The dress is complete, it has been constructed without a single thread or woven textile, no recognisable equipment apart from scissors to cut out the pattern pieces, I have had to learn the knuckle crushing, thumb bruising techniques of riveting, and applying snaps, which are more commonly used in leather working; all a very steep learning curve for me.
As you start to work out the practical details of a project, it turns from something fun (ideas and drawings) into a vicious sulky beast, as you start to realise exactly how many measurements (lots), rivets (400), holes for rivets (400), how many hammer blows (over 6,000), how many hours in front of the computer converting images (15 days), and how many bruises and red eyes and swear words (sorry) you have to get through in order to have a finished item. It does cross my mind that I am insane to ever have had the idea in the first place, there is definitely a love hate relationship with the despicable garment. What keeps me going is that with every rivet, the dress is closer to reality and when the rivets match up at the sides, and I solve problems that seemed insurmountable, I become more excited, when I see the work of the other seam members and I’m blown away by their ideas and images, all I want is for my dress to be good enough to share a space with theirs, and it makes me try harder to get it right…
Seeing the dresses together, I realise that I really am very proud to have been part of this project, the blood, sweat and tears are worth it, to see the shift dresses all together, and see the different ways that each artist has interpreted the brief is exciting and fulfilling. I enjoyed explaining everyone’s work to visitors and seeing the interest and enjoyment that visitors got from the project.