Monday, December 19, 2011

More photo garments

Hello!  Happy holidays.  I just got back in New York last night and I'm feeling refreshed, joyous and excited.  I FINALLY have the time to get back to blogging and finishing up some long neglected projects.  (That means your quilt Kyra!)  So for now, I just wanted to share some of my latest sewing projects for a photo final this past semester.  What I did was create wearable pieces of clothing and accessories and applied images on them with Cyanotype.  The process is exciting and very new to me still, so I'm really inspired to keep making more.

Hopefully everyone is almost done with their holiday shopping and enjoying time with family and friends...I know that I am.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A marriage of craft and imagery

The biggest and most revealing answer as to why I have not been because I've been sewing!  Sewing, sewing and more sewing.

Recently, I combined my love of sewing and photography together to create unique pieces of art/clothing/accessories.  I used Liquid Emulsion to light sensitize the fabric and expose an image on top in the darkroom.  Afterward, I processed the fabric like photographic paper, waited for it to dry and then pieced and sewed together the rest.

My first attempt was with a completely sewn shirt (shown at the beginning of this post).  I painted liquid emulsion directly on the front of the shirt and exposed it in the darkroom.  My second attempt was with a dress.  Keeping the bodice and skirt pieces separate, I put liquid emulsion on each piece before sewing together.  Similarly, I created a simple hand tote working the images on separate fabric pieces before joining them together.

I am drawn to and amazed by the idea of imagery and textile.  I hope to create a few more pieces to come.  Unfortunately, liquid emulsion is not a lasting image-making medium and it easily comes apart when the clothing is washed.  My hopes are to move into Cyanotype and create these pieces once again but with a steadfast and lasting outcome.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yin Yang Bag

Remember that scrap leather I bought over the weekend?  Here's how I used it.  I made a new tote bag!  This bag was followed by Renske's Minimalist Tote Bag on Design *Sponge

I had always admired the simplicity of the bag and it's classic clean lines and colors.  I decided to create my bag out of a heavy duty canvas that can withstand the use of daily wear.  The outer shell is an ivory cream color and the lining is a dark navy blue.  The handle and bottom of the bag are made from the softest leather that I found in a scrap bin at a fabric store.  I also worked with rivets and eyelets for the first time.  It's not as scary as I had thought it would be.

This bag is simple to make but looks so sophisticated with it's rich materials and lining.  I'm absolutely in love with the end result and will be creating a bunch more that will be incorporated with a final photography project to come!

French apple tart

I'm in some deep trouble.

Like "I dug my own hole" kind of trouble.

Never, ever, ever show delicious looking food shots to a three and a half hour critique!  EVER!

Last week's shots above are created from the recipe here for an apple tart.  Everyone loved the photographs.

Which is bad.

And great!  (Yay, they liked my photos!)

But mostly bad.

Because now I must bake and bring in another pie tomorrow. . .

. . .to eat.

You may call me the class short order cook now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to make a pinhole camera

Over a month ago, I had made my first random object pinhole camera.  I made it from a thrifted teapot and shared those images here from this past post.  The camera and images were such a success and each image unique.  I love the idea of taking everyday objects and incorporating them into a photographic way.  So now I'd like to pass the knowledge around and give my own tutorial on how to make one!

To begin with, you need to find a light tight container to create your pinhole camera from.  The easiest and most convenient are old metal tins.  Beware of paper/cardboard containers!  Though they may seem sturdy and light tight, unfortunately they are not thick enough to withstand strong sunlight.  Even if you cannot find an old metal tin, many objects can be made to be light tight.  (Like my teapot!)  You just need to be creative and think of ways to block out the light.

Here above is my example tin that I will be showing how to make a pinhole camera from.  As you see the tin has a shiny golden inner surface.  Unfortunately that will not work for the success of the pinhole camera.  Believe it or not, but light can bounce!  And when light enters your pinhole, it will indeed bounce around, causing it to refract around, creating an obscured and less successful negative.

To solve this problem, you will need to coat the inside of the tin with a matte black paint.  Matte as opposed to glossy black is important because it is the only black that will not allow light to bounce around inside the tin.  I used Rust-Oleum Flat Protective Enamel in matte black.

Spray the entire inside of the tin.  Let it dry overnight.  Don't forget the lid too!

Here you can see my post-spray painting hand.  Good tip on removing spray paint: nail polish remover

Next you will need to create your lens or "pinhole plate".  You will need an empty soda can and a pair of scissors.  Cut a small square piece from the can.  Be careful of the sharp edges!

Go back outside and spray paint this small piece of metal, both front and back.  Allow to dry.

While the small piece is drying, prepare the tin for the pinhole plate.  I used a 1/2" drill bit, (meant for wood, just a good on old tins) to create the hole.

Next you will need the dried piece of metal from the soda can, a sewing machine needle and some basic math.  I used size 14 needles.  That hole diameter comes to 0.014mm.  This number will help you determine the f-stop of the camera.

