Partner in crime: Luke (House of Wolfram)
Photography assistant and husband: Richard
Rays of light shine through glass in myriads of bold colors, sparkling and crisp, the stark black lines of the armature stark and unforgiving.
The high arched points of stained glass in Gothic Cathedrals.
The Rose Window.
I’ve always loved stained glass, and the unique sense of calming awe it gave me. I love how it’s bright, bold, immediately eye catching. I wanted to capture that same effect in a corset. With this corset I sought to retain the reflective see-through, yet bold and colorful, nature of stained glass, and tried to capture the sharp lines and structure of the armature.
I wanted work with leather as it lent itself to the detailed cuts needed to create the “armature.” I also needed to find something that would work for the stained glass. After trying thinner plastic which wrinkled and buckled, I turned to PVC. This had the body and smoothness of glass I wanted.
Both were new materials for me.
I started with the “armature” of the panels, meshing two simple stained glass patterns together and then tracing them into my pattern pieces, then onto the leather pieces, then hand cutting each one. I then layered the PVC between the leather and coutil.
Construction ground to a halt. I had to restart time and time again because my domestic machine couldn’t handle the leather/ PVC combo, and outside circumstances almost became too much. Not allowing me to give up, my partner in crime taught me to use his industrial leather sewing machine and pushed me to keep going. I did, determined to complete this piece despite the PVC not roll pinning between the leather and coutil well, and it pulling through the cutouts in the leather. Despite needing to rethink construction to preserve the PVC and not put holes in it for boning channels. I sewed two pieces together, top stitched, then changed the thread to white to ‘hide’ the stitching for boning channels despite the see through PVC.
To get the reflective bold colors, I colored the PVC with Sharpies. The various paints I tried streaked or were too opaque.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
Do it. Let it be your escape, your way to prove that you can do it.