Monday, 16 September 2019

Distant Places

This is the "Distant Places" coat finished yesterday.

front of the Distant Places coat
It's made from 100%  upcycled and vintage fabrics. Most of it is from an embroidered doona (quilt cover) I bought for $4. The middle section has the embroidered areas of the original cover and I used the plain red poly/cotton fabric of the back side of the cover to fully line the coat.

front of Distant Places after the first day


back of Distant Places, showing the stenciling just after being applied

I had a beautiful 1950s silk charmeuse scarf in perfect condition that I cut up to add the sections of paisley print. Initially I felt quite reluctant to cut it, as it was so perfect in itself, but talked myself into it because it was unlikely to ever get much wear unless upcycled into a garment like this.

The striped and spotted sections - upper right front, lower left front, right side back, principally - were a heavy cotton weave from a cushion cover. The spots and stripes had been opposite sides.



back of the coat after adding the mauve stenciled triangles

at the sewing machine


Recently I had decided to try to spend less hours making each garment. Its difficult to get even $10 an hour for the labour hours put into each garment. Selling work that gets a reasonable price paid is always a conundrum for us ordinary artists to weigh up. Few of us ever reach the pinnacles of success and recognition where we can ask prices that equal anything like the average legal hourly rates of pay.

I had it in my head that I wouldn't spend more than 12 hours on this coat, in the hope I could price the finished piece around $200 - $250. But, as ever, I struggle to relegate anything I'm working on to become a "product". After 12 hours work and only being half way through I just had to abandon myself to the process knowing it would have to take as long as it was going to take.

I was very honoured to be included in the latest issue of Studio La Primitive ezine this month. Here is the link to it. My article is on pages 46-65.

Studio La Primitive arts ezine, September 2019



left side of Distant Places



back of Distant Places


a close up of the collar showing the reverse side

I'm very grateful to my husband who urges me constantly to worry less about selling work and just to luxuriate in the pleasure of having the freedom to allow myself to make the art while he can support me financially. Hopefully that future time when I have to go back to scrubbing toilets and changing beds is still a long way off. Somebody has to do it to support the less abled so I suppose it might as well be me.



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If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at pearl@upstairs-art.com.au