Mechanics of Beauty is now in action on 


The Corset Work

If you would like any hi-res images of these photos, or if you have any questions or
comments, please feel free to contact me:
tamarstone@pipeline.com

Images Copyright © 2013 by Tamar Stone. All Rights Reserved.
No images may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the artist.

Interior Front Cover Vest and Book Cover front

24 double sided machine and hand sewn pages including covers.

Book Cover and vest lining: machine embroidered image and text on cotton flannel fabric.

Binding: Hand stitched with twill tape and sewn pages. Vintage metal watch gears sewn onto corners with metallic thread. Book attached with loops and antique buttons.

Corset Width open: 30”

Page Height: 7 1/2”

Page Width:  6 1/2”


Click here: MchOfBty_TxtSpcsBibl092312.pdf
to download the complete text and specs

Box covered with Asahi Bookcloth

Machine embroidered title label on

vintage recycled cotton flannel

Closed Outside Edge Length: 15 1/2””

Closed Outside Edge Width: 11 1/2”

Height Outside Edge: 3”

My interest in how women are shaped is combined with my ongoing investigation of girls and women who walk, talk and “motor” through history with the support – and hinderance of technology.

When I came across the drawings of John Harvey Kellogg, I knew I wanted build a project around them. Most people know him as the inventor of corn flakes breakfast cereals but few are aware of his contributions to women’s medicine. He believed that the physiological difference between men and woman when it comes to “deep respiration” was a pathological one. Women were unable to breathe naturally “as men do” due to distorting influences of corset wearing and tight lacing.

To prove this theory, he created a series of chalkboard drawings using a pneumograph and a recording cylinder. These devices were placed consecutively on the chest and abdomen, and with the act of respiration, the pneumograph would rise and fall, simultaneously. The movement was recorded by the registering cylinder.

Kellogg continued his investigation into female organs that were damaged by corsets. He estimated that the movement of the uterus in ordinary breathing, moves up and down from .1 to .3 of an inch. By connecting an air-pessary (rubber and inflatable) to a tambour, he could show the influence of the corset upon the movements of the pelvic organs with the use of the recording cylinder. The movement of the pelvic organs was less when the corset was tightened than when it is loose, and deducted that if the pelvic organs were restricted, then muscular weakness and malnutrition will evolve in those pelvic organs.

It is these factual chalkboard drawings, representing the movement of body organs restricted by corsets (and recorded by the pneumograph machine) that are embroidered onto the pages of this book. They are used to compare and contrast with other images of the corseted figured are juxtaposed with images of spines (corseted and uncorseted), corset vests for children as well as the drawings and text from historical mechanical talking and walking doll patents.

The pages are recycled vintage cotton flannel and sheer organza. The embroidery is done by machine and by hand. Antique watch springs, coils and other fixings are also hand sewn throughout the book.

Box interior. Cover vest held in place with 1” loops.

Interior Box Length: 14”

Interior Box Width: 24 1/2”

Interior pages: Front Cover inside

Machine embroidered on

cotton flannel         

Outside Front Cover Vest

Antique flannel child corset vest with buttons.

Machine stitched cotton embroidered text.

Height: 14 1/2” (including shoulder straps)

Width closed: 13”


Interior pages: Page 2, back                                              Page 3, front    

Machine embroidered on vintage cotton flannel

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Binding, gears and button/loop attachment

detail

Sheer Page 1, front

Ink jet image printed on silk organza fabric

Interior pages: Page 8, back

Machine embroidered on

cotton flannel          

Sheer Page 9, front

Ink jet gear image printed on silk organza fabric,

with metallic thread, hand embroidery

Mechanics of Beauty © 2011-12

Interior page: Sheer Page 1, front

Ink jet Fig. 1 mechanical doll image printed on silk organza fabric

Interior page: Cotton flannel Page 3, back detail

Machine embroidered on cotton flannel

Interior page: Sheer Page 4, front

Ink jet text with pessary ring image printed on silk organza fabric

Interior page: Sheer Page 6, front

Ink jet mechanical doll detail image printed on silk organza fabric, with

metallic thread, hand embroidery

Interior page: Vintage cotton flannel Page 12, front

Machine embroidered on cotton flannel with vintage brass watch gears

Interior pages: Page 15, back

Machine embroidered on

cotton flannel          

Sheer Page 16, front

Ink jet mechanical doll detail image printed on organza fabric

Interior pages: Page 17, back

Machine embroidered on cotton flannel with

vintage metal watch gears and springs        

Sheer Page 18, front

Ink jet text image printed on silk organza fabric

Interior pages: Page 19, back

Machine embroidered on cotton flannel      

Page 20, front

Machine embroidered on vintage cotton flannel

with vintage metal watch gears

Interior page: Sheer Page 22, front

Ink jet mechanical doll patent drawing image printed on silk organza fabric,

with metallic thread, hand embroidery

Interior pages: Sheer Page 22, back   

Page 23, front

Machine embroidered on cotton flannel

Interior Front Cover Vest and Book Cover back

Book attached with loops and antique buttons.