Dolls, Fibre Scultpures and Costumes

Archive for February, 2012

Books and Inspiration

I am still packing.  Yesterday and today I have been going through my books and deciding what goes and what doesn’t go.  We won’t talk about the box of old mysteries that are my “I can’t sleep” reading.  Agatha Christie is non- negotiable, so is Patricia Wentworth.  What I have been putting in and out of the box is my inspiration books.  One is definitely in the box, “The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe” by Marija Gimbutas.  This is a book I have owned since it came out in 1982.  There are stunning photos of pots, sculptures and other objects from old Europe that I have used for inspiration ever since.  My first award winning costume was based on images from this book.

This is from Costume Con 1987.

So this book is packed.  So are the books on anatomy and fabric manipulation.  Then there are books on various ethnic cultures.  The better ones are packed.

The ones that went in and out and back in are coffee table photo books. Like  “A Year in Figure Skating”, and books on Elvis Costello,  Rudolf Nureyev, Baryshnikov.  These have  BODIES, especially male bodies, in them, in amazing poses, but some of the older ones are just too fuzzy or badly printed.  So Baryshnikov is back on the shelf, I need to see the muscles, the pictures are pretty but not useful.

The same for the David Hamilton books, pretty, pretty but so fuzzy and romanticized that  they are more a spring board then any use for the “how does that arm …” .  They are good inspiration if you are doing Victorian erotic fairies though.  So they went to a friend who is into photography and appreciates the technical style.  Really, for the styles and techniques and the prose,  really.  Ok if you believe that maybe I can sell you a bridge?



My inspirational art is mostly packed too.  I have a lot of prints by Ioyan Mani (Maxine Noel )I love the colours and the flow of her work.  Just looking at her work makes me feel calm and centered so most of it hangs in my bedroom.   My bedroom looks kind of barren now.

Spirit of the wolf by Ioyan Mani


Packing boxes and purple roses

Packing packing packing!

It seems endless.  Every time I turn around it is “Don’t forget that!!”.  And the sorting.  I have containers and more containers of yarn and fabric.  Much of the fabric is small scraps, many sourced from defunct silk garments.  So I need to decide keep or give away?  I am sorting by “can I buy this in Edmonton? Will I actually use it in the next 2 years”  if the answer is yes and no it is a giveaway other wise it gets saved however there is an over riding “Love this!!!!!” .  So I now have 3 boxes of fabric and 2 of yarn packed.  The rest is going.  My Housemate had first pick of yarns but since she is not into orange or bright yellow there wasn’t that much to pick over.  She also ended up with some “interesting” tops from my clothing sort, I hope she was not just being polite about it.

All of the scraps, yarn, buttons and bits and pieces and the tree are going to La Ruche, an art therapy studio.  I know it will get much used there in a good way.

The tree.  The tree was made for a stage set.  It hung in the corner and people could hide behind it.  It is 16 feet tall, made of shiboried and painted and quilted cotton.  It has pillow rocks to go around it.  Here it is decorated, in my previous place, as a christmas tree with cute dog to go with it.  I hope they with find a way to use it.

As a break from the stress of getting rid of stuff I went and checked the hoffman Challenge.  Every year they run a competition for the use of a specific piece of fabric.  This year unfortunately the print is giant purple cabbage roses.  No matter how I try to twist my head around this fabric there is absolutely nothing I could imagine in this fabric except a toddler’s dress.  Big purple cabbage roses – I could use the fabric from suggested matches for skin and cut the cabbage roses into snakes?  No because the fabric has to be recognizable – big purple roses!  Just because they call it lavender doesn’t make it so.  My only idea in the middle of the night was to make it into two fat naked female dolls going down on  each other and call it “The Lavender Left” but I doubt that would be acceptable in an American tour.