In order to calculate the f-stop you need to divide the distance from the pinhole to the imaging plane by the focal length. 

This means: 
Find the distance from the front of the tin to the back of the tin. 
Answer:  4.25" 

Divide that number by 0.014 mm
Answer:  Roughly 304 

My f-stop is then f/304

This number is important because it helps you calculate your exposure time when "shooting".  It is the difference between sunny days (4 min exposure) to cloudy days (15 min exposure)  You can find a lot of information on the internet to better calculate a closer exposure time from various time exposure charts.  Here is one I found quickly as a reference guide.

Anyway, back to the rest of the tutorial.  Pierce the thin metal with the sewing needle just enough to cleanly come through the metal.  Do not over emphasize piercing the hole because you will undoubtedly create a larger diameter.

Next you will need to gather together a pair of scissors, black electrical tape, your tin, and the prepared pinhole plate.  Place the black tape on all four edges of the pinhole plate.  Use your scissors to cut the specific sized pieces of tape.

Carefully place the pinhole plate into the camera, centering the actual pinhole with the drilled hole of the tin.

And you're done!  Make sure to place one more piece of tape back over the outside of the pinhole!  This is your "shutter" of the camera. 

You'll need to load the camera with light sensitive paper in a darkened room or through a photographer's changing bag.  Then go outside, find a safe spot to set your camera down on, remove your "shutter" tape and start exposing!

Here I took a photo of what my pinhole camera was taking a photo of!  Not a very exciting image I must say but quirky and fun enough to not matter.  :) 

Afterward, develop your light sensitive paper through typical development processes and you'll create a paper negative that you can reprint over and over again.

Good luck in making your own pinhole camera and feel free to email me with any questions!

T-Shirt Quilt:Part IV and updates

Remember this?

I have now come to this:
Pardon all the lack of ironing as of yet.  I really wanted to take that before and after photo!

I finished adding the small green bordering vertical strips to make very long width-wise blocks.  I then connected them together with long horizontal bordering green strips.  Did that make sense?  Basically I finished off piecing and sewing the face of the quilt together.

I ran into a couple minor issues along the way.  When I initially began sewing the long blocks together, I noticed that the t-shirt fabric was stretching.  And especially since I was about to join many loooong strips together, I felt it was best to stop, rip out the inital first seams and start again.  This time I stay-stitched all the edges before sewing the strips together.  Stay-stitching allowed me to keep the shape of the blocks together while connecting them to the green bordering fabric.  Great success.

Once I receive the batting in the mail, I'll be bringing the essence of the quilt together, pinning and finally actually quilting the quilt!  I'll keep you posted.

I realize that a month long absence of blogging deserves no excuse.  And quite frankly, I don't have one.   Just the typical one.  I am completely and utterly busy!

I do feel a lot of guilt and remorse for my absence on the interwebs and am trying hard to get back into blogging!

Might I try and renew some blogging-faith from my readers with the enticement of tutorials to come on making pinhole cameras?  Or how about this lovely, lovely, oh-so-lovely photograph below of some silky soft real leather I came upon this week!  I cannot wait to show you what I plan to do with it.

The best is yet to come my friends...

UPDATE:  Check out more this quilt's progress!

Before this post:
New month, new project
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part II, Before the Cut
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part III 

After this post:
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part V
Quilting and Binding:  Part VI
Beginning, Ending, Starting, Losing

Monday, October 10, 2011

T-Shirt Quilt: Part III

Further continuation on my friends t-shirt quilt...and an apology for the long delay in posting!  Life is forever a busy thing my friends.

Anyway, I left off at cutting the strips that would frame each t-shirt piece for the quilt.  Below you can see that cutting process finished:
The shorter strips are for in-between each block and the longer strips connect each horizontal strip together.

Next, I laid out all the t-shirt blocks to get an idea of how I wanted to arrange them.  I always consider a wide range of things.  Is there a pattern?  Color choice?  Graphic choice?  With my friends permission, I ended up with this particular layout.

Next is piecing.  This part is probably my favorite and takes a good amount of time sitting down at the sewing machine.  As mentioned before, I decided to piece together small strips horizontally before attaching those long strips vertically.  (I ended up with 8 horizontal rows.)

Here is an idea of my rows and the piles that accumulated.

After finishing all eight rows, I needed to press open all the seams.  And here is where I currently am at with the quilt progress.  Next, I'll need to begin piecing vertically before finally quilting!  More to come.  :-)

UPDATE:  Check out all the all the progress of this quilt!

Before this post:
New month, new project
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part II, Before the Cut

After this post:
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part IV and updates
T-Shirt Quilt:  Part V
Quilting and Binding:  Part VI
Beginning, Ending, Starting, Losing

Friday, September 30, 2011

Another Me

Some early images working towards my thesis. 

An idea and fantasy of a different me.