In need of an Inked Art Doll?

An Art Doll With a Bit of Ink

This latest anthropomorphic art doll is a bit off the beaten path. Inked is a needle felted and “tattooed” squid figure sculpture. Several types of cephalopods produce ink like substances that they use to deter would be predators. Playing with idea of being tattooed as “being inked,” my squid creation sports a jellyfish tattoo. The inked connection is reinforced by the needle felting process itself. Wool fibers are felted together by pushing them with a felting needle as ink is pushed with a needle in tattooing.

"Inked" - anthropomorphic needle felted squid art doll sculpture with tattoo.
Inked

Inked is not the only cephalopod in my recent body of work. I created the piece ‘Multitasking”, a tea serving octopus, for my gallery feature show. I wrote about him here earlier this year

Construction of a Squid Art Doll

The under structure of this sculpture is somewhat more involved than most, as you might imagine. Quite a bit of wire twisting was needed to form the base of the head, eight arms, and two tentacles. Once that somewhat unwieldy structure was complete, I felted quilt batting over the wire to provide the more sculpted form. Over this batting form I then felt the wool “skin” of the creature. I set large glass gems for the reflective eyes, and felted the socket surrounds of each.

Inked’s distinctive jellyfish and bubbles tattoo was needle felted in place on the the figure’s tube and head.

Not Your Typical Doll

detail of Inked's needle felted tattoo
detail of Inked’s tattoo

Inked is certainly not your typical art doll sculpture. It is neither pretty, nor cute in the usual sense. I do find it both intriguing and visually interesting, and hope that others do too. Playing with ideas and forms that others might not helps to keep work fresh, fun, and surprising. I have added Inked to my Etsy store so someone else intrigued by its distinctive nature can take it home.

Adventure Mouse

Adventure Begins…

Adventure Begins anthropomorphic needle felted mouse art dol
Adventure Begins

I named my newest needle felted anthropomorphic art doll creation Adventure Begins, as this little mouse is all ready to set out on a journey. His backpack is on and his travel journal is in hand. With the addition of his hat and scarf, he is ready for what ever conditions he encounters.

Adventure Begins is also the first sculpture I have created since setting up the Etsy shop I told you about in my last post. As you can see, that means I also happen to have more images of him than past pieces. Why, you may ask, is that? Well, selling and showing sculptures online is quite different than in a gallery. In the gallery, a viewer can see the item from all angles. They can take time to notice all the little details incorporated into the piece. In the gallery there is also no real need for dimensions or an image next to something to provide scale. Online I want to show you the little handmade journal I created for him. You can see that his backpack has a little brass closure button, and that his hat fits neatly between his ears. So, a greater variety of images is needed.

Thinking Differently

I began making Adventure Begins in much the same way I make all my figure sculptures, But, I have to admit that knowing where you will display a piece of ahead of time, can influence some design decisions. As the piece is a mouse, you would expect him to be rather small in comparison. This does happen to make him easier to ship. As a result, when I listed the piece on line I decided to offer free domestic shipping on him.

Etsy tells its sellers that they are more likely to highlight pieces that offer such perks as shipping or special coupons. His small size also makes Adventure Begins easier to store in the studio. The piece also provides my customers with a choice that has a slightly lower price point. Im not sure any of this will make any difference in who visits my shop, but it’s worth a try.

Adventure Begins anthropomorphic mouse needle felted art doll
Adventure Begins

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture

Moose Call to Etsy

Moose Call is my newest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture, and he seems an appropriate piece to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop.

Moose Call anthropomorphic moose art doll figure sculpture
Moose Call

I have gone back and forth on opening an Etsy. As you know, you can inquire about my pieces available for purchase here. Additionally, I have pieces listed on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts shop pages.

Driving traffic to stand alone websites mine or HGA is multifaceted. It is easier and more effective to let those whose job it is take charge. So, I made the decision to let the web marketing pros on Etsy take the wheel in that area. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still have to do as much posting and sharing, or even perhaps more. But, it does mean that the audience is already gathered in one place.

