I went to a workshop with Randy Darwall yesterday, and he suggested that I get formal art/design training if I were interested in making art-to-wear on the exhibition and museum circuit (which is quite different from the craft circuit). This matches more or less with my assessment: I can figure out (or get help with) the mechanics of making almost anything, but am much weaker on the design side: what to make and how to make sure it’s artistically well-designed. It was helpful to hear that from someone with experience in that arena, and he made a suggestion for a local mentor who could help me understand “the ropes” of art-to-wear – what skills I need to develop, what to look for, which exhibitions to enter, etc. I’ll follow up on that, of course.
Meanwhile, there is the design question. I’m thinking a local community college course (for now); the OCA course, as interesting as it sounds, isn’t focused on design, and because it focuses on two dimensional design in the context of textile work, I’m thinking that a focused class on design is probably better (and cheaper!). Of course, I need to figure out where to study – someplace that will be challenging and not too expensive. In retrospect, my previous class on two-dimensional design was helpful but not as thorough as I would have liked, so I would like to study three-dimensional design in a more rigorous manner. Which means figuring out a good school in which to study – not the easiest of tasks!
I also need to figure out what to study – design classes, obviously, but what else do I need to know? I don’t know, which means I need to find someone with formal art/design training who knows my work can make suggestions. I have a few ideas, but if y’all have suggestions, let me know, would you?
After the Randy Darwall workshop, I went over to Britex Fabrics, where I discovered that the three-cornered buttons would not fit through my buttonhole. However, these buttons fit:
I am not totally happy with these, though, because they have a slight shine to them, attracting attention. I think I will make another sample buttonhole and send it to Sharon, who has access to a buttonmaking machine, and ask her to make a suede-covered button that will fit.
(Pat suggested using nonfunctional buttons with snaps underneath. I will probably use at least one or two snaps to help hold the top of the garment, but it’s always struck me as somehow cheating to use faux buttons with snaps. I should probably just get over that, but I’d rather have functional buttons, if I’m to have buttons at all.)
Finally, I have washed out the katazome:
Obviously the flower katazome is more successful, largely because of its simplicity. The multicolored butterflies simply degenerate into mush. In retrospect, I should have used only two colors of butterfly, one red-orange (for the foreground butterflies) and one blue/green (for the background ones). That would have given dimensional depth (because red and orange advance while blue/green recede) instead of visual chaos.
If I were doing it over, I’d also use a colored background – the white is too prevalent and drains color from the piece. But whatever; it was a learning project, so I’m not overly concerned about results.