Friday, October 28, 2011

Warwick Sampler- Creative Goldwork (in progress)

This is a sampler that I started in Durham, England this summer during classes with Tracy Franklin at her studio at Fowler's Yard.  The previous 2 summers, I had taken classes on traditional goldwork technique and wanted to focus on more non-traditional or "creative" ways of utilizing the metal threads and wires.  

For this flower, I have cut thin strips of leather and couched them down using DMC floss.  The base of the flower was created with Smooth Passing bullion knots and tarnished Smooth Purl.

The following 2 buds are created using layered "Wheel" stitch executed in Smooth Passing and DMC floss.

With this flower, I wanted to practice color shading with a burden stitch and smooth passing.  Each petal is slightly different.  I tried shading with not only the colored DMC floss but also the gold and silver smooth passing.  What I find interesting after I added the Pearl Purl edging is that the colors are more of the focus in the petals outlined in gold and the outline is more of the focus on the petals outlined in silver.  This may be because the silver Super Pearl Purl seems slightly thicker than the gold Super Pearl Purl, or it may just simply be the color difference--still an extremely interesting result to me. 

 I added pieces of stretched Pearl Purl (gold and silver) to the Smooth Passing bullion knots.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Dress for Brittani and Travis' Wedding . . .

Our wonderful friends Travis and Brittani tied the know in Iowa last weekend.  It was a beautiful Fall wedding! I wanted to make something to wear for the occasion and ended up with this Ackermann/Mad Men/Jeanne Lanvin inspired cocktail dress!  Here are the details broken down:

Color Inspiration:
One of my favorite Spring 2012 shows was the Haider Ackermann collection.  The colors were spectacular with beautiful Indian silks in saturated jewel-tones that almost seemed to glow.  It also reminded me that I had some beautiful fuchsia dupioni silk in my fabric closet that I could use!  Below are a few photos from of the Spring 2012 Haider Ackermann show:

Silhouette Inspiration:
I had never watched Mad Men  until a few weeks ago.  After watching the first episode, I watched all the seasons in a matter of days!  Needless to say, I am hooked on Mad Men in the best way, and absolutely LOVE the costumes.  Joan is my favorite character. With this influence, I decided to do a very simple v-neck dress with straight skirt.  I thought the classic silhouette would be a nice blend with the bold color of the silk.
A photo of the women of Mad Men.

Embellishment Inspiration:
The dress seemed like it needed a little something special on it.  I had tried simpler options (fuchsia belt, black silk belt, black lace trim, fuchsia bow- to really keep it Mad Men inspired).  Nothing was working or felt "right".  I started flipping through a book I have, Lanvin, about the amazing work of Jeanne Lanvin for inspiration.  I have to admit that this is kind of my "go to" book when I'm looking for a bit of a spark.  I came upon this dress with "pinked" edges (these of course were not cut pinked, they were separate folded pieces that created a look of pinked edges without any raw edges showing) and a huge flower on the side created by petals of folded and pleated fabric.
 Jeanne Lanvin dress, 1920.  Image from the book, Lanvin.

So here is the final dress: