FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Wild Card Prize - Use of found materials for a truly ambitious design with layers of meaning for the maker as well as in the book
Outline the story …
"Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on, testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade, and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn of the labyrinth..."
I love Anne Sexton's version of Icarus, in "To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph. " Reveling in the brilliant attempt, "who cares that he fell?" Leonardo's flight machines, which also didn't work. My own sometimes spectacular failures, in my work and my private life.
Walking in the last old-growth forest in Manhattan with my family, whittling branches and finding some peace during the pandemic, building a way out of the labyrinth for my son and me with things we find lying around. Of course, according to the myth Icarus didn't do his own building, and he was male. But this is my character now.
My design process here was different from my old approach, which generally started with research and a proper rendering of some sort. Instead, I sketched in my planner and thought about designing over a curve of days, rather than arriving at an answer as a fixed point. I found myself finally understanding why people use pinterest- a place to collect vague notions and look at them. Illuminating my thought process for myself via collage. Found objects in photo form.
Inspiration also came from a basket of odds and ends I saved from one of my biggest and most beloved failures- colors and textures I wanted to make part of something brave and new.
Outline the construction…
Icarus's wings were made from branches I found in Inwood Hill Park, fitted together with piano wire pins, epoxy, rawhide lacing and white glue. Feathers were another found item of sorts- samples I'd made years ago and forgotten, fused and painted silk organza. The wing membrane is cotton voile and gauze. The pull cords are dyed dacron and the handles are pine and leather lace.
The stays/harness are double-face linen over muslin, boned with reed (which was a first for me), bound and seamed with leather, and couched with various mostly cotton cords and twine. The shoulder straps are quilted leather and tie with leather lace. The pockets at back that hold the removable wing contraption are fos shape covered in leather. There are self-made leather buttons with lacing that sit under the shoulder straps and help support the pull of the wings. The interior of the stays have two belts at waist and underbust to ease dressing/lacing up, and I built small crescent bust pads that sit above the latter.
The shift/gown is open-weave linen over crinkle cotton and cotton voile, distressed with sandpaper and ombre dyed with coffee. The sleeves, which were extensively pieced, are supported by an inner sleeve and ribbon, and the puffs are tied with leather ribbon. All the eyelets on the stays and shift are hand-sewn (another first!) Painted wooded beads are knotted on to the cotton twine drawstring.
Gloves are leather and lacing over a second pair of cotton bobbinette.