Many thanks to my dear friend, muse, model and creative support @bettypeaks
Deep down in the ocean the mermaids were desperate. For years and years the humans had kept polluting their beautiful world. Plastic was everywhere. It suffocated the colorful reefs and strangled their plant gardens.
How long could mother ocean and her beloved sea creatures survive?
One day change came to the kingdom under the waves. A tiny mermaid was born with obscure mutations. Where the other mermaids had smooth iridescent scales, the little one was covered in bumps and bubbles. Thousands of tiny plastic particles were embedded in them.
The poor little thing had a sorrowful childhood. The other mermaids viewed her as a living memorial to the demise of their world.
They spitefully called her “Plastique, Plastique” as she grew up like an outcast.
Thus her only wish was to become part of her community. Full of shame and desperation she swam further and further into the deep sea.
Finally, she sank unconsciously to the ground. Waking up she found herself at a wonderful reef bedecked with vibrant life, and murmuring voices were coming from clusters of sea shells. Shyly, she dared to approach them: “Why is everything here so beautiful?”
“Mother nature gave us the ability to transform even waste into pearls.” The shells replied.
Sadly she said: “I wish I could do the same. “
“But look at you! You do have the power! All the bubbles on your body are already transforming plastic into pearls” the shells cheered happily.
Glancing down her body, she realized she had always possessed the power she was longing for.
Travelling on, she discovered she had never been the only one. There were many of her kind, hiding their mutations in shame.
She taught them her new skills and became their queen. From then on she and her mermaids began roaming the seas to free mother ocean.
How to paint 1000 glass pebbles with nail polish? First ask all your friends and queens for their spare nail polish bottles. Then make a lot of salt dough, push all the pebbles in, backside up and paint away.
The corset, with its 11 pattern pieces per side, was constructed in two layers of coutil and corset-satin. The layers were roll pinned and put together.
All boning channels were added to the inner side for extra smoothness of the surface. There are 12 flat steel bones, pre-bent over the bust and in the back, and 8 spiral steel bones on the sides.
After the corset was finished with lining and binding, it was mounted on a mannequin for all further steps.
To achieve a gradient color effect it was painted with textile paint three times.
As a last step almost all the painted glass stones were mounted like a mosaic at the bust and hip parts.
For the skirt the mosaic part was constructed in a similar way, as were the bracelets.
Working with the painted glass pebbles was lots of fun: it was like a big mermaid treasure, all glistening and glittering in the colors of the ocean, and all mine to play with.
To see the construction step by step please click here.
Cotton coutil, steel bones, fabric paint, glass pebbles, nail polish, hot glue.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
A crazy ride with lots of experiments, new materials and ideas I wnted to try for a long time, like painting a corset.