Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Little Skeleton

The Little Skeleton began as an assigment based on Frida Kahlo's life and work. I was influenced by elements of her culture, life, and art. The pictures above are the beginning of what became a long, but quite fluid process. To the left, is a section of the scarf that was influenced by Frida Kahlo's life and work. The colors of the cloth are vibrant, and feminine. The image is dia de los muertos-esq, and ethereal in the vein of Kahlo's imagery. The fabric is hand-dyed silk charmeuse. There are two sides to the scarf, as seen in the picture above to the right. The front has the print on it, and the back is solid fuschia. The picture to the right is of the critique for this project, during which it was suggested that I use this character to develop a story. Stubbornly, I denied my affinity for writing. I wished I could be such an artist that never needed to say what she meant about what she did...

Eventually, telling the little skeleton's story became the obvious answer to a difficult question: How do I make my computer art final tangible? I wanted a narrative, and had almost forgotten that it was pretty much laid out for me. Having just been to deserted Coney Island in the dead of winter, I had a perfect setting, and the story just flowed into it. The above images are the preliminary ideas for the finished little skeleton. They are reverse applique, and applique, embellished, and hand bound covers. The following images were laid out in photoshop before becoming the tactile, finished, The Little Skeleton.

The following are images from a sort of thumb-nail sketch I executed before going into making The Little Skeleton. Luckily, I improved upon what became muddied colors and indistinct blocks of color in this project in the final product.

The character of the Little Skeleton is the concept of death in a child's mind, unaddressed. He is solemnly carefree, evasive, morbid, cautiously playful, and innocent of all of the aforementioned.

The pages of the book are made from natural fabric (all cotton: muslin, cheese cloth, waffle, canvas). They are hand-dyed and hand screen-printed with original illustrations and text. The pages are collaged together using applique techniques and a sewing machine, all bound with pigskin leather. The cover is reverse appliqued, and hand-embellished.

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