Project Management for practice research

I took part in a Project Management workshop. I hadn’t been sure what to expect, as I’d never got to grips with the MS Project software, and was pleasantly surprised at how our trainer used the sticky-note activity (and many more hands-on ones), which fit my way of thinking.

One of the trickiest parts of my research has been to figure out how to proceed with the Object creations; the four historical dresses. What would I need to do first? What was essential to complete before moving onto the next step? How long would it all take? And so on. Of course, at this stage all of the duration for each task are estimates. One would think that after a lifetime of sewing and embroidering I would have looked at the hours it took me at some stage, but unfortunately I had not. At this stage the duration is thus a guesstimate and will be updated as I go along witch the first object creation.

Creating a network diagram with coloured sticky notes on cheap IKEA kids’ drawing paper taped together, then using pens to work out the connections, has been an excellent exercise in focusing on the tasks required for creating the first Object and its components. The red line indicated the critical path. Unsurprisingly that’s the embroidery.

If you are as kinaesthetically and visually inclined as I am, the good old method of shoving-bits-of-coloured-paper-around might work very well for you. I’m now using this to populate an MS Project document and produce a Gantt chart.

Clothing construction details in paintings: 1464-66 Master of the Lyversberg Passion, Cologne

MeisterLyuversberg_Passionsaltar_wrm_0143-0150_01Master of the Lyversberg Passion (active in Cologne, c. 1450 – c. 1490): Two wings of a Passion Altar (Lyversberg Passion), c. 1464–1466. Oak, 92 x 67 cm (each scene). Acquired in 1864 with funds from the Richartz-Fonds. WRM 0143 – 0150.

The altar panels are in the Wallraf-Richartz museum, Cologne, Germany. Further information: 

The image to the left is from the Rheinisches Bildarchiv.

The photos below in this post are from the bottom left panel of the left wing of the Lyversberg Passion altar, taken by myself on 18th August 2015. The figures below are secular ones in a religious altar piece.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 01

Detail of spiral-laced calf opening to fit clothes skintight, and seam line at back of leg.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 03 1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 04 1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 05

Construction details of seam placement in doublet A, and buttoned side closure in B.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 06  1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 07

Pin fastening on woman’s head veil.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 09  1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 08

Construction detail of man’s doublet C. Triangulate this secondary visual source with the primary source of the 14th century pourpoint of Charles de Blois, and the similarity of sleeve/shoulder seam placements becomes evident despite the fact the pourpoint dates from the 4th quarter of the 14th century, thus 100 years prior.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 10 1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 11 1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 12

m103700_32694-2_p m103700_32694-3_p 

Photos of pourpoint from Joconde: Portail des collections des musées de France.

Doublet D appears to be velvet, cut and laid in two directions.

1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 13 1464-66 Lyversberg Passion 14

Dress Reconstruction Visual Workshop: 1530s German Renaissance

My research aims to reconstruct historic Dress at a specific time-location-point, to create an artefact that no longer exists (the recreated artefact/object). To summarise the approach I am taking: the process of reconstruction of this artefact will be object-driven (see Material Culture), and the reconstructed object – the experience of it / discourse with it – will be explored in an object-centred approach. The reconstruction of the object i.e. the re-creation of the historic Dress will be a means to conduct the research, not a research outcome in itself.

I am in the early stages of research into the recreation of Object A, which is not determined through publication or manuscript dates (more on this approach at a later date). It must, however, reflect the description in the Six Swans fairy tale. For an explanation of the role of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, see the page Research background: fairy tales.

The first edition from 1812 (Volume 1) of Die Kinder- und Hausmärchen – Handexemplar states on p.223:

Die sechs Schwäne

“…, weil es ihnen nun nicht antworten durfte, wollte es sie mit Geschenken befriedigen, und warf ihnen seine goldene Halskette herab. Sie riefen aber noch immer, da warf es seinen Gürtel, als auch dies nichts half seine Strumpfbänder endlich, alles, was es entbehren konnte, herunter, so daß es nichts mehr als sein Hemdlein anbehielt.”

The six Swans

… since she was not allowed to answer, she decided to appease them with gifts and threw down her golden necklace. But they still called out, thus she threw her belt, and as this did not help either, her garters. Finally, she had thrown down everything she could go without, so that she wore nothing but her shift.
(my own literal – not literary – translation)

I will leave this passage standing as it is for now, as an aid to reflect on the visual (art) sources from 4 distinctive German regions in the 1530s (leeway +/- 5 years):

  • Lower Rhenish-Westphalia, Cologne, artist Barthel Bruyn the Elder
  • Hesse, Frankfurt, artist Conrad Faber von Kreuznach
  • Bavaria, Nuremberg & Munich, artist Barthel Beham
  • Saxony, Dresden, artist Lucas Cranach the Elder

4 very distinctive styles – but do they realistically depict ‘fashion’ or a combination thereof with artist’s idiosyncratic style, artistic period convention, allegory demands, etc. This will be part of my research. As for now, I would like to share the comparisons with you, I personally find visuals of this type most helpful.

Comparison-tables with images behind the cut