A stroke of creative genius gave Abby Anderson an idea that was so brilliant it catapulted her to the top of her Design and Technology class and won her a Band Six in the HSC.
In her mind’s eye she envisaged a dress bristling with metallic scales - something that was sharp and jagged but at the same time flowing and graceful.
She even had a name: Pogona Barbata, the scientific name for the eastern bearded dragon that can be found sunbathing out in the Australian bush.
Over the next eight months she would continue to work relentlessly to bring her idea into reality.
It would be an arduous slog that would require a lot of trial and error as she tinkered away at home and at the classroom at Marian Catholic College.
“It took a lot of testing and playing with the materials to see what would make it safe and what would look good,” Miss Anderson said.
She hand designed each of the nearly 400 scales and cut around 200 aluminum cans to size.
Then she folded each of the pieces of aluminum, punched holes in the corners and hand sewed them to a length of nylon netting and inner lining that she had measured to her size.
When Miss Anderson finally slipped on the finished product she looked dangerous yet graceful, like a medieval painting brought to life.
The dress wowed the HSC judges, who awarded her top marks and a Band Six for her ingenuity.
Now she hopes to take her creative genius to university, where she plans to study architecture.
Her design and technology teacher Maureen Shannon is completely confident that Miss Anderson can achieve whatever it is she sets her mind to.
“She was very committed and determined to get to this point,” Mrs Shannon said.
“I’m very proud of her.”
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