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From Antique Ruined to Useful Art

Antique Dress Forms are beautiful pieces of art and history. If you search the internet you will
see many variations of antique dress forms. Allow me to share one of mine with you. My
latest project. A wise man recently told me to take time to hobby, relax, think, enjoy. This is
what I have been up to in listening to his advice.
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Ms Clara Mae was one of the most talented sewing people in our country community. This
week her son asked me to repair (sew) something for him. We talked while I worked. He
asked me about the props and body form pieces I have in my office. I explained to him what
I use them for and how I got them. Each having their own story. He mentioned his Mom’s
was ruined and in the shed at his sisters. My response was HORROR! She would be so
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I finished mending the item for him and we decided to go look at the old sewing body
form. I could only shake my head, such a shame. She loved to sew, quilt and can fruit
and vegetables. He loaded it into my truck and gave it to me. I promised to fix it and
take good care of it. This began my latest project. Restoring-repairing-making this beautiful
piece of history into a useful item in my office. And, yes, you WILL notice it in a photo
now and then in my store listings! I used it in one already, have you spotted it?
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Sharing the photos with you taken along my journey as I relaxed focused, thought.
The top is cardboard thick but much damage. Metal pole and a cast iron very detailed
base. First I metal brushed down the metal. Then cleaned. Next I started paper Mache
repairing and filling in the damaged areas. Following that with a coat of brown bag Mache
work. Some aging techniques to the paper and oiling the metal which will be carefully
heat fired tomorrow. Here it is. One saved piece of history that is greatly appreciated and
will be used much during my lifetime. She is smiling down from heaven and her son is
going to smile when he sees it!

Visit Wild Rags Place, an online shopping outlet filled with unique, new, antique, vintage....variety.

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Reader Comments  (13)

Royal Presence
Royal Presence | August 11th 2011 at 1313105378

Beautiful! It's wonderful work you did!
buyzjewelry | August 12th 2011 at 1313133451

what a knack you have | August 12th 2011 at 1313152979

You are so talented, Lori. I love the job you did on the old dress form. Happy selling.

Linda Jordan
Linda Jordan | August 12th 2011 at 1313187611

Very creative and very talented! Thanks for sharing this!
Lori L. Johnson
Lori L. Johnson | August 12th 2011 at 1313203331

Thank you. I still have to seal it which I will add a photo of after that. My helpers are working tomorrow, so I have to wait on a torch!
Lori L. Johnson
Lori L. Johnson | August 12th 2011 at 1313203602

That is me, the mess, you see in the photo. It was 105 degrees outside on the front porch. I was covered with dirt, sweat, rust and yuck. :) Gotta love it!
Bishop & Demi
Bishop & Demi | August 12th 2011 at 1313204199

Loverly just loverly :) That is my word for lovely ;) I need to take to sewing my mother gave me a sewing machine a few years ago and I am yet to use it :( I get so busy it's hard to find time for much of hobbies..working out..etc. One day though ;) Kudos to you my dear! Cheers!
Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | August 12th 2011 at 1313205165

Fabulous! Thanks for sharing!
beachcats_bargains | August 17th 2011 at 1313568001

Wow...very impressive! You did a wonderful job!
no photo
BeewitchingItems | August 17th 2011 at 1313601497

A beautiful piece and you are to be commended for saving it
Fredrick Nijm
Fredrick Nijm | August 17th 2011 at 1313605766

Real nice work. Thank you for sharing so much with your audience. Love it! Love the mess too. It's very very REAL lol. You have a talent and should be very proud with your accomplishments.
Lori L. Johnson
Lori L. Johnson | August 17th 2011 at 1313621322

Ha ha ha Thanks Mr Fredrick Nijm! I am rather good at getting down and messy into projects. No manicures or such for me! The actual worse part of this project was, at some point over the years, someone had spray painted the base silver, lol. It was peeling so it could have been harder to get off but was messy. Each line appeared clean and clear and stunningly as I worked on it. I think I failed to mention this one, at some point in its life, someone decided to use the body part for a karate move, crushing in parts that I built back up. Cannot wait to fire and seal it. In time, then again, I am known, seriously, as 3/4 Lori for getting into a project and taking forever to finish the final parts.
Lori L. Johnson
Lori L. Johnson | March 15th 2013 at 1363390000

So glad there is this blog with photos since it was lost in the fire. I can look back on the treasure and smile still. :)

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