Last week I promised to share more information about out ornament making mini-workshop at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts this Friday evening, November 29th. During the first hour of our monthly Last Friday reception (6-7pm) three of the gallery artists will be teaching customers how to create unique holiday ornaments. We hope it will be the start of a new tradition, and a fun, low stress, and creative way to spend “Black Friday.”
Fused glass ornaments taught by Susan Hope.
Ali Givens, fabric artist, will be presenting fabric collage ornaments on miniature canvases. Fused glass artist, Susan Hope will provide instruction of kiln-fired ornaments. I will be showing how to create a tooled-metal ornament.
Each ornament will be $6, and all materials, tools, and instruction will be included. We will be limiting to three ornaments per customer as this is our first time, and we want to make sure that there is enough for everyone to join in the fun.
Tooled metal ornaments with Lynn Wartski.
Art, conversation, refreshments, and creativity, what fun!
Coasting down a hill, pigtails blown back, feet off the pedals. That feeling of childhood freedom is what I was trying to capture with “Whee!” There is something charming and sculptural about the form of a bicycle itself that adds something to a piece like this. I have a feeling that a few more such figures are in my future.
I knew that I wanted to create something different with my second bicycle piece, a challenge of Whee was to try to catch a moment of a figure in motion. My first doll with a bike, simply titled “Bicycle” was a larger turn-of-the-century attired rider atop a vintage styled bike. I’m not too sure, but I think that Whee is having just a bit more fun.
Along with my art dolls and sculptures I am lucky enough to be part of another unique creation… The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. This Monday we did our annual holiday show installation. We install a new feature show in this artist-owned gallery each month. The entire space is re-hung during four of those installations, and November is the biggest of all.
The new artwork is accompanied by ornaments, hand crafted scarves, original textile items, and additional jewelry offerings. What appears like a space in chaos in the morning is all ready for those looking for those one-of-a kind items by afternoon. It is an interesting choreography of 22 artists and their work, but it all comes together beautifully.
hand hammered copper star ornament
If you would like to read more about the HGA annual holiday show, “The Art of Giving”, take a look at the gallery’s blog. This year we will be making a fun addition to the show’s opening reception on Friday, November 29th. Three artists (myself included) will be offering an ornament mini-workshop during the first hour (6-7pm) of the evening. I’ll share more on that in a future post, but mark your calendar. The idea is a non-typical “Black Friday” activity with art, conversation, refreshments, and a bit of creativity.
“Night Queen” is the newest addition to my art doll figure sculptures.
Occasionally, I let a piece design itself. More often than not I create from a detailed sketch that has been reworked several times until I know not only the look, but also the way and order in which I will approach the piece. Perhaps it was because I was also working on a larger commission sculpture at the same time, where I was refining, and working according to the patron’s vision as much as my own. So for this doll, I hammered a face, enameled some nail heads for eyes, and created a basic body. From there I added and subtracted until I found I had a doll that felt like she was complete. I must admit that working this way takes me a bit out of my comfort zone, and probably takes longer as well.
This second doll might look familiar to some. It is the same “Lacing” piece that I created several months ago. One of the challenges to working in mixed-media is that materials sometimes do unexpected things. The original version had a strange little smudge on her face that I cleaned off. Though I worked very carefully with a cotton swab, it seems a bit of cleaner touched the edges of her then light colored felt hair. The edge looked just the slight bit dingy, so “Lacing” came home from the gallery, and received a new coiffure.
I guess sometimes the artist is controlled by the work more than he/she knows.
As I was sewing a pair of lace up boots for a new art doll sculpture, I was thinking to myself that these little details are part of what makes these pieces so intriguing. Since that doll isn’t quite finished, I figured that I’d share a few examples from some earlier dolls.
“Janice” sits and strums a guitar fashioned from copper, aluminum, a spoon handle, wire and beads.
spoon handled guitar and hands from Janice doll
“Janice” also sports a nifty pair of high top sneakers.
For “Garden Girl #2” I created a small copper garden basket, and a teeny, tiny, trowel.
Garden Girl 2 holds basket and trowel in her leather garden gloves
“Time Keeper” has boots made at my metal work table out of copper tubing.
Time Keeper’s copper boots
The front of “Snow Queen” shows her lace up bodice, leather mittens, and beaded ice scepter.
front of Snow Queen
And just in case you need one more pair of tiny shoes… Here is a close up of “Lacing” tying up the ribbons on one of her toe shoes.
You may notice some changes with my website. I can’t guarantee that it will even look the same next time you visit. As you can see I am in the process of converting my old somewhat static site with a blog. I hope that this will allow me to share more of what is going on with my art, events, inspiration and other interesting sculpture and art doll related stuff more. So check back in soon. See what I’ve been up to.