While I'm busy stitching away on my herd of sewing machines (and the Anthropocene Coat), here's a look at some other images that I've been playing with:
A Singer machine that specifically sews buttonholes. Modern home sewing machines all have buttonhole attachments or programs, but I suppose that in early clothing shops, it made sense to have a machine for the buttonholes...? Anyway, I love the mechanical complexity of this one, and played around with it:
As I take an image from photograph to line drawing, it goes through phases where the colors are muted and lightened, sometimes quite beautifully. If I ever take up watercolors, it would be fun to paint these machines.
This could be fun to do as an imaginary creature (as opposed to the totally realistic sewing machine creatures, Diane?). But I mean taking the machine and doing what David Hockney did with chairs - change the view, get to the essence of the machine, let it morph into an image that really captures the beauty of the mechanism. And then use some of that dark blue coat and the rusty-brown, with resists??? I just have to photoshop the image another 50 or 60 times......
And then there's this industrial leather machine that I photographed in Belfast, Maine. It has such a wild mechanical/organic form! This is the Singer model 29, and here's some real beauties:
No idea what kinds of machines these are but I love them:) And look! another type of sewing machine table legs (lower right, DOMESTIC)!
I made many, many really ugly, stupid-looking creatures before I arrived at this one:
But I'm going to leave this one alone for awhile before I turn it into a resist. There's got to be a way to make it less...awkward.
I decided to google around and see if I could find X-ray images for other machines. Found a few:
Then I accidently came across something that could be a whole new series - TSA luggage X-rays. When I'm at the airport, I love peeking at their machines, getting a glimpse of how the machines see my luggage.
Not sure if this would work with the wool boiling, but it would be great to play around with Aboriginal-style X-ray images of luggage. I found other images by an artist, Hugh Turvey, who makes X-rays of clothing:
and an X-ray image of the Antikythera Mechanism:
The Antikythra mechanism is often called the earliest computer. It was an ancient mechanism that made all sorts of nautical calculations. It was found in a shipwreck off the coast of the island of Antikythera.
OK, so there are some angles to explore with X-rays. But here's an obvious one: instead of using the machine casing as the 'body' shape, why not use a silhouette of the machine operator. So...start collecting images of people working at a sewing machine, and photoshop them into silhouettes:
Look at the one by Romare Bearden. He's showing us the movement, the intensity, of the operator better than any photo could.
But I needed images that showed the hands better. My husband took some pictures of my hands (wearing black gloves, easier to photoshop) and I came up with these silhouettes:
from left: the pattern for the X-ray image, and then how that image looks boiled on the wool. Last, the plan for a machine 'skeleton' with a machine operator 'body'.
This is going to take some work. The machines have to be reversed - all my images show the machines from the front. But if you see a photo of a machine with the operator behind it, you're seeing the back of the machine.
Front of the machine........She's sitting in front of the machine, so we see the back. This one looks pretty similar, front and back, but some of them don't.
OK, I have work to do. More next Monday. Contact me at email@example.com.