Having work available both online, and in the physical gallery, takes a bit more inventory finesse. I am learning as I go. Taking more and more varied images of each piece. Weighing and measuring each before listing them for postage calculations. Also, making sure that inventories in the virtual world and physical gallery don’t intersect. Not sure, but it may be possible that this last one could cause some cross dimensional rift to form. As a result I have only a few pieces up so far. I will be working to round out the inventory soon.

The Moose Himself

Moose Call sits about about 14 inches tall on his “stump” base. He is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. I used dark slightly reflective beads for his eyes that provide a nice extra sparkle. He is dressed for a brisk day in the woods with his wool vest, scarf, and cloven mittens and boots.

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture
Moose Call close up

My Etsy Shop is named LWSculpted Shop, and you can purchase Moose Call there right now!

If you do take the time to visit my new Etsy shop, please give us a “Favorite ❤️.”

Thanks.

Hedgehog Folk and Giving Back

I was about to start musing about 2020 already being half over, but let’s start with an introduction instead. One gets the feeling that right about now we need some poignant, soon to be classic, protest songs. Ironically, I created a piece titled “Protest Songs” last October. Now, I just finished an anthropomorphic folk singing companion piece I’ve named “Dylan.”

Dylan anthropomorphic hedgehog art doll figure sculpture
Dylan

Dylan is a hedgehog and he stands about 10 inches high. He plays a custom made acoustic guitar, and sports a hat that seems vaguely familiar. He is loosely inspired by Bob Dylan’s look from his 1975 “Rolling Thunder Review” tour. As Dylan often serves as the quintessential model of a folk singer, I chose him as my model too. Who isn’t in need of a little folk singing hedgehog right about now? I’ve added Dylan to my “Available for Purchase” pieces, so you can let me know you need him to live in your home.

Giving Back

The gallery currently has a new online show up that opened last Friday. You can shop this new show, “Surfaces,” and work by all the Hillsborough Gallery artists in our online shop.

Opening later this month will be our special “Giving Back” show. This show will donate a percentage of the proceeds to local first responders. I will have two pieces available in that upcoming show. I will be sure to share the link with you as soon as the show goes live on our website.

Wish on a Breeze needle felted relief on up cycled denim
Wish on a Breeze 9″x6″

The first piece is a twist on some of the little needle felted relief sculpture panels I have created. This panel, titled “Wish on a Breeze” combines techniques I’ve incorporated into my one of a kind handbags. I needle felt, and then stitch secure artwork onto denim recycled from old jeans. This 9″ x 6″ dandelion panel can be hung by the chord stitched into its back, or tabletop displayed on the included easel.

Squiggle Heart needle felted wool on leather chord necklace
Squiggle Heart

I will also have available this needle felted Squiggle Heart pendant. The heart element measures 2″ across, and slides on a leather chord with hand forged hook clasp.

Keep an eye out for the opening of Giving Back.

Wings and a Whisk –

Let’s start with the whisk. Titled Hands Off The Carrot Cake, my anthropomorphic rabbit chief appears to mean business. This art doll sculpture appears cute and fluffy, but also not afraid to use his whisk if needed. This needle-felted figure sculpture stands about 15 inches high, and is ready to oversee things going on in the kitchen.

Hands Off The Carrot Cake - anthropomorphic needle-felted rabbit chief sculpture
Hands Off The Carrot Cake 15″x8″x 8″

Hands Off The Carrot Cake features a custom chef’s hat, apron, and hand formed copper wire whisk. This piece recalls an earlier singing chief I created in paper mâché and paperclay, and two early terra cotta figures I made in school.

About the Wings

Titled Stretching Her Wings, this piece is about a foot tall and stands on four of her delicate butterfly legs. She is using her top two legs to help get the last bit of stretch in her new wings. We can only imagine that she is happy to have emerged from her metamorphic phase.

