It's now only a week until I have to re-enrol on my fashion course - so my welding will be soon be over. This summer, I have helped the University again, working in the Engineering Department on mostly maintenance but also helping install some new equipment - and, of course, welding lots of things like bicycles, motorcycles, car exhausts and even a bird cage!
But already, my thoughts are turning to fashion - and my Dissertation for this year. It's not the final, 15,000 word one (that will be in 2013, I hope) but does have to be "7,500 words on an original topic and supported by appropriate academic reference."
While I was doing some initial research, I came across this book:
So I think I may write about the development of women blacksmiths and welders from the 18th Century and how their workwear accentuated their femininity before later developing into utilitarian dress that we know today, and how fashion-derived workwear could be worn without undermining the ability of women to be perceived as first-class welders.
I am very interested in the case of Faith Feather Traversie, a Yankton Lakota woman - that's a Native American (or "Indian") - who became a welder in the Mare Island Navy Yard, and wonder how she might have combined her native clothing with welding wear, and Rachel Yent of Baltimore, who "wore a tight-fitting woollen dress" under her leather apron.
I know this will be a big topic, but as the old Lithuanian Proverb says: "Many a horse may be a mule if you don't use your eyes."