Yet Another Update: “Great Big White Birds”

I wonder if to some it seems like this piece is taking a long time. To me, it feels like I’m clearing tasks pretty quickly. But I do take large breaks between the bits because my wrist occasionally threatens to leave. And since I don’t need my own body parts sending me any ransom notes, it means I have to be nice to my flesh prison.

Pictured: in the only serious picture description ever, this is Great Grandma Akiye’s kimono

The biggest parts of this project are the kinsai and ginsai (gold and silver leafing respectively), and since I made the decision not to remove and replace but instead to restore what is here, it is one hell of a task. That’s because as I am arguably batshit fucking insane I can make out the original brush stroke. Because of that, I’ve chosen to preserve them by going over them with a special mixture of my own to keep it as close to the original as I possibly can.

Some review: My special mixes include a binder that will fill in and “heal” the cracks, a pigment for vibrance, and then just straight up precious metal. There’s at least 70% real gold or silver dust in each batch. While you can find my tutorial on how to make regular ass gold leaf paint here, and it can be followed for silver or any other metal leaf, I will not be sharing my special mixtures’ exact recipes. Sorry. This blog and my kimono shit is all for the love and I do not do it for profit–but I do use these mixtures elsewhere. I have to have some secrets, and since the bodies are in shallow graves by the railroad tracks, that can’t be one of them.


Anyway! Here’s an example of the mixture “healing” cracks:

The fabric is a bit rippled yet, but it won’t be for long. I haven’t heat treated any of the new material yet, as ironing will be the absolute last step. The only heat treating I’ve done so far is with actual pigment replacement. Here’s a reminder if what that was like:

Those were heat treated immediately for two reasons. First, those colors are fugitive until I set them. Second, the ones on the body of the dove are less pigment “replacement” than they are “covering up these fucking stains that won’t move.” I needed to set those in layers for opacity.

Not to lick my own taint, but I’m an expert color matcher. Behold:

Pictured: SQUAWK

Okay so I’m cheating here because as it turns out, real silver tends to be the same color as real silver. Fucking shocking, I know.

So anyway. Here’s the shit I’ve been doing.

And for the funsies, here’s a video of me applying the silver paint. Fun story, while trimmed for length, it’s actually only sped up to 150%. I’m just a fucking maniac. Like last time, you don’t need audio but if you want to listen to what I listen to when I work, the track you’re hearing is Perturbator – Disco Inferno. This track is a permanent resident on my playlist and it is responsible for keeping me up way longer than I intend to because my reaction when it comes on is LET’S FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Please enjoy how dangerously close to embroidery I get!

Join me next time when I’ll be shrieking into the void, and receiving back from the void a strongly worded email about village noise ordinances.


7 thoughts on “Yet Another Update: “Great Big White Birds”

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