I usually find that, when I feel in that frame of mind, several things help: firstly letting it simmer at the back of my mind while I think of something else, and secondly getting some outside advice from someone who isn't, as I am, too close to the situation to judge. We had planned a relaxing break in Malvern for a week before Summer School, walking the hills, chilling out and visiting some much-loved relatives and so I put the problem out of my mind for the moment. I knew that my tutorial with Sian at the Summer School would help and, of course it did.
Sian suggested that I shelve my new idea for body armour for the moment. She thought that it would make an ideal Diploma project for me, since the Diploma would allow me to give it the time, thought and effort that it deserved. She thought (and I agreed) that I had spent enough time on Module 3 and it was time that I moved on to Module 4. She liked the beaded brooches I had made and suggested that the background I had made would perhaps be more suitable for a belt decoration. This was a lightbulb moment for me and I liked the idea very much. Sian suggested that two brooches would be enough and suggested placing them on the background so that the beaded lines radiating out from the centre echoed the stitched lines on the background.
|3.10 Belt 1|
I had tried my best to make the corners of the background piece neat, but, with the thickness of several layers of fabric and the stiffening effect of acrylic paint and stitching, this was very hard to do. Of course Sian homed in on this straight away and suggested that I might try to improve this.
When I thought about it once back home, I realised that, quite apart from the quality of finish (or lack of it!) I wasn't happy with the rectangular shape when everything else had been rounded shapes. I used Photoshop on my computer to cut up the background digitally to see the effect of rounding the ends.
|3.10 Belt 2|
I liked this shape much better and decided that I would unpick the stitches around the edge and re-make the background.
The next decision to be made was what sort of belt would look good with the belt decoration. Again, some playing around on Photoshop with some folded up fabric gave me some ideas.
|3.10 Belt 3|
I was hoping that I would like sample 1 best since it was fabric I had dyed and printed already and would take least effort. The other samples were produced by playing around with hue, lightness and saturation on Photoshop. However, I thought that sample 2 looked best with the belt decoration. I like the layering of techniques with the belt being decorated by printing only, the background having print and stitch and the brooches (detachable) having print, stitch and beading. It seems a very satisfactory progression. The ends of the belt could be curved like the ends of the decoration background.
Now that the main decisions have been made, I am ready to embark on the actual making process and then I'll have fun deciding how the belt will fasten and how these fastening will be decorated. I have some ideas floating around in my mind of machine wrapped cords decorated with tiny ammonites and/or toggles and buttons, but these have not yet coalesced.