Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Picture of Dorian Gray ~ Hair Combs

Number thirty-four on the Observer's 100 Greatest Novel List is The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I finished reading it a few weeks back.

The story follows Dorian through his life of abundant wealth and eternal beauty- two things most people would die to posses.  Even after traveling the world and spending time with exotic woman, he grows restless and begins to resent the source of his good looks: a mysterious painting.
I was especially interested in the collection of beautiful fabrics and artifacts that Dorian collects during his journeys.  He describes luxurious silks and brocades fit for royalty.  Although he surrounds himself with elegance and fashion, the shadow of the painting is always lingering on his mind.
That idea inspired me to make these delicate hair combs.  I found beautifully detailed gold frames, (much smaller versions of what I imagined Dorian to have his painting fitted with) at a thrift store and cut them to create a unique hair comb design.  After attaching the frame sections to the comb, I wrapped them with layers of ocean blue silk and coral tinted thread.
When I imagined Basil Hallward's painting, I thought of the elegant style of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard and her paintings of the upper class in the late 1700's.
(Self-portrait with two pupils, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
I wanted my combs to have a rich, elegant feel like the painting.  I was picturing an artifact that might have been sifted out of the ruins of the Titanic. The finished result is something very delicate and small, just one-and-one-half an inch wide. 

I'm looking forward to twisting my hair up on my head in a braided bun and tucking them in.  I've been collecting styles, like this gorgeous up-do from, on one of my Pinterest boards.


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