pageant and costume

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knitted mohair and hand-anodized aluminum “knitted” maille top for a Philadelphia-area cabaret singer, may 2006. my attempts were to make a piece that specifically utilized the pedagogy, if not the materials, of the bauhaus movement.

claudia’s first halloween (2008), as a pile of leaves. what was particularly wonderful about making this costume – for which all the leaf patterns came from a nicky epstein book, that i didn’t even buy, but sat on the floor of borders with and copied out – was the yarn. much of it is “my own” manos clasica 121, as well as “dud” skeins from the manos collective that came from the development of clasica 121! As duds, they were one-offs – manos yarns never to be seen or used again, other than part of fairmount fibers’ archives, and this costume.

halloween 2009: johnny rotten and sid vicious. johnny’s wig was knitted, sewn, wet- felted, and latch-hooked; the mohair sweater was painstakingly copied from those early pistols sweaters and was worn by both kids the whole next winter, then passed onto a neighbor child. sid’s chain and lock are both knitted.

huberta’s shawl, april 2010. part of george ferrandi’s wherever there is waternight procession, as part of her residency at the fleisher art memorial. i knit the shawl (faroese in style) for the main parade figure, huberta, out of laceweight linen and handspun yarn made for the project by nikki verbitsky. The stitch is debbie new’s “scribble lace”. Here, the shawl is fitted on the pre-painted huberta. george ferrandi’s legs in the background.

huberta in the dark on the evening of the procession. (photo: nikki verbitsky)

huberta in procession. (photo: aaron g. stock)

this dress was claudia’s costume for artist george ferrandi’s wherever there is water night procession, april 2010. using george’s palette of light neutrals and her suggestion of everyday materials, i knit the dress out of cut-up IKEA curtains, and lit the skirt with the LED “throwies” used throughout the parade for the other lanterns. claudia’s locs were alternately tied with tendrils of the same curtain fabric, or had pipe cleaners twisted around them. she was a “jellyfish” in the “underwater” portion of the parade narrative.

made for george ferrandi’s wherever there is water, april 2010, this hat is knit entirely out of used coffee filters. it was stiffened and coated with kakishibu, which is a fermented persimmon derivative used primarily in japan.

a tale of two krampusse: one who stayed on the east coast to live a cozy life with children…

and another who went to the west coast for portland, oregon’s first krampuscon! a distinct call, it seemed, for philadelphia’s own krampuscon in 2011!
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sure enough, i was plenty motivated to create krampuslauf philadelphia in 2011. this is my first-ever krampus mask — knitted for ben.

and, my second krampus mask — or rather a krampus-buttnmandl hybrid — also created for the 2011 lauf. made for and worn by abiezer galloza. (second photo courtesy of steve schultz).

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halloween 2012: ozma of oz and jack pumpkinhead (and the sawhorse). ben made as much of these costumes as i did, but execution turned out so well i must include these here. i sewed the gown and made jack’s head; ben made ozma’s crown and scepter and the harness that held jack’s head in place, as well as making the sawhorse.

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for krampuslauf philadelphia 2012: a reworking of the frau perchta ensemble begun in 2011. the mask was easier to see through and walk in (and i could use the frau’s drop spindle, at least for show), and was a simple foil-and-tape mask with a mohair covering on the face, babushka knitted of mitered squares (some with evil eye beads knitted into them), and yarn hair.

the frau’s tabard is representative of her search — and judgment — related to the knitting of young girls. it is said that frau perchta comes to check on children’s knitting and spinning, and if she is not pleased, she eviscerates them. this tabard was created in swatches, to represent the various children’s work. the swatches were double knitted, and some of them torn through (i machine-sewed these down so they would not continue to fray) so that they have almost an advent calendar effect. one of the swatches has a pokeberry-dyed, screenprinted piece of fabric peeking through; part of a gift exchange between the philly and portland oregon laufs, so that we might always carry each others lauf with our own.

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