So, weeks of research and also developing, sample making and then what to do with all this? I had a number of ideas I wanted to note down if not for now but for future use. The main question I kept focusing on was ‘How can I tell Helena’s story?’. I had made samples of fabric printing and wanted to think about making a corset from it. I then through sampling wanted to use the images I had depicting stages in her life into initially some kind of book made from fabric but then saw the potential of a larger piece of work that would be hung somewhere.
Further samples of how to present these ideas.
I particularly like this idea. I can see it being quite imposing. I would see the prints being around 5-6 foot tall printed on fine cotton as I have done with my samples, and with the faces being darned over again as in my samples.
Whilst I have been working on the printed panels I also have been working on an idea based on the Victorian mourning cape I purchased. I was thinking about hidden taboos again and wondered if I could create a mourning cape and use the fabric samples I had to line it?
I began by sketching the cape I bought which gave me time to really look at how it was made. I love the idea how every inch is hand stitched and wonder if it was the Woman who was to wear it who made it? It is a simple design, in no way elaborate so I can easily imagine it was. I eventually settled on a crisp cotton mix fabric for the outer payer of the sample, with the printed fabric I had which detailed census forms, marriage certificate and photographic images. I patched the images onto the back ground fabric, darned the areas I needed to and then stitched both together. I also found beads that I would use to edge the cape section and an antique clasp the same as the one on my bought cape. the sample worked well I thought.