vintage hair

April 2014



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Apr. 3rd, 2014

ass head mask

"Dead dog" project for props

For the current show, Assassins, painter/dyer Denise Dietrich and I wound up lending a hand to our props department and creating a "dead dog."

In one scene of the show, the character of Sarah Jane Moore has a dead dog in her handbag, which she takes out and drops on the ground. Our fake dog needed to be realistic-looking, and to have the weight and limpness of, well, a dead dog.

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Simple armor projects

We've been busy with USITT and production on Assassins, but some of my students presented simple armor projects today. Here are some photos!

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Mar. 19th, 2014

ass head mask

Masks and Armor class: Final Mask Projects Part Two!

Three more projects from my students, these being grouped together as "not-bigheads."

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Mar. 18th, 2014

ass head mask

Masks and Armor class: Final Mask Projects Part One!

My Masks and Armor class presented their final masks projects today and i've got some great pictures to share. I'll do this in two posts, today's focusing on those projects that used bighead construction techniques.
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Feb. 19th, 2014

silk painting

Dreamcoat Part Two: Hand-painted Motifs

There's a second part to the surface design adventures of Jen Caprio's costume design for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: hand-painted appliques! (The first part of the process, the digital textile design of the collection of twelve background fabrics, was described in this prior post here.)

Recall if you will Jen's design for the coat, inspired by the stained-glass artwork of Marc Chagall:

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Feb. 3rd, 2014


Digital Textile Design for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!

So, i've been working on a pretty exciting extracurricular project lately, for my friend and colleague, costume designer Jennifer Caprio. I've worked on several shows for Playmakers with Jen, including the currently-running Private Lives, for which we painted that fantastic Schiaparelli-inspired silk crepe.

But, clearly as a successful and nationally-known costume designer, Jen works on multiple shows for a variety of venues, all in different stages of development at any given time. So when she asked me if i'd be interested in a freelance gig doing a series of digital textile prints for the titular costume in the upcoming national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, i jumped at the chance!

Jen's design concept for the Dreamcoat is inspired by the famous series of twelve stained-glass windows which Marc Chagall created for the Abbell Synagogue at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. Created in the 1960s, each of Chagall's windows represent one of the twelve tribes of Israel. In Jen's vision of the Dreamcoat, it's an ankle-length frock coat, the skirt of which is cut in twelve gores, each corresponding to one of Chagall's windows.

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Jan. 31st, 2014

ass head mask

Class projects: simple masks

My masks and armor class has presented their simple masks. These are defined as masks which typically don't require a life-cast of the performer's face to create, and which don't fully enclose the head or require special engineering (like a movable jaw or something). For these projects, students often choose mask designs inspired by traditions like masquerade, carnival, and ritual/celebration. I don't require them to scale up to full size from their maquette projects, but some students (often those with a particular interest in costume crafts) do choose to do so.

Take a look at their stuff!
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Jan. 27th, 2014


Third year projects: Historical reproduction

One of the capstone projects of the third year in our graduate program is the historical reproductions. Students choose a garment from our historical clothing archive, CoStar, which they meticulously examine, research its provenance, and reproduce as accurately as possible. They write a paper on their findings, digitize the pattern, and make it available on the archive.

Third-year Candy McClernan had her reproduction and the original garment displayed on dress forms in the shop this afternoon, and i took this opportunity to take a photo:

Left: Reproduction bodice by Candy McClernan
Right: Antique printed silk bodice from the CoStar archive

Candy began by digitally reproducing the print of the fabric, which she uploaded to Spoonflower and had printed in their cotton-silk blend. You can read about her process here, and a scale version of her pattern can be accessed here, should you wish to make your own version of this piece as well!

Jan. 23rd, 2014

vintage hair

Masks and Armor class: maquettes

This semester, the topic of my class is Masks and Armor, and my students have just turned in the first of their projects, maquettes! Maquettes are small-scale 3D sculptures of mask designs, and the first step in working with a costume designer on the making of a mask--it allows the crafts artisan to take an initial stab at translating the designer's rendering/research from 2-dimensional imagery to a 3-dimensional sculptural object. By starting with a maquette at a half or quarter scale of the finished mask, a maskmaker can work much quicker and use less material than if s/he were to start sculpting immediately in a full-scale iteration.

Here are some pix of their maquettes!
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Jan. 22nd, 2014


graduate application post roundup!

We've begun fielding phone calls and emails from prospective applicants to our graduate program for Fall 2014, and it reminds me that I ought to make my yearly round of links to my prior posts on applying to graduate school!

If you are considering graduate school in your future, now is a good time to contact the program directors at the various schools to which you intend to apply.

I have made a number of posts on topics related specifically to the pursuit of graduate study in professional costume careers. Look over this link list and see whether any of them address questions you might have. And, if you have questions not addressed by any of the prior posts, please ask in the comments! I'll do my best to answer whatever you want to know!


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