Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zipper Cap Construction

I really appreciate everyone's comments on this mystery project. Now it's time to reveal what I'm making. It's a cap, and totally a conceptual piece. I've been wanting to make a leather cap that was different and unusual, and I realized I could construct one that had no fasteners, and that struck me as a worthy project. Back in January 2009 when I first began my blog I built an experimental leather zipper, shown below.

It consists of two pieces of leather cut with interlocking teeth, which like a zipper will hold the two pieces together with sufficient force to allow it to function as a single piece. The tentacle endings are strictly ornamental.

I had never done anything with this "lipper" until now, when I realized it would work well with a six-panel cap. Shown below is a cap of a similar design that I made several years ago, and it consists of six identical symmetrical panels, each shaped like the bottom of an electric clothes iron (thanks to Craig for that insight).

I started with the six panel pattern, then added the interlocking teeth. I liked the tentacular extensions I had made on the experimental piece (reminiscent of Cthulhu) and so opted to keep them. The tight spiral is intended to provide the longest strip of leather in the smallest amount of space (leather is expensive and I don't want to waste it).

I dyed the panels different colors on the fronts and backs because as the spirals are extended and twisted into tentacles both colors are seen together. Likewise I added the "mountain" cuts so that the leather can be bent down revealing the contrasting inner color as well as providing ventilation. Above I have begun to "zip together" two of the panels.

Here you can see the two panels completely zipped together.

And finally, all six panels are shown zipped together.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zipper Cap Dyed

I cut out six identical pieces in leather, and have dyed them.

On the grain side I dyed it red all over, then faded in black on the tips

On the flesh side I dyed half of them violet, and the other half teal.

Here are all the colors together for comparison. Can anyone tell what single object I'm going to make from these?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Project: Zipper Cap

Here is the start of a new project, and I need help with the backstory. What culture or religion or art style does this appear to come from? Any or all thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Modifying a Straw Hat

I wear a wide-brimmed hat on weekends when I go yardsaling to protect my fair skin from the sun. It's been this floppy fabric thing that has no shape to speak of, so I decided to buy myself a straw hat to replace it.

I went to K-Mart and found this basic straw hat for $7.99. I removed the hatband and the elastic sweatband (one size fits all!)

After soaking it in warm water I shaped it using a piece of stretch fabric (to hold up the brim on the sides) and metal clips (to weigh down the brim in the front and back).

I placed the stretch sweatband around the outside of the crown to keep it from stretching out too large. Plus I reshaped the top of the crown.

After it dried I stained it with dyes and antiquing to give it a bit of character. Now I just need to come up with a hat band to finish the look.

Friday, August 13, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance

Last night's finale of the television show So You Think You Can Dance featured some of my leatherwork. America's best dance team Quest Crew performed a steampunk themed dance routine. Hok wore a violet Bemused half mask, Lydia wore a Victoriana mask, and Ryan wore both a funky top hat and a steampunk respirator. I don't know how he managed to keep that hat on!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jason Hyde Meets the White Rabbit Mask

Jason Hyde Meets my White Rabbit leather mask and this is the result:

A wonderful Alice in Wonderland tea party scene.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

School of Villains: Spanish TV show

A couple of my props will be used in the upcoming Spanish television show Escuela de Villanos, or School of Villains.

The Raughnold Raygun in copper

Ricky Rocamuerte

The #43 Steampunk Gas Mask