All the things around us are formed from shapes. It’s a simple idea, but a powerful one.
Not an artist? Have you ever tried to draw a person, or a car or a tree? We instinctively know how to do this as children. We draw simple outlines and stick figures and shapes. Later on, we put in details like rays coming off the ball of the sun or leaves off the tree. That childlike process of looking at the world around us, finding the basic shapes and putting them down on paper is how we learn to make sense of what we see.
So what do we make with…CIRCLES?
Ball bearings. Hoops. Wheels and merry-go-rounds. Tablecloths, ghosts, pillows and doilies.
Circle skirts, of course. They’re made of a big circle with a little circle inside for the waist. Veils and capes can be circles or half circles.
Halter dresses/fairy princesses/warrior queen dresses are variants of the circle skirt. Just pull the circle up to the neck and add a long, thin rectangle to use as a neck strap.
What's made from SQUARES and RECTANGLES?
Tables, boxes, windows and back decks. Printers, monitors, refrigerators and books.
The basic poncho can be either a square or a rectangle. Just add a circle for a head hole.
Togas or chlamys (the Greek version of the toga) are long variations on the poncho. Pleat the fabric up at the shoulders and add a belt (a long, thin rectangle).
The T-Tunic is the basis for many historical costumes and all tunic tops. It’s every Viking and biblical character you’ve seen. The tunic is one big rectangle with a circle for a head hole, shaped by cutting away rectangles under the arms and down the sides.
And what about TRIANGLES?
Door stops, traffic light islands, tail fins.
Triangles are added in (and taken out) of fabric to flare out hems or fit in waists.
When used in patterns, they’re called godets, gores and gussets.
Curve the bottoms of triangles and they become pie wedges or spokes of a wheel. Chop off the tips and they become cape and skirt panels.
What sort of shapes will you make this year?
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.