Wow! We received 13 entries for the second challenge at Shear Madness and the judges were overwhelmed by how creative they all were. They were forced to make some very tough decisions, but we have our winners! A big thank you to our wonderful judges: Noel Gieleghem, Tracy Gomez and Truly Carmichael!
And here are the winners:
Honorable Mention: ”Snake Charmer” by Clare Wilson!
Clare says: I saw the original B/W image and though it was spectacular. I actually built it how I envisioned, using a plastic planter, fake leaves, and an AC filter. However, I thought that I’d be able to bend the planter more if I heated it, but that didn’t work at all, which it why it goes back rather than up. While I mounted it on a buckram frame, but it slid all over. I padded it inside with foam for a close fit, but it’s still very precarious. I used papier maché to cover the filter so that I could paint it. I was able to use hot glue to attach the leaves, but I needed something heavier duty (like E-6000) for the jewelry. ·
“VERY crafty! A wonderful use of household items.”
“That plastic planter is a stroke of total genius! All around very clever solutions to a really cool design project.”
“Love the extremely clever use of found materials (I totally agree about the use of the planter).”
Honorable Mention: ”Turkish Fez” by Elizabeth Reed!
Elizabeth says: So, the night before leaving for Italy, I made a fantasy Turkish ensemble for a Ball. But didn’t have time to make the headgear. I packed a buckram fez, some silk, and lots of trim into my suitcase and off I went.
The Fez consists of a buckram form, dupioni silk, sari-style trim, beaded fringe, a mass of hot pink feathers, and one giant, glitzy pink brooch. The entire hat is hand stitched and was assembled essentially the day before the event.
“The decorative aspects make this hat shine. Creative use of time and materials.”
“This looks really well-made, and not at all last minute! I love it with the blue turban wrap image!”
“Honorable Mention for creativity under less-than-ideal circumstances. Beautifully done, and so flattering. Brava!”
Third Place: ”Cthulul Kimono Tiara” by Leah Lloyd!
Leah says: A small group of us decided that fan-based kimono and corsets would be fun for DragonCon (and comfy, and easy to pack), so I went with Cthulhu since it seems to be a theme with me. A 5-pack of “finger tentacles” and a headband of alien eyeballs from Amazon, several packages of small plastic toys from the dollar store, an assortment of rhinestones and pearls, and both hot glue and glitter glue were the start. I took a plastic Alice band, slit a pair of holes in the bases of the alien eyes and 3 of the tentacles allowed me to slip them on the alice band, and then hot glued a base of green felt to hold them all in place.
Glitter glue was used to help anchor and to also dribble around like sea foam and kelp. Pearls were tucked into crevices and into suckers, pink rhinestones and small sea creatures were added with more glitter glue.
Small pads of felt were glued onto the ends of the alice band to make it less uncomfortable and to add a little bit more grip, as the tiara is fairly top heavy. ·
“This is my pick for most silly, fun, comedic.”
“I completely agree – MOST FUN EVER! I wonder if the tentacles inspired the costume colors or if you happened to find the right color tentacles. This is creativity at its most delightful!”
“Loved the composition and subtle detailing which gave the creation an overall compositional integrity. The whole was more than the sum of the parts.”
Second Place: ”Carousel Ringmaster Top Hat” by Amy Sue Rabe!
Amy Sue says: I built the hat from scratch and made the carousel from free-standing lace made on my embroidery machine. I used a music box mechanism to make it turn. The horses are hand painted by Emily Chesley. The posts for the horses are made from wrapping ribbon around wooden shish-ka-bob skewers. I used an old CD as the base for the carousel.
“I wish there were lights in the middle!! Innovation award!”
“I desperately want to see this work!! This is beyond impressive in its innovation. Sheer ingenuity and cleverness. Apparently I’m a sucker for moving parts It’s really cool.”
“The carousel is amazing. I only wish I could have seen it in more detail. Nice balance of individual elements.”
Congrats Amy Sue!
First Place: ”Steampunk Mummy Headdress” by Alisa Kester!
Alisa says: “I made it by making a “cap” of plaster gauze, then cutting wing shapes from cardboard, putting the wings into position, then layering more plaster gauze over the cardboard. After the gauze had dried, I pressed a thin layer of Paperclay over the whole thing, and carved decorative shapes in it. Then I sculpted the cobra head from more Paperclay, attached it, and painted the entire headdress. Lastly, I glued on a bunch of beetle wing “feathers”. It is closely based upon actual historical headdresses, as seen in Ancient Egyptian paintings and sculpture.
I decided on this design for the mummy costume, because I thought the shape would particularly suit the rest of the costume – and also because it would give me a chance to use beetle wings to add shine and interest. The biggest challenge was getting the overall shape and curve of the wings right. There was a lot of shredded cardboard all over my studio floor before I was finished! Using the plaster gauze as a cap base allowed me to fit it precisely to my head, and gave the headdress weight and security when I wore it, while the combination of cardboard and Paperclay ensured the overall headdress remained light enough to be comfortable.”
“My 1st Prize for overall execution, use of materials, and “look.””
“This is really pretty incredible. Not only is your finished product PERFECT for your concept, it is also beautiful and well-crafted with an eye to every detail and seriously innovative use of a variety of materials. Total wow.”
“WONDERFUL recreation with intelligent use of contemporary materials. Thank you for the ideas to use the beetle wings in more of my projects! I agree the innovation and recreation gives this highest marks! The look takes me back in time… I feel the winds cross the sand…”
There were so many great entries this year that were inspirational, creative and challenging. One particular entry stood out above the rest in terms of it’s technical expertise and historical accuracy. The judges chose to honor this entry by giving it the first ever “Judges’ Choice Award” from Shear Madness.
Judges’ Choice Award: “Knitted Pineapple Reticule” by Katherine Caron-Greig
Katherine says: ” I’ve wanted a knitted pineapple reticule ever since first seeing the one in the Kyoto Costume Institute. It was just so whimsical and adorable! It was just too complicated to figure out though. Fast forward several years, and a pattern appeared on Ravelry, then on Knitty. And I had to make it–and make it out of tiny beading cord, beads, and 5/0 needles, of course! After a false start, the knitting went smoothly. I changed the base so that it was similar to the Kyoto pineapple. The pattern on Knitty led me to the original book, where I learned that 19th century knitting patterns actually make sense to me. After that realization, I updated a bag with beaded stars from the same book, and I designed a miser’s bag based on the star bag. This definitely furthered my obsession with tiny knitting!”
“This item is museum worthy. Excellent stitch work. The beading was perfectly placed. 10 stars. Top marks for not making it look new!”
“This is the most technically impressive entry. It’s really amazing work. I’d love to see the Miser’s bag she designed using these techniques.”
“This is, to me, the most exquisitely rendered item. Unbelievable attention to detail. Perfect. It really stands out by itself for its sheer mentalness. I love that kind of stuff!”
As a special award, Katherine will receive a set of ouches and a string of pearls from Truly Hats to create something amazing!
A big thanks to our other competitors:
“Muff with Changeable Lattice-Smocked Cover and hand-made blue-brown tasseled cords” by Jonatha Caspian.
“Princess of the Moon Headdress” by Genevieve Leprohon
“Princess Luna Beaded Necklace” by Patti Glad
“Effie Trinket Hat and Neck Ribbon” by Loren Dearborn
“Top Hat” by Lisa Hansen
“Victorian Red Hat” by Laura Zenz Proctor
“Ambergris Witch Hat” by Rae Bradbury-Enslin
Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #2 such a success! We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #3!