Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blood, Guts and A Skirt

I got batteries for my camera today and so I thought it was high time I inflicted some bad art and half-assed projects on everyone. Oh quit whining!

The first pic is an old tile piece I did a couple of years ago. It photographed like crap, mostly because it hangs in my bathroom and the lighting in there sucks.

It's made of terra-cotta tiles that I scratched Victorian medical engraving images into with a pin while the clay was still soft. The center figure, the opened torso, the leg, and the veiny head are three-dimensional. I painted the tiles in colored slip and fired them, then wiped black slip into the engraved lines and coated it all in clear glaze and fired them again.

It's intended to look like some horrible old doctor's office display piece. I've been hunting for a beat-up old frame that I could cut down to fit it and I kinda want to put strips of something to cover up the ugly grout/glue combo between the tiles. It measures 16" x 21" and weighs about 75 pounds, or maybe just 20 pounds but it seems like 75.

I've been wanting to do the same thing with PMC to make jewelery but I haven't found the right images yet that would work in a smaller scale. That's my weekend project, and it gives me yet one more chance to set fire to the apartment with my little beehive kiln.

Keeping with the icky innards theme, the same semester I did the medical tiles I made this charming little sterling silver necklace. Yup, it's a gross anatomical heart, all three-dimensional and it's got veins on the back and stuff.

Heavy, solid sterling, cast from scrap and broken jewelery. I hate the chain but I haven't thus far found a substitute I'm happy with. I had considered drilling three teeny holes in a line up the center and gypsy-setting some microscopic rubies but I never got around to it.

I wear the fool thing a lot in clubs but I've never had anyone ask about it, so that probably means everyone thinks I bought it at some suck-ass place like Hot Topic.


The last item up for mockery is a half-assed skirt knitted on my 1960's Brother 550 knitting machine. No pattern, since it was a practice piece. I assumed I'd remember how I made it so I just have a couple scribbled numbers. Of course I didn't remember how I made it.

All I can say is that the gauge is 7 sts and 10 rows per inch and I cast on 164 sts for the front and back pieces. I failed to write down the tension number for my machine, could be 3 or 4. Maybe not. Different brands of machines used different tension dial numbers so any instructions I write for a Brother might not work for another brand so either way you'd have to do a buttload of gauge swatches. It measures 19" from the bottom to just where the waist ribbing starts but I also have no idea how many rows the pieces are. I wrote that down too, but I must have lost it or eaten it or something.

The lace flower at the bottom is a variation of the Tulip Border from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

It's several inches too big making it just frumpy enough that it only looks good with a big sweater. It's knitted out of Red Heart Lustre-Sheen or some such crap that I got from a fairly nasty sweater I had crocheted in the 1980's and mercilessly frogged, so it collects cat hair like a magnet. I'm considering calling it the "Swiffer Skirt," putting the thing on and using my ass to dust my apartment.

The second (jiggly) photo shows the cute little lace flower at the bottom right hem and several handfuls of cat hair. I don't have a ribber attachment for my knitting machine so the bottom has a mock rib but the top was a rib done on regular US size 2 single-pointed needles.

I want to re-do this but I'll either make the skirt tighter (like I intended originally) or I'll decrease stitches on the way up to the top so it's more A-line.


Jane said...

Love the necklace! 20 years ago I started giving real heart stuff (like your necklace) to friends and lovers for Valentine's Day instead of the cutesy heart-shaped things. I found some wind-up hearts one time that pumped 'blood' through them and throbbed mystery as to why I'm still single, eh?

Severina said...

You know there used to be a company that sold anatomical chocolate hearts (are they still around?), then there was that wonderful company that sent out real cow hearts to those extra-special exes.

BlackCrow said...

A friend of mine visited a Japanese factory that turned both animal and human hearts and parts into rubber.

I enrolled once into a jewelry course at art school where I soldered wild bore tusks and brass bits to make unwearable neck chokers.
I don't think the rest of the class appreciated it. But what would they know they where all in the education class learning to be "Teachers" and not artists like me.

sunneshine said...

I love the heart necklace. I think people are too intimidated to ask...

Jammies said...

I adore the heart necklace and want one with every fiber of my short attention...


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