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Studio Costume: Work In Progress (1/2)

–Initial sketches, care of Raj for drawing and water colouring the sketch to give the best representation of our ideas–

Our first approach to this project was to sketch out possible outfits based on our selected issue we are addressing through our piece. In the sketches above, our plan was to use cigarettes and create a mask or dress using them. We ended up scratching out this idea because handling cigarettes and eventually having to wear it on our body wasn’t anything we wanted to get involved with. With more brainstorming and discussion, our project was directed in a completely different way. Everything from the materials to the form was changed.

–Creating the shape for our costume using recycled paper we gathered in the Making Center. This is purely the base layer, intended to create shape and durability.–

We decided to create a base layer because as our idea developed, our main material for the costume was plastic and paper. Both of these materials are rather easy to crumple and difficult to create shape with.

–As seen in the images above, the plastic that is being used is melted plastic using a heat gun. This was a crucial part in our piece because that plastic ended up being the most supportive base layer and is the main reason our piece remained intact in the handling process. With the melted plastic, we were able to poke holes into it for certain details and if our base layer only consisted of the brown paper, the whole costume would’ve fallen apart and would have gotten ripped throughout the process. —

–Creating the outer layer for our piece. For the outer layer, it isn’t ideal to have a dull design using the material. After all, this was a piece designed to attract attention to create awareness for our issue. The brown paper came into use again by folding the edges to create unique shapes and stapling them together to create one big part. The complexity of creating this pattern was time consuming and tedious because each shape had to fit correctly and the overall shape of the costume had to be though of constantly during this process.–

–To create variety and to address our issue in many different forms, we used scrap metals as part of our piece. The scrap metals were used mainly as a detail and it added flare to our piece. As seen in the image above, the scrap metals were sheared to create narrow triangles, and two small holes were drilled on to the bottom of each piece so that the individual pieces could be connected with wire. We used all the metal we could get our hands on and it was able to produce 40 metal triangles.–

–Raj installing the metal triangle detail. A very intricate process that entailed skill and patience. It was installed on the shoulder as we decided that it best fit there because the shoulder has a triangle formation and we wanted to cover that triangle with the metal triangles. It was a crucial part in our piece because it added variety.–

–Our final presentation consisted of a photoshoot. At first we had plans to create an animation of the relationship between humans and the trash an individual consumes but unfortunately, due to time constraints, we had to go with a photoshoot. On a positive note, the photoshoot turned out really well and the pictures we were able to produce are a good example of how a costume made out of trash can be worn well. The photoshoot was edited on Photoshop and our presentation board piece was conceptualised on Photoshop. Later on, it was printed on large paper.–

 

Looking back at the whole process, each member contributed and everyone worked well together to create a cohesive piece. Personally, I have not had experience with creating a piece like this, so I needed help at times when I was unsure of how to carry out a certain action. My group members were supportive and even though our final piece didn’t come out perfect, the experience we had creating the piece was great.

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