silkscreens and sewing machines

I have been doing a lot more than talking about it, so i haven’t been posting very much.  In the last couple months I’ve really tried to dive into creativity and just continue making things and doing things. Here’s a bulleted list:

  • Moving I did this back in last Aug… essentially move to storage, then after trip move stuff to new place.
  • Burning Man Went out to the desert for a week. It was great. First and last time I’ll do this.
  • Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band – Honk! the best event that i give up chunks of my life for.
  • Underground Artist and Burner Bazaar this was the only craft show i did this holiday season. Much fun.
  • Etsy I inventoried everything i have, made a new zine, and have been keeping up with things.
  • First Night Played music with ENSMB at the Hynes Convention Center. We rocked.

In December I started doing some work on silkscreening because I have some patches I want to make.  I plan to gift some and also list them on Etsy.  This meant making the screen twice because I screwed up the screen fill the first time around.  Once I had the screen done, there was the matter of remembering how to silkscreen.  I don’t think I’ve actively done any screening since high school.  Here’s a sampling of the designs:

a compass, a cephalopod, a beer, and a skull... about my speed.

My personal joy is to put white on a darker fabric, but white is the finickiest of inks, so I need to sit down and think about what/how for further printing with the fabrics i have.

This weekend I followed up on a long-standing project, which is to revive the stuffies I’ve made in the past with a bat. My first run prototype was… terrible. Danimal keeps it in his room, but it’s boxy and awkward and i couldn’t find enough in my heart to even put a face on it. For me, that means that it isn’t even a whole thing, it’s just an amorphous shape thing that i spend the effort to make but clearly don’t love enough. I edited the design and cut all the pieces, but it’s taken me about a month to sit back down at the machine and make it happen.

This is the machine that makes it go.

This is my mom’s old sewing machine.  Every time I use it I feel like i have to re-learn how sewing machines work.  I’m already way behind the curve on that for skillset.

This project has taught me that making a ball does not always work out as planned. It also taught me that it is firmly in my best interest to keep multiple bobbins stocked with thread so that when I want to throw things out the window there are other supplies available.  While I’m committing words to paper… I need to remember to extract a bobbin from the base of the machine.   It’s still in there.

After much fumbling with the machine I was able to crank out the pieces, and stuff appropriately, at least on up until the last seam.  That I had to do by hand because I’m not very good at finding another way to make that go.

Stuffing's what this bat's full of... unlike me.

From there is was all hand stitching to close up the body. It wasn’t so bad, though i’d like to figure out some slicker stitches for this. I always marvel at how easy it is to sew “normal” fabric as opposed to when i go to attatch an iron-on patch to my bags. I insist on stitching them because I don’t want them to peel up eventually, which always seems to be what happens.

I had some decisions to make once I had the basic shape done.  How did i want to accentuate this little bat.  I had a few different sketches for details, and some require more or less effort, detail, and steadiness of hand.  I settles on the earliest of sketches to keep it simple… after all this is a first run.

So unembellished... but bat-like.

When I made the last attempt at the bat this is where things ended. This time the body is more ball like and spot-on for what i intended, so I was good to go.

Eyes and wing-veins... at least on one side.

This guy’ pretty cute so far. Even a little uppity maybe… or daft.  Not sure which.

Give me a mouth lady! Then I can suck out your brain!!!

After some puzzling over color and material I added the mouth with embroidery floss and felt and the bat was done.

Can I live in your room? Why you so scared?

While sitting around the living room I had fun posing him too.

Why are you drinking that amadeus? It's so terrible!

So there you have it.  A completed project, or at least a completed prototype that I’m happy with.  If I manage to scrounge up some time in between finishing up a zine for February then I will get some bats made and put them up on etsy. Until then.

more like me! more like me!

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