The Gilded Cage is my entry for the Common Threads Wearable Art Competition 2014. On the announcement of the theme “Fabrication”, I immediately had the idea of the fabrication of a story, the ones we create to protect ourselves, to keep us safe, our show to the outside world. Representing this as a cage came to mind. I was fortunate to attend the REmida workshop organised by Barb Thoms. Here I found the materials for my cage.
I used 8 sections of this plastic off cut to make the cage and then wrapped it in “super absorbent material” used mainly for disposable nappies lining. All clean unused waste. I’ve since used this material in the arm knitting. It is really strong and dyes very well.
I wanted the garment to be bright, shiny and glittery. The store room at my husbands office had boxes and boxes of computer back up disk CDs. I thought these would be ideal for glitz and upcycling. The only condition was I needed to destroy the data. My initial trials were a combination of printing on the CDs and scratching them for texture.
The challenges of using new and untested materials Not all CDs are the same quality. Some cut and drill beautifully, some shatter, some lose their silver backing. Through lots of experiments, I discovered which ones to use for which section of the garment and also adapted my design to suit the CD sets available. Drilling one CD at a time worked, I then hand cut each “button”
A few design trials…The final necklace made with upcycled shirt buttons. I love how the green is highlighted.I am pleased with how the final garment worked out. I only wish I had gone back to ReMida and sourced more of the plastic off cut panels and made a larger cage. It would have been much easier to walk in.The Common Threads Wearable Art exhibition at CASM continues until Sunday 7th June 2105