Saturday, 5 December 2009

'300' slip case

The piece I'm working on at the moment is largely composed of appliquéd leather. I've used this technique quite a lot, usually alongside goldwork, but I've also used it with other techniques, including machine embroidery.

This slip case was made to hold a first edition of the graphic novel 300, by Frank Miller. If you've read it or seen the rather noisy film based on it, you'll know that it's a version of the story of the battle of Thermopylae. As such, the design of the helmet was based on ancient Greek coins, while the background was inspired by the stylised look of the book itself.

Closer up, you can see that the background detail is free machine embroidery, while the helmet is hand stitched.

Regular readers will know that most of my work is meticulously planned, but with the machine embroidery, while I knew the effect I was after, I didn't mark it out at all, but just worked on the lines until they looked right.

For the helmet, I drew it up with the various sections together, but when cutting it out from copper kid leather, I cut them out separately, and when placing them on the background - also just done by eye, without any marking up - spaced them out, to enhance the stylised effect. The kid is slightly padded with craft felt, to give added depth and create interest with shadows.

I haven't made a slip case for a while; each one is entirely tailored for the book it's made for - not just the design but the slip case itself is custom-made to fit. Next time I make one, I'll describe the technicalities of putting the slip case together.

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