Stretching Her Wings - anthropomorphic butterfly needle-felted sculpture
Stretching Her Wings 11″x 13″x7″

I’m not sure if I will just make these two new pieces available online, or if one or both will take a trip to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I’m still figuring out the the ins and outs of maintaining an online inventory. For now, both are available on my Available for Purchase page.

Going on at the Gallery

Due to Covid-19, the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is currently open on Saturday afternoon from noon to 4, or by private appointment. I will update you as we add more open hours to the schedule. You can see an ever growing and changing collection of art from all the HGA member artist in our online Art Shop.

Anthropomorphic Art Dolls Moving On?

…But they’re not gone!

This week is the last Friday of the month. A new featured artist show, Construction, is going live online for HGA. But, Three Narratives isn’t really going anywhere. My anthropomorphic art dolls will remain available both within the gallery featured sales pages, and here on my Available for Purchase page.

Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
Multitasking 12″x7″x12″

At the Gallery

Those same anthropomorphic art dolls are now at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts awaiting our controlled reopening. As you can imagine, a space where patrons linger, converse, and touch objects is rife with contact concerns. The HGA owner artists are carefully considering all the angles we can think of to safely start to welcome visitors back. The current plan is to offer private appointments one weekday, and open a few hours with precautions on Saturdays. Details on both options are still being finalized. I will share all that information with you here, as soon as I can.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion 7″x18″x10″

Not Just Anthropomorphic Art Dolls.

Even with the move towards careful reopening, we are building and refining HGA’s online sales offerings. As you might imagine, something that required building on the fly has experienced a hiccup or two. The experience of the past few months has taught us that we need to develop this side of our gallery further. Keep checking in with me here. I will continue to share new developments. In the mean time, take a second look at our special Art Under $100 show. This show features pieces donated by the HGA member artists, and all proceeds go to maintaining the gallery.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″
Flower Necklace -purple and turquoise needle felted flowers on leather chord
Flower Necklace

ART UNDER 100

Click on the image below to visit the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts’ newest online market, Art Under 100. This special page features works donated by HGA artists. All proceeds go to keep our favorite gallery going while we are still closed for stay-at-home. I will be sure to share any and all reopening information for the gallery. We are working hard behind the scenes to be able to welcome visitors in a safe and healthy way.

Making Lemonade

Marketing art at the moment is, as you might imagine, an interesting challenge. For both my own work here on this site, and for our co-owned Hillsborough Gallery of Arts the learning and adjusting curves are quite steep. In both instances, sharing more online seems to be the short answer. The answers about how, and what is most effective are much longer and trickier. The cliche of “turning lemons into lemonade” is the guiding principle, and an increased online presence using a variety of attacks is the strategy being employed.

Newest Lemonade Stand

On the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts website there is a new choice on the top menu bar, Art Shop. This page offers a selection of work by all of the HGA artists that you can now purchase online. Take a moment to check it out. There is a wide variety of media, styles and price points available.

Wise and Magical anthropomorphic wise-woman owl sculpture
Wise and Magical

My latest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture titled Wise and Magical is one of the two pieces I have available on that page. She is a colorful wise-woman owl who has apparently been forging for some herbs for her medicine bag. Wise and Magical is perched on a natural stick base.

DIY anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

D.I.Y. also is available now on the new HGA Art Shop page. I shared D.I.Y. with you a few posts back, and only had her available here on my site. I also took the opportunity to update her image as well.

Also New This Week..

The new Art Under $100 donation page that I wrote about last post will be up this Friday, May 15th at Noon. Remember, my Blue Butterfly Bag will available there as well as donated items by other HGA member artists with all proceeds going to keep the gallery going while the doors are shut. Shipping is included on all items there.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″

Look at the Screen

Artwork looks much different through a computer screen. Some views are actually enhanced by an image. I see the details of the Mona Lisa much better in high resolution scans than when I looked through glass from the midst of a pack of tourists. I’m sure the experience would be very different if I were able to view the masterpiece face-to-face. In the real world, however, the computer screen may be one’s best option.

