Making of a silk dress with a wing painted on it.
With dye in color blue black.
Realistic feathers placed unrealistically.
A long story told as is.
By artist/escapist Yuko Nagai, currently Miss Sore Thumb in a rural Japanese town
who rambles about random stuff as well.
Read on.
Thank you.

May 29, 2007

a sincere apology from tactless me

oh no,

i thought it was a "labor day"
that peeps in u.s. were having on
may 28th


i apologize for the bad timing
re. my previous post

i was
to say a least

i have a history of doing that
just few weeks ago
i wrote about a murdered mom
on the day before mommy's day

(on my japanese blog
here is the link)

although i still mean what i said
my work being
neither anti-war nor anti u.s.

the timing was


please accept my apology

May 27, 2007

i see patterns---pattern-making for the wing dress

first thing first

just a thought of
what i am gonna be tackling with
makes me want to drink

today i am a proud barista
look at this beauty-
accompanied by 2 mice
(silent, like obedient pets)

then i heard me say,
"i want something to work in!"


so this is my kind of pattern making
easy, baby

what i made (quick!) was a kind of yoga pants
although i don't yoga at all

(kind of like how beach boys were)

finally starting
the task

this is, by the way,
what we japanese had adopted after ww2, i believe

i introduce you to
flat pattern making!

in west, the method used is "draping"
you drape fabric over sewing body and
form shapes you'd like,

then lay it flat and make a pattern out of that

in case of flat pattern making,
you basically have to know from the start
the end results you're after

that'd reduce spontaneous experimentations
by less than half
or at least that's what i think

(unfortunately "flat" is all i know how as of now)

by the way,
i pulled out my momma's patterns from 1972
(she was a taylor)
and am gonna decode and duplicate them
(they are looking rather mysterious...)

early 70's patterns have
those lovely tightness, especially around arms and shoulders

i wanna steal the secret!!

during the process of measuring myself
i realized i have
almost exactly the same figure as my momma
(that's what the numbers are telling me)

i am her duplicate
in measurements at least
i am gonna work on decoding
what that means to me

afternoon sun
some progress made

in cluttering the work surface...

let's see what i gathered on
my masterpiece

souvenir from izu peninsula
but i know it could be from anywhere

just have to find one of those stores that
looks really dusty and dead
that's what i call treasure hunting

from the same store-
a rose in a cone

a pen stand, in fact

paper weights of my kind
souvenir from chuuk

bad case of substance abuse
can't take it anymore

seeking salvation in
coffee and chocolate

mug cup-a gift from a friend- from a store
in burbank, california

this type of curve
i usually free-hand at first

easier for me to get an over-all view that way

then use ruler to clean-up the line

whoever thought of this (ruler),
i thank you

my texas find

i then had to re-do the whole thing

my toe joining the paper weights

completed the first stage
(more task to come
but i am going to bed)

toes gotten cold

good night

May 16, 2007

carp bag in completion

my "gratification" piece in completion
i still cannot tell
if it is any good
or does it really matter

ignore me
i am in "torment" mode
hey that was why
i needed to be gratified
in the first place!

instant gratification, the artist's way

i say
how come all my projects take forever to complete

i wanted to feel accomplished right away
so i decided i'd make something 'easy'

have you seen a flying carp fish that's like a big banner in the sky?
here it is

except that
he's lying down, looking at you instead

i decided to make a carp bag
in a same shape/ size as the red one
you see here in the below pic

here you also find:
a marshmallow shooter, my texas souvenir
and very small "ultra man" figure with no arms

'ultra', man ?

now you know who and what i am talking about
or you may not

he is like the godfather of whatever rangers

and scissor all-stars
from left to right:
tiny handy paper cutter, especially super for cutting dress patterns
my 100 yen (a bit more than 1usd) scissor-useful when i need something a bit dull
(that-bit dull- can be a good thing)
extremely pointy and sharp doll-making craft scissor
(careful when it's in my hand)
and for-fabric-only scissor
(i'll come after you with the above scissor in my hand
if you ever attempt to use it on paper)

carp-fabric cut
see how the colors are faded

faded is nice but i wanted it a little bit punchy-er
so i touched up with red/ blk and a bit of silver

first, moistened the fabric
then applied paint (pigment-type)

now, i should've waited til the fabric's dry
before i apply the second color which is, black

got a bit messy

so what
i wanna do sloppy
it's a real challenge for a tidious japanese person
to go
nice and sloppy

sloppy can be just that
can be a proof that you were in groove

of course you'd know that

since the fabric is weathered,
i used 2 different types of backing

sturdy is my aim

well well,
look at that

iron was at high heat which was
too hot for the black nylon quilt-type lining

it melted a bit and gotten wrinkly

then i thought of something
what if i did some scale-like quilt machine stitches?

so i did---and un-did it immediately after

never mind

all backed-up
and ready to be assembled into a bag

but hey, doncya think there's still some room for
messing things up a bit more?

this is too---nice.

best part of the process

the challenging part, too
don't wanna over-do it or it'd get too 'obvious'
wanna do it just right
so you get right amount of the "edge" thing

still wet
have i done too much????

the same piece, dried
now lookin better

added a lot more red on all the pieces
dried and heat-set

decided to use another fabric i painted (scales) as a trim
how much shall i let it show?

half-inch wide?
barely showing?

i decided to go with "barely..."

now i have finished all the process and the bag is, done

since it is now 3am and lacks light to shoot
i can no longer tell if the thing looks any good or what

i decided to postpone til tomorrow
(or whenever it starts to look good-enough to show)
to show you pics of the finished bag

too bad i couldn't get gratified
not right away anyways

May 10, 2007

in the beginning there are...scribbles

deceased on the beach

it could be just me
it feels very still
around the deceased

a shell left behind
somehow seems to capture eternity

few ideas coming to mind over the years
i'm gradually falling for

researches and sketches

a drawing on the
same theme
from few years back

back then, i was working on
getting dragon drawings straight

new ideas have ways of
sneaking in
when you aren't

dress idea just
landed on me
april 27, 2007
while on train

along with about
6 more ideas

it was a sunny day
inside out