Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I was a cow, I helped make jocks, now I'm ???

After a discussion with Denise and Ross, I discovered that my mindset for what I would do with leather scraps is to recreate a textile and then do something with the textile.
I realise that this is how my design brain works as I always start with a textile, patternmaking and cut from the textile.  Even when I knit, I'm knitting a piece in a shape that I can assemble to create the garment.

My initital response is to try to join together the scrap from the jockstraps, not to try to make a textile, but just as an experiment to see what happens when I join them in a random way with no predetermination.  I was going to sew them together, then I thought about rivetting, then saw a stapler and thought that would be a great way to get the pieces to together quickly and also free myself even more from preconception.

I started joining the pieces in what ever way they came into my hands.  Most of the scraps have straight edges, so I just would put the straight edges togther and staple.  I used the corners of pieces where ever they would fall to create 3d areas.
Once I had stapled together most of the scraps in this manner, I put it on the stand and used a couple of the stringy bits of leather cut away from the waistband to tie around the neck.  This was done in a completely random way.  All of the stringy bits hanging off are from the waistband cuttings which were stapled on in part, but have free pieces hanging off.
I finished joining together all the pieces and put it back on the stand.  I had a couple of pieces of elastic from the jockstraps left, so I stapled those onto the leather piece around the body.  This is an experiment with bringing in some suggestion of what the scraps were left over from.  Maybe this is too literal?

What I learnt....

When working with the leather in this way, I felt more connection with the material than what I normally do when making.  It made me reflect on what the material is and where it came from - hence the title of this post...I was a cow etc.

I also was surprised by how big the stapled piece became.  It is a demonstration of just how much waste came from the jocks.  That was 10 jocks that I made, and I would estimate from the size of the piece, that I could cut another 3 jocks from the area of waste.  I'm used to seeing the waste as just a pile or stuffed in a bag, so it gave me a different perspective of it.

I also got some sense of creating a sculptural quality with the material that has a different starting point other than traditional cloth and patternmaking.

I also have to remember that the relationship with the body in this example was an afterthought and actually quite incidental - It helped give the piece form, but didn't help to shape the piece.  This is something to reflect on further, particularly in further investigation of my design approach i.e. my beggining is always in reference to shapes I know/3d forms which I understand.

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