Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Heart Lab: xfreshbatteryx

This week's Heart Lab is brought to you courtesy of the lovely Claire Platt of xfreshbatteryx. I was first introduced to her work last summer, when Jan of Poppytalk blogged about a show she was a part of. I was so happy when she agreed to participate because I had an inkling that her work would be perfect for Heart Lab.

By the way, my inkling was an understatement - WOW, look at how much goes into her work...

1. Initial Drawing: Before I even start to sew I spend time drawing and then selecting which drawings I want to use for my embroideries. I spend around 30 mins. - 1 hour on the drawing itself and am always seeking inspiration for the drawings.

2. Sourcing Fabric: Recently very time consuming as I’ve moved cities and didn’t know where to look, but now that I’ve found somewhere from my house there and back it takes around 2 hours.

3. Sourcing the Frames: I’ve found a seller on Ebay who always seems to stock the ones I need in bulk now. From when I place an order it takes approx. 3 days to receive my frames.

4. The outline: Once I’ve settled on an image I’ll draw it onto the fabric using a removable fabric pen and stitch the initial outline. In this case it’s the black lines that form the main body of the plane 1 hour to do, then I have to wash/wet the fabric to remove the pen marks and leave it to dry.

5. Filling: Once the outlines done I start to work on the filling. The timing of this ranges quite a bit as I tend to work on the spot so I’m deciding what stitches to use where, as well as sewing at the same time! I tend to spend 4-5 hours in total on this part.

6. Beading: Beading is something I usually leave till last. In this case there aren’t too many so it would’ve taken 15-20 minutes. It can be an hour or two if it’s a really solid section and I tend to prick myself with the needles countless times whilst doing so!

7. Fixing the back: the fabric sticking round the outside isn’t meant to be there, so at some point I will trim it so it’s more circular, do a running stitch around the edge and pull for tension then stitch it across to hold it in place and make sure you can’t see it from the front! Subsequently my pieces look a little crazy from the back. This is my least favourite part of the process as it’s a formality more than a use of my creativity. It takes 30-45 minutes roughly.

8. Photographing the work: I have to get out my ‘fake wall’ which is a big piece of wood I’ve painted white. Hammer a pin or two in, as they are rather fiddley and then photograph the piece, followed by uploading it and adjusting sizes and things! 1 hour

9. Updating my blog: The end part of the process is when I make a new blog entry with the pictures of my new piece! 30 minutes

Thanks again Claire for giving us such an in-depth behind-the-scenes peek at your creative process!!

You can check out Claire's latest collection at her Etsy shop xfreshbatteryx and don't forget to visit her blog to say hello! Stay tuned for Part II of Claire Platt where she answers a bunch of Heart Handmade questions!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

I love Claire's work and am just itching to buy one of her pieces....I think I had all of her pieces "favorited" at some point and then thought "ok, Melis don't be greedy!" :) I cannot believe how much work goes into one!

blah said...

I had no idea it took so much work!! wow! I'm impressed

ariana said...

yay! we have claire's little pink fetus over our bed, our son likes to turn it over and admire the backside. i am so happy that you are featuring such a deserving and amazing talent!

Marichelle said...

Melissa: I hear you! There are so many to choose from, I can imagine how difficult it could be to commit to just one!

All Things Bright and Beautiful...
I know!! It's incredible work really - 4 to 5 hours on just the filling!! Very impressive.

Ariana: You're so lucky!!! That one is definitely one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by!

s.i. michaels said...

That sounds about right to me for work with so much detail. It still surprises me how much time just taking, editing and uploading photos can take.

Behind ouou said...

Such incredible work, it was a pleasure to get the inside scoop. I just keep re-reading this one in amazement. Beautiful!