uA blog

Oh irony, ye are a very cruel mistress on an ugly learning curve… Also known as “I hope the ink dries by Saturday”.

Tonight is the IPRC Text Ball, an annual benefit party for the Zine Museum, meeting center and classroom, which makes it’s home here in Portland. They host lots of cool classes on typography, printmaking, have a zine of the month club and lots of support services for independent publishers. For the ball, guests are encouraged to come in text inspired costumes- last year’s party theme was “Black and White and Red- All Over”. The outfits were amazing, one couple sewed a suit make from braille pages and came as a “blind date”, another guy decorated a gorgeously tressed toga and was “Times New Roman”. I sewed a newspaper ruffle to a red sequined gown, made 12′ newspaper boa and sewed photos of Karl Marx, the Rosenbergs, Che, Mao, Castro and excerpts from “the little red book” into the lining of my black trench coat. It took about a week to make the ensemble and I was absolutely delighted to win 1st place- Two tickets to see David Sedaris! Though I was kind of hoping for the third place prize, an hour long consultation with Kohel Haver a local arts attorney- who I’m hoping would be my lawyer, if I could ever afford him!

This year’s ball theme is “The Elements of Style”. Earlier this year, I loaned my friend Marilyn Zornado a copy of Maira Kalman’s delightful illustrated edition of the book. Being a woman of great appreciation, and inspiration, and also the party planner for the fund raiser, Marilyn declared, “I’ve found my ball!” So I’ve been pondering a costume for a bit now, and finally hit on something which seemed the appropriate vehicle to RETAIN MY TIARA. Actually, there was no crown, but there should be, if I win again, it will be my 1st royal mandate. I kicked around a couple concepts; the obvious, “pregnant pause”, or “dangling modifier”. I suggested my dad wear a noose around his neck and t-shirt which said “sleep with me?” so he could be a “hanging proposition” or he could write the words “and, with, because, therefore…” onto a jacket and he could be my “conjugal visitor” pop said it wasn’t that funny and a bit creepy in the oedipal sense, he offered to babysit instead, though he did have a great idea for a “semi-colon” which involved some Match-Box cars… you get the picture.

So for this year’s costume I’ve silk screened parts of the periodic table onto a white vintage dress- Au and Ag… White damask with gold and silver trim… Which in concept should be almost clever enough. But I’ve never really silk screened before, and I’ll be in a room of pros… I should have looked at the tutorial in Craft, but I thought I had it under control… I didn’t have the funds to buy emulsion- so I thought I’d try the screen-filler method of printing. So far so good, I put together a nice design for the element of gold, and remembered reading in the instructions reading, “this method is based on the idea of ‘negative’ images”, by this they mean you should fill in the areas of the screen which you don’t want the ink to permeate. I think my brain is still living in film/photography land- so when I read “negative images” I assumed I should put my design in reverse like a mirror… just in case you’re curious- the mirror image of gold is blog- take what you want from that- maybe next year the party theme will be palindromes- then I’ll really be ready.

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About Shawn

Shawn Bowman teaches kids film production at the Pacific College of Northwest Arts in Portland Oregon and consults on hybrid web/arts/events projects Bowman is co-founder of Indiekid Films, folks who believe everyone around the world, regardless of age should see and create great movies.

Posted on November 17, 2007, in Super Crafty, Things to Wear. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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