In the realm of Wearable Art, you will often find the most unusual, non-traditional materials at work to create the unexpected. I approached the challenge of making a garment for the Celebrate Wearable Art, 2015, fashion runway event from the perspective of a sculptor and furniture maker. I looked at the project as a designer would confront any other, the materials must serve the functional requirements and contribute elegance… we ARE talking fashion here.
Looking around my studio for possible resources, I came across the remains of an old staircase I had replaced years prior. The wood was an aged cherry, and I had already forged several pieces of furniture and sculpture from this particular lot. I liked the idea of giving it a new life again as a runway look.
The concept arose as a full floor length dress, as elegant and simple as I could make out of wood. I used the raven’s feather motif to create a varied texture hidden in the black detail of the skirt. Each element of the “up-cycled “ wood skirt was cut to 1/16th of an inch, re-cut into the final shape, and sanded to mimic a feather. They were then treated with a black aniline dye and oiled. Each of the five hundred feathers was hand sewn to a lining so the feathers could move independently. They give the appearance of fluidity on the runway and created a wonderful, subtle sound.
For the bodice, I wanted it to be sculptural, like a necklace, and red to contrast with the black of the skirt. The bloodwood mimics the throat of the raven in a mixture of short curled and long slender feathers all integrated together. The bloodwood’s natural color was rich, offering contrast to the black cherry.
The design was intended to be simple and highlight our model’s beauty in an understated way. As a maker, I enjoyed the challenge! [More about Rick Crangle]
My Clothes, My Art (appearing in North Shore Magazine online March 2017)
The tenth anniversary “Celebrate Wearable Art” exhibit is slated for Sunday, October 1, at Cruiseport Gloucester.
You can’t look at Rick Crangle’s dress without seeing a woodland sprite dressed in a gown for the moonlit ball. Or maybe she is a willowy young tree, transformed into human form so that she can dance with King Oberon.
Crangle, a Gloucester wood sculptor and architectural specialist, made a classically proportioned ball gown with a halter-top, full princess skirt and a chic bit of midriff-baring flash. Here’s the thing: the halter and top are elaborately pieced together from carved pieces of bloodwood. A little overskirt of carved feathers flows over a floor-length skirt of cascading ebonized cherry tiles. To make it…..Read on……
WOW or How to Wear Art|PEM’s latest exhibit, featuring wearable art, is now open. By Regina Cole
Consider the bra in a display case in a section of the WOW® World of Wearable Art exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum called Bizarre Bras. Linked by pretty, jeweled chains, the cups of the bra are taxidermied hedgehogs, complete with furry tails and beady-eyed heads. Yes, it is bizarre, even shocking, but it is carefully designed and made to be worn.
That’s a big part of the fun of the show, which is on view until June 11. Dresses made of wood and fiberglass, an ensemble including boots, hats, gloves, and a sweeping train that turns the wearer into a lobster, a felted wool cape that erupts in long red spines—all are actual garments. One dress hangs like Paris’ Cathedral of Notre Dame created in laser-cut felt from the body of a model, another leather and horsehair creation turns the wearer into a centaur…….more @NShoreMag.com
seARTS Artists and wearable art lovers showed fabulous support at the various opening events last week…..
If the seARTS Wearable Art Group had one wish to be granted, it would be to have an all expense paid trip to New Zealand to see the World of Wearable Art Competition in person. It’s the “Olympics” of wearable art and the model that inspired our local group to launch Celebrate Wearable Art. Thanks to the visionary curators of the Peabody-Essex Museum, we did indeed get the next best opportunity, the “WOW” exhibit from the permanent collection right in our backyard, from now until June 11. And even more exciting, the chance to collaborate with the PEM and showcase some of our seARTS artists during the opening ceremonies (since we are in Olympic mode!). Among these, our Best of Show, Rick Crangle, Camilla MacFadyen, and Donna Caselden. We got to know some of the award winners in person through the events held Friday and Saturday. Our very own Lorene Ireland, who generously entered Celebrate Wearable Art in 2013 & 2015 showed several amazing shell and mosaic pieces on lovely models provided by WSM Talent from Newburyport. A shout out and thank you to Darlene and to Lorene who made the trip from Arizona to be with us!
We encourage anyone that already loves wearable art or is simply curious about the “buzz” to engage with this fun and imaginative exhibit. Beside the incredible uber life size designs made from every substance imaginable, don’t miss the outrageous display of brassieres in the far corner of the room. Be sure to watch the full video of the competition in New Zealand – celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018. Roadtrip?
Rick Crangle hand-carved more than 500 pieces of cherry wood to create “feathers,” which envelop his award-winning masterpiece called Raven’s Gown.
“I’m a fan of doing something for the challenge of it,” Crangle said.
He is among a small group of Gloucester artists invited to participate in the PEM/PM after hours party at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem on Feb. 16, as the museum prepares to launch “WOW World of WearableArt,” an international exhibit of “extreme wearable artworks” from New Zealand’s renowned annual design competition. Peabody Essex Museum is the exclusive East Coast venue for this traveling show.
The party will feature signature cocktails, fashion displays, DIY challenges and a sneak peek of the exhibit before it opens to the public.