Monthly Archives: March 2014

Photographing a Moving Doll

art doll cirque 2

Cirque II

“Cirque II” is my latest art doll figure.  Like my original “Cirque” she is a fanciful aerial silks acrobat. I enjoy occasionally creating dolls like these that hang rather than sit or stand on a base.  They allow for movement to enter into the design.  Properly balanced and positioned, a doll like Cirque II can catch the slightest bit of air movement and dance or spin.

I like how this adds another dimension of interest to the piece.  It also allows for greater flexibility in display. However, it does provide a unique challenge in the area of photography.  Obtaining that crisp and clear photograph of a sculpture that is moving, no matter how slowly, can be vexing.

Thankfully, the dolls are not very large, or heavy. The addition of a couple more strands of mono-filament at strategic locations to tether her in a fixed position seems to be the answer.  Trying to give the illusion that she is still moving while she is not was the goal.

Here is a shot of her predecessor…

art doll cirque


Fine Feathered Friend

Bird girl art doll on swing

Bird Girl

Sometimes an idea for an element of a piece becomes a project unto itself. Such was the case with my newest, Bird Girl, art doll. For this figure I decided that I wanted to try to create fabric feathers. I did a quick Google on “how to make fabric feathers” and was off.

The actual technique is not too difficult. For each feather, you stitch together two rectangles of fabric up their centerline with a zig-zag stitch. Then you cut your desired feather shape out. The last step is to fray out the feather shape from the edge to your center zig-zag line… This is where the process became a project. Some fabrics, like burlap, fray very easily. I chose some cottons that I would guess are somewhere in the middle of the “fray-able” spectrum. It still took me sitting for hours with needle in hand teasing the threads off of the edge of each feather against a tray on my lap.

Am I happy with the results? Yes. Will I most likely do it again? Yeah. Will I choose fabrics that are a bit easier to fray? Quite possibly.

Bird Girl is now happily perched on her swing, and I’m on to new friends.