Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Costume History Made Easy

As a costume designer in my real (or unreal) life, as I MUCH prefer dreaming up and making new creations for my shop these days, I love costume history and charting it evolution through the ages. I loved my Costume History classes in design school - not everyone did, but I enjoyed them, and in fact, would rather do research sometimes for a project than actually carry it out!

I discovered the world of altered art dominoes earlier this year and have made quite a few on various subjects, but had the idea of making some that illustrate costume history terms. Many people love fashion and costume through the ages, and they aren't necessarily costume designers! They would make nice little gifts and unusual stocking-stuffers, and could be used as a bag charm or clipped to a chain, cord or, appropriately, a ribbon or piece of trimming.

I find my images (royalty-free) online and in books, add graphic elements and print them at home on my new printer. I spend a lot of time on these images, adding backgrounds, finding the perfect fonts, adding brushes, changing colors...all for a very tiny field. I've learned a lot about graphic design this way, and although I think of my aesthetic as "more is more", I am gradually trying to simplify my images so that they're much less cluttered. I attach theses paper bits to domino tiles, seal them with two substances, and embellish with charms, stampings, beads, vintage buttons and whatever is at hand that helps to define the theme. It's actually a labor-intensive process made fraught by the resin-like glaze that I use, which can bubble up mysteriously and also attract pesky lint that you didn't know was there. They are rarely perfect, but as the subject matter is vintage, I don't think that it needs to be.

1880 Bathing Beauty - thank heaven we don't have to dress like this anymore in order to swim!

A necklace this time, with two pretty Victorian Ladies, bead and vintage button bits and a novelty chain.

I love "The Mikado" and had to make a charm for it. As all of the bobblies are vintage, it's OOAK.


Cathee said...

just found your blog and love these! I am working with scrabble tiles!

OvertheTop said...

Thanks, Cathee. They ARE fun to decorate. :)