My Sculpture on the Screen

  • High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
  • Climate Report anthropomorphic art doll
  • Emu Incognito anthropomorphic art doll
  • Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
  • Literary Cat anthropomorphic art doll
  • Too En Pointe? anthropomorphic art doll
  • Stroll anthropomorphic art doll
  • Upstart Crow anthropomorphic art doll
  • Happiness Isn't anthropomorphic art doll
  • Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
  • Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
  • Secrets Locked anthropomorphic art doll

My much humbler artwork is definitely viewed best up close and in person. Sculptures of relatively compact scale need the viewer to move in close, and see all around. Needle felted wool adds a textural warmth to the surface of my pieces that does not translate as well in photographs. I could provide multiple views of each sculpture, but even those run up to the barrier created by the two-dimensional screen.

Experiencing an art show from the side of the artist has also been altered by the computer screen. I posted here presenting a few pieces each time, and then shared each post on social media. Then, I sat back and waited for blog comments, or likes and shares. Even though I had done these things in the past for my shows, now they are the show. A conversation with someone at the opening about what made one piece their favorite is replaced with a “thumbs-up” emoji. Seems that the show has been distanced in both space and in time.

On The Horizon

I am waiting on some direct links to share with you for other things we are working on for the gallery. HGA’s website will soon have a couple of additional pieces for sale by each of our member artists on the HGA website. The Square market where we have virtually shared our featured artist shows (like my current Three Narratives) will also feature a special new offering. Each of our HGA member artists donated a piece priced $100 or less with all proceeds going to the maintenance of the gallery. Shipping is included for all of these wonderful works. This up-cycled denim bag with needle felted embellishments is my donation.

Blue Butterfly bag
Blue Butterfly bag – 8″x11″x1/2″

I will share links to these two new places for you to access our art as soon as they are available.

Show Now Open!!!

“Three Narratives” Show Online at Noon.

The HGA April Featured Artists show titled “Three Narratives” goes live today at noon on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts web site. The anthropomorphic art doll sculptures I’ve been sharing here with you will be available* through HGA’s new shopping site.

*Blog Bonus Sculpture

D.I.Y. anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

I just completed this ironic little figure titled D.I.Y (Do It Yourself), so her image didn’t make it on the HGA page. But I will be adding her to my Available for Purchase page immediately after I post. D.I.Y. sits about 13″ high, and is working on a warm red scarf. This anthropomorphic art doll is extra special. Her wonderful wool curls come from the sheep of another HGA artist, Susan Hope. I love when I can incorporate things from others in our HGA family into a sculpture.

D.I.Y – W.I.P.

D.I.Y also features a bit of interesting work-in-progress elements that I thought I’d share with you. I needed to knit her red scarf, but didn’t have any needles, let alone any small enough. I created the little needles you see in the image by grinding and polishing the ends of a couple of 16d finishing nails!

Knitting D.I.Y. scarf
Knitting D.I.Y. scarf

There are several parts of art doll sculptures that each artist sort of developed their own strategies for sculpting. Noses, ears, and fingers are examples of such features. My method for noses involves shaping the basic nose, and then piercing where the nostrils would be. After I create the nostril hole, I have to keep it open to continue shaping. So there is a point in each art doll’s creation where as my child states, they look like they are getting a rhinoplasty.

D.I.Y work in progress image
Work-In-Progress on D.I.Y

Last Piece for the Show

The last piece I need to share is the one that our card designer chose to highlight, Pierre.

Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
Pierre 4″x13″x8″ $400

Pierre, is a fox who is all set to hit the slopes, but probably in a bygone era. I had a bit of fun creating his vintage styled skis, poles, and warm wool ski wear. Pierre, stands about 13″ high, and his skis and poles provide his interesting base.

Show Here, Show there

Pierre, and his *friends can be purchased directly from me here, or through the HGA website starting at noon today. You may notice slightly different pricing, that is because the shipping, handling, and processing costs have been added in on the HGA site. Hope to see you online today!