After seeing photos of Solveig’s incredible feat of design and construction we had to reach out and learn more about the process involved in creating this work of art. We got in touch and loaned out our 68′ Chevy Pick Up, Betty to help contribute a splash of green to the happy couple’s wedding photos!
1. What inspired you to build this dress?
I love and collect bottle caps. When you flatten them out they become like sequins. I wanted to use my experience in fashion in my art work and decided to make a dress. I had a Steam Whistle bottle cap in my hand and it made sense to make a wedding dress out of them.
2. Can you walk us through the project step by step?
First I asked all of my friends and family to drink Steam Whistle exclusively. Then we would have flattening parties where we would all sit around stumps of wood with hammers and pliers and flatten the caps. Finally, I would make buttonholes in the top of the caps with a nail and then sew them onto the dress by hand.
3. How long did this entire project take?
Overall the project took 4 years. I worked on the dress for four months consistently while I was in my second year of art school. Steam Whistle was kind enough to send me a couple thousand caps to get me started, but after I used them all I had to wait until I had more caps to work with.
4. What was the hardest part of the project?
Flattening caps was the hardest part about this project. It was the most time consuming and physically taxing part of the job. Never have I been so sore in my forearms from all of the manual labour. I had blisters on my hands from holding the pliers while I flattened them. I was very particular about the bottle cap being perfectly flat before I sewed it onto the dress. You can’t just smash the caps with a hammer, you need to be very precise about where you hold it with pliers and hit it multiple times, switching from back to front to ensure that it doesn’t curve or get folded in on itself.
5. How do you get in and out of the dress given its metal fabrication?
I designed the fabric dress myself so I was able to put in a zipper. This allowed me to get into the dress without too much hassle, however I still needed a helper to get in and out of it because the dress weighs over twenty pounds. On top of the weight, the dress is rigid and hot, so wearing it for an extended period of time is very difficult.
6. What’s your next project?
My main focus in my art practice is working with rust. I like combining fabric with rust and using the rust as a dye. I’ve been thinking about making something with my bottle caps and cheesecloth and leaving it outdoors for an extended period of time and seeing how the two materials interact with each other.
Posted on August 04 2016,