Friday, November 11, 2011
When I was looking for a pattern to work in lacis for my Idle Hands Challenge flag fan I kept seeing period patterns which I think may be for lacis partlets.
They were shaped vaguely like a diamond with the top tip cut off which left a flat top for the neck opening, slanted top sides for the shoulder seams, and a long point going down to the waistline in the back. (Or at least that is how I envision it working.) But now that I have formed the ambition to make such a partlet for my IRCC outfit can I find a pattern? Nope!
If any of my readers happens to recognize this description and knows where the patterns may be found I would really appreciate a hint. Thanks!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Fan #1 - Feather
I already blogged about most of the process I used to create this fan so I'll just say that I'm proud of the techinical parts of this fan.
The wooden base I assembled is very stable and provides a lot of strength/support to the feathers. Drilling holes thru the base and sewing the feathers into place worked well as a temporary hold while I glued everything into position and waited for the glue to dry. It also let me make corrections before I glued it all up. (NOTE TO SELF: Ostrich feathers go on--front and back--FIRST!) Finally, I used two layers of ostrich feathers, one on both the front and back of the fan base, and found they completely obscured the wooden base which made it easy to decoratively finish the fan without worrying about hiding the inner workings.
I made my fan to approximate the narrower shape which is often seen in paintings but rarely found 'in life.' It moves air well, and seems to me to be much easier to carry and use than a rounder fan. I'll be interested to see how I feel about it after an event.
In my next fan I'm going to work harder at getting a proper curl on all of the feathers. I did curl them all but they seem to lose body and curl to the side. I'd like to try splitting two feathers--keeping the barbs on one half of each--and attaching them together to make each plume. I think that may get a better result when replicating the distinct, full plumes of the feathers in many period portraits.
Fan #2 - Lacis Flag Fan
I made that. :) !!!!
It was very interesting to me to note how the fan gradually became more useful as the net was embroidered. Net on it's own was absolutely useless as a fan but as the lacis pattern was filled in it became more and more effective. The bottom line is, it works great!
I've already started the netting for a second fan. This time I'll carve the chanels for the wire entirely seperately from any decorative carving on the stick. I also hope to do more carving on this one...and maybe even some painting and/or gilding...
Yeah, I thnk I have a thing for fans.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
We're off to pick up more of our stuff in NY so I've wrapped up my first two fan projects and sent my final report off to Bella. I suspect she may be holding them until the Challenge is over so I'm still not posting pictures...or even details...but it's nice to know I can actually finish a Realm of Venus Challenge!
And I'm really happy with the fans I have made.
Of course I am also happy with the 2 other fans I have started, the 3 I am musing about, and the muff I have started the planning process for...I've even been thinking about handkerchiefs!
I really like focusing on one aspect of costume at a time. Or maybe I just really like accessories...
Good luck to all you other IHChallengees. I can hardly wait to see your pretties!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Perhaps that's the reason I didn't find any pictures of flag fans with tassels at the stick?
At any rate, after I cut off the last tassels and got all the bits which had lodged themselves under the wire loop unstuck, I darkened the metal of the wire so it's not so noticable.
The only bad news is that I'm going to hold off on final pictures until the challenge is concluded.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I started with a 3/8" x 48" dowel from my local hardware store. For strength and contrast I picked the heavyest and darkest dowel they had. I don't know what kind of wood it is but I'm sure it's not pine.
I was inspired by various pictures to try a flag fan with a loooong stick. I was thinking somthing around 2 1/2' - 3' but my dowel had a bend in it so I cut it just above the bend and ended up with a 29 3/4" for this fan and a remainder piece just long enough for another fan. (I think I may try my hand at a round fan too.)
I couldn't find my file or carving tools so I abandoned the idea of a turning lathe for this fan and went with simple carving using the tools I had on hand. I used a coping saw to saw the dowel to length, to saw shallow channels for the wire which forms the frame of the fan, and to saw shallow channels at the top and bottom of the ball ornaments I was going to carve. I then used a 1" chisel to shape the wood and an emery board to smooth the finished work. (I told you they were simple tools!) I then heated a small amount of olive oil and rubbed it into the wood to deepen the color and add a slight gleam.
If I hadn't decided to add a tassel or two I'd be done. But since my theory of late period costume can be summed up as 'Add More Ornamentation!'...tassels are next.