Freja offered to model the bodice for me. It works well as a crop top, and the reflective qualities, while not exactly day to day wear, would be suitable for clubbing or a rave. She also said that it was comfortable, too, despite being heavy. The pieces fall over the body in a fairly natural way.
Without the collar piece, it could be switched around and worn as a waistcoat, too.
After a lot of finagling I managed to make the two different lines integrate. I’m not too pleased with the way the back hangs down like regency coattails, but it was the only way I could make it a straight line along the bottom rather than a jagged line.
As it is now, it looks good enough to be wearable. The two-tone aesthetic that is created by only having half of the acrylic is very retro and with the addition of the collar piece makes it look a bit 80s style.
Rather than having the black wire to remove the focus from the binding, I could have used other colours to instead make it part of the design. If I had chosen more subdued colours for my acrylic, I would like to have instead made the wire colours more of a feature, using perhaps rainbow colours, and patterns as the main visual of the design, or using a brightly contrasting colour, such as white against black, or yellow against purple.
I would also liked to have tested the use of other materials- I used paper for many of my prototypes and test pieces, but wood and glass would have been interesting to use. With wood, I could have created a more subtle pattern with different shades or types of wood, or knots. With glass, it would have been much harder to create the right shapes I needed to use, as it is not viable for use with the laser cutter, but the effects of slumping would certainly be very interesting. Having layered textures and things trapped inside some of the pieces could have been very appealing.
While I do like the idea of having another texture added to the acrylic, there are so many pieces of it that it would make the process too time consuming for my deadline. Etching on the laser cutter would have ended up adding another few hours onto the time I already took on it, and the machine was in high demand. Other methods of applying texture I could have used, though still time consuming, would have been to sandblast them. I tried this in order to see if the darker pink changed colour, to see if it would match up better with a slightly paler shade, but it didn’t make that much of a difference. Another would be to use some kind of glue to create a raised surface, but glue doesn’t like to stick to acrylic. I could have also cut out smaller pieces from the same acrylic, or a different colour, and used a special purpose adhesive to weld them together, but to have pieces small enough to use would have risked being lost in the laser cutter, as it has a vacuum underneath the sheets to stop it from moving.
I also tested the idea of using elastic instead of wire, to see if it would prove more flexible. It is more flexible, but the knots look messy, and when stretched out it leaves a large gap in between each piece.
The results of my raku fire glaze tests. They both look pretty good, which is a relief, since I can’t tell which is which anymore. I put which one was which on the bottom with pencil, but obviously that has been covered up with ash now. Either one would look good on my castle, but hopefully I will be able to change the firing process to have more visible crackles on the final piece: these testers weren’t allowed to cool enough before they were put in the smoke bin. With my castle, I’ll leave it for a few minutes to cool.
Cut the triangles from my mirrored acrylic. Thanks to my choice to not engrave a pattern onto my pieces, it didn’t take as long as it could have, but it still took two hours. Not even half way done with it yet, however, as I still need to cut out the squares for the bottom half of the dress and all the extra parts, like the collar and tag.
There were some issues with the triangles after they were cut: the holes did not cut all the way through, so I had to spend a long time punching them out. Overall it took a full day to get them ready to be used in my final piece. I’m not looking forward to preparing the squares as there will be almost twice as many pieces of those. I will look into cutting out certain parts a second time, as a second run will likely make the holes come out much more easily.
I made some coloured slip and applied it to my castle after it was bisque fired. I have also made two different glazes, both fairly similar, to see if they turn out very different. In the bisque firing, part of the main castle wall fell off, but I’ve been told there’s a chance it can be fixed back on when I glaze it, as it should melt and fuse together when it is heated. Now I just need to get each of them raku fired to find out.
I started the top half of the dress at the shoulder lines, and built it down from there. Starting from where I did allowed me to see how it fell naturally with gravity, but the collar line is being help up with pins at the moment: I will cut out a more fitted collar shape to give it more shape and allow it to retain its shape more efficiently when I can access the laser cutter again, as I have already designed the shape for them on illustrator.
Because of the way the garment naturally falls over the back, the lines don’t match up around the arm holes, meaning I need to find a way to get them to integrate without looking ugly. It is proving difficult to find a way to make the pieces fit, as I would like the bottom edge to be straight like the front. I have to twist some of the triangles around to make it work properly, and it will need a lot of rejigging to make it work later on.
There is a high likelihood that I will need to scrap the LEDs plan, as there is just not enough time: I left out the holes for the LEDs on the illustrator design, but if I do end up having time all it would take is drilling with the right size drill bit to get the holes I need.