Thursday, 24 March 2011

correspondence, and other things

i get quite a lot of correspondence
although it lacks the romance of yesteryear [stamps, drawings on the envelope etc]
is very entertaining

i respond to the students who politely enquire whether i will answer a series of questions to help them in their work.
i ignore the ones who boldly demand i send "photos other than what i have available on my website together with descriptions of how the objects are made and dyed". one person recently even suggested i should send "quite a lot, as there are three of us"

i also ignore the emails that tell me "_______[insert name] wants to skype with you". my friends know i have a reluctance to use the telephone, let alone sit there with the camera on my macbook pointing up my not insubstantial nose. eww.

someone just the other day hoped i could send a pattern for the garments that were featured in a magazine recently. i couldn't. not because i had anything to hide, simply because i hadn't used a pattern.

as i wrote to my correspondent, i use the sewing machine as a kind of 3D drawing tool. i attack the cloth with scissors and thread and hope for the best. of late i have been borrowing a little from Julian Roberts' sub-cutting technique, but adapting it to my own way of working. Julian is the master of the "tunnel" - i like to work from an open piece of cloth and give shape by taking chomps out of the skirt with the delicious terror of the slice-and-dice overlocker [serger] that cuts as it stitches. fun. and then re-inserting the cut aways in other places so there's almost zero wastage

and i still prefer to work in white and add colour at the end, that way no pretty bits are lost to the scissors

but while we're on the subject of patterns
here are a few links that may be of interest
Mary Huang talks about computational couture here
and links to a lot of fun here

you might like to check out Holly McQuillan too

and the image? much to my amusement i spotted a camouflage-printed dress at a store in Adelaide yesterday...the funny thing was that i was wearing something that was similarly coloured and patterned, except that my version was coloured by mother nature


  1. Some people (my Grandmother used too say)have more hide than an elephant. I hope you just email them the link for your book. They have your blog for extra photos and let them buy your book like the rest of us.
    I'll see you on Saturday at Yankalilla, really looking forward to it.

  2. People, especially here in America, seen to think that they are entitled to everyone's talents these days. Beware of being sued because you didn't give them all of your artistic information. I think it's an INTERNET side affect...too much free stuff out there.
    Be strong...

  3. keep adding layers to your hide...k.

  4. i am grateful for the masses of interesting stuff on the web...
    finding it is just a matter of dancing with the Time Vampire
    funny how the name for a number has become a verb for the seeking of answers

  5. fun sure is fun, I don't dare admit how long I stayed there playing - thanks for the link xx

  6. and your nose..

    I don't like the idea skype and my numerous chins

  7. Lovely handwritten somethings are the best...
    and how can one wash up or fold the washing if they are stuck in front of the screen? Isn't that why they invented portable phones...for women...
    Patterns are sometimes more trouble than they are worth i like your idea India too!

  8. great links India, thanks..........
    This will give me hours of fun. Will try and make a dress/skirt/apron/bag... before the dyepot.

  9. people love to pick a brain for free...would make teaching painful I think. ...worth a try, i guess....

  10. am quite happy to share knowledge
    in fact responded positively to no less than 6 student enquiries in the 24 hours this post has been up

    i just scratch my head a little when people want me to write out Eco COlour in an email....

  11. I can't believe that people are so bold as to ask you for all of that!
    I'm with you about the phone and skype. I prefer email...

  12. I wonder if those three wanted to buy from your website. sometimes people have no idea how rude they are being, presumably they have no communication skills.

    1. no Jane, they wanted images to use in something they were writing as part of the education...but they wanted enough images so that each submission would look different, while saving themselves time by only sending the one email. oy vey.