Well another competition done and dusted with a lot of feedback about my design and although I didn’t win the ultimate prize and came third in my category, I walk away a winner in my eyes and of the eyes of the people around me considering I made such an impact to the general public that I took out
So, last year I entered the Dowerin Field Days Wearable Art Competition with my ‘hessian sack dress’ and placed runner-up!!
Great achievement I thought , for my first attempt.
Let’s see if I can go one better this year with this creation, I call it ……
SHOT GUN WEDDING
I wanted to go MASSIVE this year – go big or go home! – and I think I achieved it because I had to get hubby to take a photo of it on me so I could see it properly, our floor length mirror was not big enough to see it all!
I had a plan of making it soft creams and whites when I found a large piece of canvas in one of the farm sheds, and so it begun……
The main dress is made of this heavy canvas with a mosquito netting as an overlay.
I found some soft rope and inset it into the bodice for some interest and then made another overlay out of rip stop (used for making light weight horse rugs) and ruched it up over the front to give a meringue look – essential for the biggest of wedding dresses!!
I then made a bustle to wear on top of the dress with the canvas as the bustle and the rip stop as a ruffled train (I will go into the belt buckle soon)
I finished the look with a massive hoop skirt made from the rip stop and stiff number 8 grade wire and when it was all put together, I was very happy with what I had achieved.
Then came the jewellery….
My very first idea for this dress was the same day I was announced runner-up for the 2012 wearable art competition, and it was to use bullet shells somehow in the design.
So, that is what the belt buckle is made from, the very ends of empty bullet shells that my husband lovingly cut for me!
And while I was in the shed “helping” him (more like getting in the way), I found some metal nuts (used to screw into chip board, I think) so I snatched them up to make the necklace and earrings – I hope he didn’t need them for anything – whoops.
For the engagement ring, it is made from a bullet shell and a diamante – can’t have a wedding without first showing off that bit of bling!!
The head piece is totally different to what I had in mind as it came together after a trip to one of the old farm tips where I found a speaker cover from one of the old abandoned utes.
I spray painted it gold and it just came alive and showed all of the fascinating ‘honeycomb’ effect that was hidden before (small things hahaha)
This then became the base of my fascinator, which I attached an abundance of white feathers to, some mozzie netting and a few scattered bullet shells, I wasn’t sure about it until I saw it altogether with the dress in the fantastic photos my sister took.
Now, if anyone really knows me, they know that I like to collect old rusted bits of crap hahaha, I love the colour of it, so you could imagine how I have styled my house around rusted things and what people must think when they visit. It really doesn’t help having really old farm tips full of amazing treasures close by (I am trying to think how to display a very old washing machine with the roller attached hahahaha)
Every wedding dress HAS to have a bouquet, so there was no question of what it would be made of – yep , you guessed it, bits of rusted metal – I found an old shearing comb, springs, bolts, blades of some sort, wire and other things I don’t have a name for ( it isn’t as though the tip has things in neat piles of labelled goods) I threw in a few bullet shells and canvas remnants from the dress and ‘voila’, a very interesting, heavy wedding bouquet!
We had a blast doing the photo shoot, my talented sister Adelle, came up from Perth, I geared up (and took out most of the things on the buffet while I was squeezing my way down the hallway), put on my cowboy/workboots and trudged through the sheep in the paddock to the old shearing yard, gathering sheep poo in my train along the way.
I had some interesting ideas for poses that just did not work – walking was hard enough in this dress, what was I thinking trying to climb a tree? – Adelle then directed me and it all fell into place and we produced some amazing shots – she is so clever!
All the while, my Mum and the kids were checking out a little weak looking lamb half asleep under the tree ,after a few hours of watching, we decided he WAS all alone and now he has been added to our little nursery! (I always said to myself, “if they follow me home, they must be desperate, so I will look after them” – this one ended up following the kids home that afternoon)
So, that is the journey of the Dowerin dress!!
AND, here it is….
It still has a ways to go, it goes to preliminary judging today and if it makes it though that, it goes to the Dowerin Field Days on the 28th and 29th of August. If you are close by, go check it, it is a good day out, but otherwise, I will keep you posted on the winner, it could be me…….
I’d love to hear what you think!
love Kirsty x
Last year I entered the Dowerin Field Art Wear competition. It challenges designers to create a piece of farm art for the body.
I heard a brief ad on the radio about it a few times on the way to town and thought “I could do that!” After a bit of internet research I had some basic ideas, but it really all came to me as I was creating it.
It was really a case of thinking of what sort of fabric is used on the farm and my abilities. I know
I can sew, but what materials will be my limit and am I able to learn how to weld and drill metal. It has to be wearable, so the weight was a consideration. It had to be practical enough, but inventive enough. It was very experimental!
So, what can be made from these simple items found around the farm?
I knew I wanted to make a cocktail style dress with ruffles so I used hessian bags and bird netting for the ruffles. I made a head piece from the scallops cut off from and old paint tin lid that I glued together to look like fish scales + some other rusted junk and fly net. The necklace is made of big metal nuts tied together with cable ties. I finished it off with a barbed wire bustle.
So here it is..
Photography by Adelle Cousins (my sister)
Model Sheradin Dinsdale
I was very happy with how it turned out, and extremely honoured to win 2nd prize against some VERY talented designers who created some amazing pieces.
This is the necklace…
This year I hope to go one better! I can’t wait to show you my entry, it’ll be made of canvas, rip stop (used in horse rugs), mozzie netting, wire and bullet shells! There will be a big hint of wedding bells’!! So excited!
I’d love to hear what you think!
Love Kirsty x