Sarah Priddy, a high school senior, contacted Crown Point Graphics in late March of this year. She explained her school art project and provided a photo of the dress she made with our cards titled, “Birthday Suit”. We talked with Sarah soon after and found her to be a delightful, well-spoken, young lady! We are flattered that she chose our birthday cards as the “unconventional material” for her assignment.
Enjoy reading about Sarah and viewing the additional photos of her modeling “Birthday Suit” at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC) Couture: Art Walks the Runway 2015. The event was held April 17, 2015. You can visit their website at www.kmacmuseum.org.
Interview with Sarah Priddy
Have you always been interested in art?
Yes, I've always been interested in art. I used to draw all the time in elementary school, but I didn't really become serious about it until middle school. I was in the advanced art class, and that was really exciting. Then when I found out that Manual had an art program, I knew I had to apply.
How did you end up going to high school at duPont Manual?
I always wanted to go to Manual, even in elementary school. I had an older brother that I idolized and he went there, so I wanted to go there too. I got together a portfolio of my art, wrote an essay about art, got teacher recommendations and sent them to Manual! I even had to go to Manual and have a drawing session. I sat in front of a still life for an hour and a half and drew it.
Please tell us about the teacher giving this assignment and her criteria for making the dress. Please include the steps you needed to take to submit your design to KMAC Couture.
My teacher, Mrs. Alford, had been doing this assignment for about ten years. You could make a dress, or an outfit. Guys had the option of making suit jackets. KMAC has had their fashion show for only three years now. To be accepted by KMAC you had to send in a sketch of your dress. The more detail you included the better. I drew my dress and included a sample of the cards and how I folded them. KMAC based their decision solely on the sketch you sent in. However, I did send in pictures of my dress because I was a little more than halfway done when the sketches were due. It took KMAC about two weeks to make their decisions and everyone was notified via email.
How did you come up with the idea to make a dress with our birthday cards and how many cards did it take to make the dress and all of the accessories? Please include what took you to Half Price Books and how your friends were amazed and thought you knew "this many" people with birthdays.
Before starting the assignment my teacher gave us a paper, front and back, filled with websites for us to look at, to make sure we weren't copying a material. My mom and I spent a few hours looking at all the websites and she suggested that I used cards. I then decided that I would use birthday cards. My mom and I go to Half Price Books often and she buys a lot of box cards. She told me that I could buy box cards for cheap at Half Price. So I went and looked at all the cards and I liked Crown Point Graphics the best! They were bright and colorful; just what I was looking for! I bought about 45 boxes over the course of three months. This equals to about 740 cards! Often I would go into Half price and buy 5-10 boxes at a time. I often got weird looks from the cashiers and one even asked me if I knew a lot of people with birthdays in January. The dress itself took about two and a half months to make. I continued to tweak it and make accessories for it. I made the final alterations just this Monday!
How are the dress and all of the accessories held together? Is it really fragile and will it be difficult to wear? You will be the one walking the runway correct?
There is an under dress, so all of the cards are sewn to it. The dress attaches with Velcro and hooks and eyes. I wouldn't say it's fragile, I toss it around a lot. My teacher and parents tell me not to, but I say it has to be able to withstand force. I made a belt, and two bracelets out of candles. I heated up the candles and poked holes through them and put them on elastic string so they would be easy to take on and off. The belt has hook and eyes on the ends. I bought wedges, and I covered the heel with candles. The top of the wedges are covered in cut up cards, like the top of my dress. I will be modeling my dress on the runway.
What was the most difficult part about this project?
The most difficult part of the dress was the train. I have never made clothes before, so everything was new to me. I made the train separately and then thought I could just sew it to the skirt and everything would be fine. I was very wrong. The weight of the train pulls the skirt off of me. So I had to think of ways to fix it. I thought of making suspenders out of clear straps, but I was afraid they would break. I ended up attaching Velcro to the inside of the skirt and outside of the top. The Velcro worked and now everything stays up!
What are your plans for the future? Does it include art as a profession?
I am attending Western Kentucky University in the fall. I will be studying Social Work. I want to be a clinical social worker, which is just like a therapist, but not as much schooling as Psychology majors. I like learning about what makes the brain tick and how it affects people in social situations. I have learned from many people in the profession that art really helps people in therapy. I may use it as an asset, but I'm not going to study Art Therapy. I am going to continue to do art, and I've started getting interested in making my own clothes. I don't want someone to tell me exactly what to do and give me a due date. I want to set my own pace and expand from there.
What do you like to do in your spare time, what kind of music do you like, do you have a job?
I work at a party place as a party host. I watch kids while they play on inflatables and make sure they are safe. I also serve them pizza and cake. I work there only on the weekends; I will have been there for a year in June! In the little spare time that I have I hangout with my boyfriend and friends. We go to the movies a lot and try to do different things, like walking trails in the park and play ping pong also at the park. My favorite band is Paramore which is a pop punk/rock band. That surprises people because I'm quite girly. I am going to see them in May for the first time and I'm so excited!