the actual garment, sew it, fit it again, make any more final adjustments, and finish it (lining, zippers, buttons, etc.).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Portfolio and Photos

Here is a link to some more photos, plus my portfolio -- take a looksee! :D

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Bag Creature Project Website!

Check it out!

A summary of all that's been happening the past year in regards to the Bag Creature Project. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Long time no see! A lot has happened since my last post. Sadly, the performance in Provincetown was cancelled due to weather...but I have hopes of possibly going back this summer...we'll see!

The performances and presentations in Vermont went incredibly well! I am working on putting together all the media from the events, which I hope to share with you shortly! Again, thank you so much to the VT Arts Council!! With their assistance, students of all ages and backgrounds got to interact with a different kind of art than that norm. I think it was incredibly successful and I was blown away by the support of all the teachers and administrators, as well as the students! Thank you so very very much!!! It was such an honor to be there.

So, like I had mentioned before, I went to both the St. Johnsbury Academy, in St. Johnsbury, VT, as well as the Stevens School in Peacham, VT. I spent a full day at the Academy, presenting and performing to various art and drama classes. Students got to perform with the creatures and everyone got a chance to ask questions, share thoughts, and interact with the sculptures. I'm so happy that I got to share their story, and hopefully inspire different ways to look at art, recycling, materials, and performance.

The next morning I did a performance during the Academy's morning assembly. Over 600 people got to see it! And when I say "I" performed, it was really students who had volunteered the previous day to perform for me. With a projector set up with an older performance and my newly composed music, the students donned the costumes and walked onto stage, becoming for a brief time, the bag creatures. It was fabulous!

The next day I journeyed to the Stevens School. We met in the big room in the morning and had almost a 2 hour performance/presentation. I was blown away by the students imagination, creativity, and excitement! After a presentation about my ideas and art, I worked with the students and we created our very own, unique take on the bag creature performance. Together, we made up the story of the bag creatures:
The Bag Creatures arose from an oil spill off the shore. They crawled out of the oil (as plastic bags are indeed petroleum based!) and walked onto the polluted shore. They communicated with each other, and they hoped that they could show the world where they came from, why they existed, and what role the humans had in their creation in their journeys through the land.
We then broke up into two groups. Six students helped me with the creatures -- five wore the costumes and one assisted -- and the rest of the school was responsible for the soundtrack. The performance was wonderful! The soundtrack took claps, voices, and drumbeats on the desks and made an excellent accompaniment to the story being told in front of us. I was incredibly impressed with the students imagination and seriousness!

After this fantastic performance, I was shown an amazing quilt made by the eighth graders -- it was completely made out of plastic bags, and it was absolutely beautiful! It is so exciting to see everything that is being made out there -- there is so much creativity in Vermont and so many young people with big ideas!

I really can't express how happy I am with how everything went. I feel like the project was successful and that, hopefully, it made a positive impact on the lives of many people! I hope that they can continue to be inspiring, silly, surprising, and curious!

Again, thank you VT Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Below are the two newly constructed creatures. I tried a couple experiments with these two -- the pure white one is made completely of white garbage bags. I expanded the length of the fringe and changed the shape of the head/nose a bit. I think this one is a bit mysterious; a ghost of sorts. The calico one is a mixture of brown, white, clear, and black plastic bags. I experimented with creating a pattern to this one's fringe/fur? I think he's the oldest of the creatures, having accumulated the most plastic bags. His arms are especially long, which I like quite a lot!

These new creatures are much more complicated than previous ones -- I experimented a bit with color and combining different colors, instead of just sticking with one. Using both normal plastic bags and garbage bags in one creature created some interesting texture differences, as well as different reflective properties. On both the creatures, I elongated the arms so that they would drag more thoroughly on the ground. The bag tassels are also all different sizes -- not just short. I've included some very long tassels as well. I like to think of the calico one as a very very old creature. He's had time to accumulate a lot of different bags from all different time periods. The pure white creature is like a ghost of the creatures -- it's amplified in it's texture and weight as well. Compared to the rest of the creatures, this white one is incredibly light...almost fragile.

I am still working on a musical composition for the bag creatures. I have been working a lot with my electric violin and looping different short melodies and rhythmic textures. I am thinking about their slow journey across the world, their hope, and their curiosity. I definitely want to incorporate the actual sounds of the plastic bags.

The Bag Creatures Return

Hello everyone! And so, finally I am updating about the bag creatures, which I've now been thinking and working on for almost 2 years!!! Crazy. I've constructed two more creatures, making a total of 7. I am currently working on a music composition to accompany the performance. I'm still undecided when it comes to choreography. Not being a dancer myself, it's hard to picture. I think I'm more drawn to the improvisation, with slight directions regarding the characteristics of the creatures. I find myself leaning more towards getting lots of audience participation and having random, interested people become the creatures, more than pre-approved dancers. Anyway, the creatures will be performing at the and of April (the 23rd to be exact!) in Provincetown, MA, courtesy of Shore Galleries. We'll be performing at the town dump, recycle center, or the beach! Excitement! Following this performance, the creatures and I will travel back home to VT and have three days of performances/presentations at St. Johnsbury Academy and The Stevens School in Peacham. There will also be a couple improv performances in Montpelier and possibly Burlington. Phew! A lot going on in a short amount of time! I have to put a brief note in -- none of this would be possible without the generosity of the Vermont Arts Council. Thanks to them I have been able to continue experimenting and performing with the creatures!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Red Creature

Here is another creature I made a couple years ago that once again, I forgot to post! I had a lot of fun making this guy -- looking back, I realize how much I've learned about construction! While in this costume, being made from recycled theater curtains, polyfill, and muslin, you can barely's hard to stay in it for more than 10 minutes. When thinking about a creature, I have to really think about the person inside and how they will be able to completely become that creature. An intense engineering feat!

The Clam

I realized that I never posted any of my Clam saga -- It all began a couple years ago...I was trying to create a sculpture that was a sphere that you could roll around wasn't quite working as I had imagined it and it just wasn't quite right. I just kept staring at it. Finally, I stuck some eyes on it and Bam! It became The Clam. Last year I was given the opportunity to expand upon the Clam and have a show in the Rotunda at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth. I made around 20 different clams of all different sizes. There was also the added character of The Bird. Every couple days I changed the arrangement of all the clams, telling the story of The Bird. The Bird came into the "Clam Tank" as I liked to call first the Clams weren't too sure about it. Then the Bird told her story and it ended in a big party, Birds and Clams friends forever! Another component of the piece was the Escape Clam. This was the original clam. Every now and then he would 'escape' from the tank and run around campus. Thank you to all who performed in the Clam! And there you have it! I'm currently working on a children's book featuring the clam and his adventures...can't wait to finish!

This was inspired in part by the Bag Creature project -- also a performance piece. Again, a focus on story, interaction, and humanity, found in the strangest of places! While continuing work on the bag creatures, I can't help but think about the clams and how they are related -- what I can use from that experience in these new performances.