Monday, June 17, 2013

Josh Kelly: Getting Fresh Ideas

I'm spending the majority of my time here in the dye/paint area. When I first arrived, I was the fourth person in the space. The range of experience is broad, with a combined total of more than 60 years of textile modification. I started by going around the room and saying things like, "What's this used for? Where do you buy that?  Which do you prefer?  How on earth did you do that?"  My questions are never ending and I'm sure some days my coworkers are ready to kick me out of the room. On those days, I head downstairs and talk to the drapers, craftspeople, or design assistants. I'm feeling that I'm getting good information from everyone in the shop.

Aside from the basic facility differences, I've been able to acquire a lot in the way of shortcuts and tricks to making nicer quality and longer lasting costumes. I'm looking into the various forms of color matching sheets being used here. The Spoonflower color chart is most promising. They have done some quick stencils and printing using a stencil cutter from props which is so fast to create and change. I've been introduced to no weed transfer paper, a whole different set of Jones Tones paints, and Bo Nash Fuse-It Powder. I'm using Iwata airbrushes over my Badger and Paasche brand airbrushes. I've been turned on to Golden Clear Tar Gel for a shiny transparent blood effect with lots of texture that doesn't dull with cleaning. From the business office assistant, I'm finding new vendors for supplies that places like Greenberg & Hammer carried. From the craft room, I picked up a new technique for making a strong, curved topper, a better way to prep felts for pulling, and some brilliant applications for making unfortunate leather garments appear less shiny and more subtle. The design assistants gave me tips from individual designer's working styles to where I might find easily dyeable knee pads. I'm including some photos of coworkers and a couple of process shots.

After all of that information, the one area the costume shop excels in, like most costume shops, is food. Nearly everyday there are treats.  From baked goods to fresh fruit to cheese and crackers, these people love to share some delicious culinary delights. They are often willing to share some recipes as well.

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