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.

January 15, 2009

wing dress update: all set!

my beloved project the wing dress
-a dress with feathers painted/ dyed on it-

on my last post on the subject,
painting (with acid dye) was completed,
and they were about to be sent out
for steam-setting done by pros

well, it took them only 4 days total
over weekend
swifty guys...

unwrapping, excitedly, anxiously...
did i mess them up?

one thing i feared was the possible over application of the dye
(done that before, disaster is the name for it)

the amount of dye particle fabric grain can hold is limited
and the heat from steam setting will settle them there
so in case of over application, you'd have hard time
ridding of the excess for one thing, but also
the painted subject may have the look of
over-developed picture, losing all the details

hear a sigh of relief?
turned out just as i intended

measuring a magic portion...
that's the stuff that keeps the dye off the whites

used a plastic drawer, filled with 30 litters of water
and gently...let the panels sink in

then move them about a little, sideways
let the excess rise off the material

in this case, no visible excess...


after a certain amount of time-10 minutes in this case-
pull them out, keep them in (somewhat) running water
and one by one, place a panel on a board and
using the water pressure, wash off the excess particles

you may have seen a photo or two of traditional japanese guys
standing in river holding a looong strip of kimono fabric
letting it float like a serpent learning to...swim?
same idea here, minus river and a snake

aiming waterhose from unnecessarily far

next, rinse again in water
sandwich them with towels,
then roll 'em up and spin 'em dry

lay them flat and
let them dry

when dried
the surface turns stable and durable

time to relax...

the color i used on this dress is
blue black
a little blueish hue
appeared post procedure

so...what's next?

touch up (again?)
using pigment-type ink
then put them together into a dress

til then
thanks for viewing---

January 14, 2009

blowing it out of propotion

today was my errand day
spent the entire daytime out and about
took so long to come home because i was doing...


bird watching?
well, they happened to be the first to
catch my eyes

going about my errandish business with
secondary motive of finding photogenics
lead me to an encounter as the following

lucky day, today

below photos:
up close and very personal with
the stern and appeared-to-be-forgotten presence

primarily i was going at this for
my other blog "abandonment issues"
where i post those man-made and abandoned

but this fella turned out to be
still in use hence disqualified

don't judge a bulldozer by its cover!!


on the way back
passing by the same river with
different cast of characters...

January 10, 2009

wing dress update: know when

2 days ago, i shipped out the painted panels for
the wing dress, my so far 20months-old project,
to have their dyed surfaces steam-set

on my last post on the subject i was about to
bring all the 7 panels, painted with fabric dye,
to utter prrrfection

perfect, meaning, (i hope to) be alert enough to stop
before it starts to get redundant
in short, know when

in the end i laid all the panels like the below photo then
stood back and waited until the place needed darkenning
stood out in one of those special ways

as of jan. 8th, 2009

following are comparison photos
of before and after this last spurt polish up job

mostly, i tried to add some contrast as well as
smooth gradation and realistic details

realistic, but not to get representational on ya
rather, so as to give a full effect on
de- and re-constructing of the wing
which is what i seem to be doing instinctively

some of the details

thank you for viewing

January 1, 2009

dawn of a new year

here's new year's greetings from
north end of coast-side central japan

on every new year's day i go down to
the same old beach at dawn like
as if it is a
strange compulsion of mine

the same old beach
the same old sun
and possibly the

according to my dog who is of a
considerably philosophical kind
the same old street she
strut day after day, that's
never the same street

i, therefore, welcome the challenge each year
of bringing out an element or two that was
not apparent in the images shot previously

dawn of 2006
snapshotty, i know

...of 2007
including people for a change

...and of 2008
eliminating the sun from the sunrise

now, let's hear from miss arbus:

"It's important to take bad pictures. It's the bad ones that have to do with what you've never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn't seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again."

so i am going to resolve, on the first day of a whole year ahead
that i will fearlessly
take lots of bad pictures...

wishing you all a fantastic year ahead....