Despite the wet, messy failures, this really is addictively great fun. After the 3 successful sleeve pieces, I was again ready to try something larger.
This operator figure is a composite of 2 different figures. Together, as a black silhouette, it reminded me of the ancient Paleolithic Venus figures. (click on this link for more info on these figures) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurines So I started collecting and playing around with them:
The Cucuteni figure, from Romania (far right) has great patterns. Maybe she could work with a dress mannequin?
Sure, I could just cut out a nice black shape and boil it over the paper mannequin. But...
If I sew black wool strips onto a dark gray woolen shape, then I can boil the patterns in my print. And I want a more detailed mannequin.
This is an old one that I got when the NY Metropolitan Opera was selling off some of their stock. It's a really complex mechanism, allowing for all sorts of size modifications.
This is a photo I took inside the mannequin (by shooting through the other armhole). Look at all the wingnuts, holding it together. On the right side is my spring pole design.
I printed out the bottom of the mannequin in one piece, but for the top, I printed the sections to assemble on the wool.
An explanation of this convoluted image: The black and gray venus layer is on the right. I traced her onto the white wool, giving me an outline shape to work with. Then I arranged, ironed and basted the paper resists, and stitched around them with dark red thread. Now - the brown parts. The section in the center (covering the spring pole) and the 2 strange spoon-shaped sections: this brown wool is the same wool that will be used as the background. By adding pieces here (UNDER the black and gray wool) it will come out looking empty.
still with me?
OK, add the black/gray sections, cover with the brown wool (from that ugly brown coat I showed you a while back), soak, wrap, into the oven....
Oh joy: a couple of brand new problems: part of the top section apparently got folded under and didn't absorb any color; large sections of the bottom half just refused to accept the color (WHY??) and somehow the dark color transfer LEAKED out on the right side. But, basically, it looks good, and since I showed great restraint and only removed the black/gray shape, leaving all the resist right there on the wool, I can easily re-boil it. Which I'll do tomorrow, with a fresh mind.
So.... I basted some additional gray wool over some of the dark sections, to correct the place where the black/gray was too light. Then I covered all the dark sections with resist paper to keep them from any additional color transfer. I cut off a strip to use as a patch over the dark leak. Then I took the same dark brown wool, reversed it, and back in the oven. The picture (above) is what came out after the second boil.
And now I can take off the resists.
Oh yeah....the reasonably subtle black/gray pattern, great contrast, so very nice when it all works.
On the left, both sections on a towel, still damp. On the right, with an arrangement of the brown wool as a background, with the black/gray sections on the sides. We have a winner!