Please provide an analysis of your object following the three stages below. YOU DO NOT NEED TO ANSWER ALL BULLETED QUESTIONS BELOW, and you are not limited to these questions — they are simply provided to help guide your process.
This submission does not have a word limit or minimum. You may use bullet points and are not required to write in essay form (though you are welcome to if this is helpful to your process). This submission is designed to help you begin to brainstorm about your blog post, and is not evaluated as a final piece of writing.
OBSERVE AND DESCRIBE:
Evaluate and record descriiptive information about the object. Be as in-depth as possible, use the elements of design to aid in your descriiption, and use tools like a ruler/tape measure, color chart, magnifying glass or microscope if available. You may wish to describe things like:
Material(s) (e.g., fiber content, notions) and fabric structure (e.g., knit, woven, nonwoven)? Texture?
Shape, form, silhouette?
Condition/evidence of wear?
Construction and surface details?
Record descriiptions without making value judgments (e.g., “this is pretty” “this is ugly” “this looks like something my grandma would have worn.”)
DEDUCE MEANING AND REFLECT
Begin to hypothesize about the artifact. How do the material and visual elements tell you what the item is, where it comes from, and what it means? At this point, engage the principles of design and other evaluation criteria (e.g., functional design) to reflect upon the relative strengths and weaknesses of the artifact.
Who made this item? When, where, and how?
What sort of object is it?
How would it be used?
Where would it be used?
How was it made?
Where has it traveled?
Who typically wears it or uses it?
Is this item related to or in conversation with other garments/issues/ideas?
INTERPRET, SPECULATE, & REFLECT ON CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
Begin to put the item into broader cultural and historical context. At this point, consult secondary sources that could help you to understand it better and to evaluate some of the hypotheses you made in the last step.
What kinds of values are attached to this artifact?
What does it “mean” in the world?
What sort of body would wear this garment or use this material? Why? How does the body (and our imagining of it) affect how we read and understand the garment?
What meaning do we tie to its place of origin? To the person who would wear it?
How does your background/knowledge play into your descriiption/deduction?