Friday, May 1, 2020

The Ultimate Artist's Smock

This is the ultimate artist's smock.  And although you might not want to wear it for painting, it is so cool with all its pockets which literally could hold all your tools.  But what a garment to wear for traveling if we ever get that chance again.  You can pocket your cell phone, keys, wallet, passport and even keepsakes and talisman,
Ever since I got back from Ellen Baker's silk painting workshop on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, I have been obsessed with painting silk and using them in felted garments.  And although I did not have the time to also take Fiona Duthie's complex garment workshop which used the painted silks, I was just blown away and totally inspired by the gorgeous felted garments in their Color Collaborations exhibit which was located in the same hall as our silk painting class.  

I arrived home just days before countries started closing their borders and stay at home orders issued.  During this pandemic, I have had the time to create in my studio even more than usual.  With the extra time and Fiona's motivation from her on-line challenge (mums the word on what I made for the challenge but you will see it in a few months when the photos are published) and her direction to push and stretch ourselves artistically, I have been teaching myself how to make complex garments using multiple resists.  I have also been figuring out ways to make closures by using things like snaps and grommets.

I am loving painting silk using the method I learned from Ellen Bakker.

This garment took a lot of engineering and design effort including color placement for both the wool roving and silk fabric.  I first made a drawing of the front and back of the garment and then made multiple resists allowing for 35% shrinkage.  

I made felted beads and buttons from 4 layers of roving.

I placed grommets in the felt pieces to make them look more like buttons.  And then I threaded thin felted cords through them to close up the pockets.

Fun, colorful, graphic, freedom, pockets, swinging, sculptural - all ways to describe this complex garment.