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.

June 21, 2008

today is the day, officially

...that summer begins for the northern half of us, they say

so here's my greetings to you from
delightfully green north east japan

where weeds grow wild, breaking down the empty houses...

June 20, 2008

wing dress update: all set on paper

---What is the Wing Dress?---
The wing dress is an ongoing project of mine
that I have been recording the 'making' process of since May '07.
The dress will have a wing/ feathers, dyed/ painted on it.
I am simultaneously making a shirt, also with a dyed wing.

as i promised on my previous post
here are few photos of the
paper form of the wing dress

(these feathers are to be traced onto the fabric
then painted in with fabric dye, steam set and assembled)

there may be some places not completely perfect but
i said done! anyways or else i'll get into a loop...
i attempt to balance out so as to get the most out of
my detailed perfectionism and
momentum of the momento

to be a momento

June 18, 2008

wing dress update: the last bit of struggle

---What is the Wing Dress?---
The wing dress is an ongoing project of mine
that I have been recording the 'making' process of since May '07.
The dress will have a wing/ feathers, dyed/ painted on it.
I am simultaneously making a shirt, also with a dyed wing.

on my last post i was trying to
capture a sense of "velocity" as i've
placed feathers on the paper-form of the dress

now the task is almost done here and
today, i am going to show you
an equally boring-to-you (as the last few posts) process of
deciding on last bit of details that can make or break the design

circled are the challenging-to-me areas

at first, i was thinking i may add another feather here
to further emphasize the "velocity" but
either one didn't seem right...

i opted not to in the end, though
that would make it look less like a real wing

you see,
some part of me will always be wanting to make rational sense
balancing, smoothing, harmonizing things out and such
avoiding that sneaky impulse is part of the challenge

now onto the shoulder area
something seems very

added another feather on the sleeve and
sent it even further down the "off" path

this is something i avoid usually
to connect the pattern at the seam

just doesn't seem to work...

hmmm...the shaft of the bottom feather on chest
looks too straight, it doesn't flow

erased the "straight"
need just a little more of something...

last details on small areas like these are important
one little extra something could turn
"too few" into "too much" and
with my kind of designs it could
change the whole vibe into "tacky"

added a half-hidden feather on chest
and decided to leave it this way
with "not quite enough" look

this one feather on back
stood out like it's drawn with neon

i liked the shape of the feather so i
traced and moved it about a bit
an off-line graphic trick

the finished paper dress is
to be posted the next time

my apology for a dull post but
it will make a lot of sense when
the dress is done, really

thanks for reading!
(are yu still there?)


June 14, 2008

a saturday afternoon expedition (you are invited!!)

sunny saturday today, and
in need of plastic-headed pins
i bicycled down to the next town

somehow a simple errand turned into
a mini expedition of few hours

come along, i'm gonna
show you around

hit the beach first to relax
although i was already relaxed enough

before i start to grow roots on the beach
i got up and headed toward a small bridge

with 4 sculptures decorating it
pretty elaborate, when you come to think of it

(almost no one's around to appreciate them)

one of the 4: lookin a bit "ritualistic" to me

decided on impluse to visit a shrine down the street

the first thing i noticed: a very accommodating tree

then, immodest look on one of dragons
(detail from a hanging bell)

and the bell
and the bell hammer
looking slightly fetish...

and on the roof there's
very stylish but subdued detail

we have many shrines in japan, some very famed but
not many possess sophistication as this one does

very nice studding job for a
wooden offering box

after getting the pins, i made another stop at a
local supermarket that is quite eco-conscious

corageous move for a small chain
i'm proud of them

below: re-issued drinks in red, yellow and green
that was popular among kids in mid century

thanks again for the forgiving people at
sanyu-store for letting me do my thang on
busy saturday afternoon

sun's setting...

heading home?
me, too!

that's all,
thank you for your company

June 12, 2008

(i ain't got no) foggiest notion

we had a few days of foggy spell
(day + night) x 2 to 3 days
most dense for the longest time
more than just"rare" around here

one of those climate change thingies?
i really donno but time will tell
in meantime, i walked around, at dusk and dawn
taking photos like the ones you see below

(no, this is not a poem)

June 11, 2008

wing dress update: velocity mama

---What is the Wing Dress?---
The wing dress is an ongoing project of mine
that I have been recording the 'making of' process of since May '07.
The dress will have a wing/ feathers, dyed/ painted on it.
I am simultaneously making a shirt, also with a dyed wing.

on my last post re. wing dress i traced feathers onto a paper dress
a rough sketch, a general idea for the dress-to-be
as you see below

red stain is from fabric paint, by the way
no one's gotten killed over this

as you see, it's like a dead bird perched on ya shoulder
and today's post will show you my clumsy attempt to
bring life, in form of velocity, to the above drawing

so what's with this velocity thing?

[i've written a lengthy explanation on that here but
realized i'm talking too much risking the
dreadful inspiration bubble burst, so i...
erased it!]

hence the velocity!!!

let's pick on this feather!
yeah, you over there

sometimes it's easier to draw with empathy
using eraser

filled in
(i hope) you see (the difference),
the thing is a bit more alive

now picking on many other feathers
their shafts erased with modified curve

filled in anew
goin faster yet?

occasionally pin the thing on a body
who's that growing horns?

now i move on to
mess with the circled area


...and after!

(the paper weight is a souvenier from chuuk islands)

treatment on one of the sleeves

so far, worked to semi-completion
on the front half of the dress

to be continued, soon as i am
picking up speed with this velocity work

thank you for reading!!

June 7, 2008

photo friday: missing teeth

Missing Teeth

this week's photo friday challenge is: tools

the above photo was taken earlier this year
at a mill, left standing decaying, like
many other things in this
forgotten small town with declining population

they had few nice'n' weathered sawhorses there and
i was contemplating on how to secretly secure a few

(they are mighty weighty)

(you can call it theft planning)
(i wouldn't)

when the place procured a new owner
that was the end of that

never ceased to amaze me just how long the
good, solid wood can last, almost remaining alive
even after being cut, nailed and becoming a tool

wing dress update: placing feathers

nearly a month has passed since
i posted on the wing dress the last time

today, i share with you
the totally boring process of
placing the wing on the dress

totally boring to read about, that is
i usually have pretty swell time but
hanging out with me during such time
would be like death for you...

start with blank paper dress
using the paper thin enough to trace

such paper running out hence
partial patchiness

after staring at the blank dress
pinned on a sewing body awhile

(warned yu it's pretty dreary)

i started to just roughly trace
part of one of the
wing drawings

rough means
this rough

then moved it about a bit and
traced another feather (circled) from
another part of the same drawing

flipped the drawing and
taped it onto the window
then trace the reversed wing

then had another look

i spend however long enough time
until i start to see the patterns on it
then i'd mark what i see before it dissapears

even i had enough of
gazing upon the rough sketches...

based on what i've done above,
tracing feathers in sharp, clear lines
that seem appropriate to the general plan

have i told you by the way that
i have a half sister on uranus?

there's some mysterious twist in my family tree...

she was here visiting the earth on assignment
to research on what she calls "the planet of hypes"

i told her, hype? i ain't takin part in that
she said, nahh, if you live here you cannot not to
so i threw her back on her spaceship
but before i did i managed to
snatch a few shots with her
posing in my paper dress

see, that's my 1/2 sista
posing like that person from iceland

well, my object for revealing the family complexity was
to tell you that,
to get a sense of the wing's 'movement',
i even put the paper thing on
and have a long look into the mirror
until i see something...

i told you it's
totally boring


on the next post, i will talk about
capturing the velocity on the dress

thanks for reading!!

June 1, 2008

misty stroll

taken a little break from blog sphere
hello there it's month of june

my greetings from
small town, japan

it was a foggy day today
walked about, snapped a few

i'm sharp when it's foggy
...or am i?

sharp or not,
the first experiment with
photo montage