Where is this art doll off to?
This week I completed “Getting Ready”. This art doll is obviously on her way to somewhere very important, but not quite set to go. I’m sure she’d like to have her dress ready too, but her undergarments are pretty interesting all on their own. Besides, her attention seems to be firmly concentrated on her hair at the moment.
I may change the mirror she is holding a bit. It is one of those details that you need to look at before you feel it is exactly what you want for a piece. Sometimes time and distance are the most useful items you have in your toolbox. I can’t even recall the number of pieces I’ve changed or even completely reworked before they appeared in the gallery. A couple of the dolls that will appear in my feature show in May are very different beings now compared to what they were a few months earlier.
back view of Getting Ready
As you can see, Getting Ready is tightly laced up, and even has a little bit of boost for her bustle. I worked more metal through her shoulders and bust line and defined her waist with soft sculpting techniques. These shapes are created through costuming with most of my other art dolls.
I’m still left wondering where she and her striped stockings are off to next.
Art Doll Balloon
The art doll to emerge this week from my studio is this whimsical figure grasping the string of her balloon. I like working on pieces in which I strive to capture movement. It is easier to have a sculpture posed in a static attitude. With this doll, I wanted the viewer to feel if they could witness the very next second, the doll would either rise off her one foot, or be running after the balloon being carried by a breeze.
Some pieces take form as you are working on them, sometimes surprising you with the end result. This piece was very much the opposite. She was fully formed in my mind and sketchbook just begging to come to life. The only detail that surprised me was how I created the balloon. Originally, I was going to fashion it out of something like paper mâché, but then I found the blue checkered fabric in my stash, and it spoke so strongly to the pattern I chose for her dress. I knew I had to sew it as well.
Her red “leather” Mary Jane shoes took me on a little learning journey. I find I simply love creating the footwear for these figures. I helped my process of creating the patterns for each by doing a bit of Internet seachring on shoemaking itself. Watching footwear pattern and construction videos during a gallery shift provided fresh insight. Most helpful was seeing how shoe designers use tape covering their shoe form to create their initial patterns.
I think I might have found my image piece for my next show card.
“Snow Day” is an art doll sculpture born from a string of snowed in days. Normally, each of my figures starts life in my metal studio where I hammer a face out of copper stock, and forge hands from copper tubing and wire. A couple of abnormally cold and snowy weeks kept my garage metal studio a bit cooler than I like to do this small scale metal forming.
During one of these days I remembered I had a stash of polymer clay. I decided to create a face that could be stitched on to a bit larger scale cloth doll. This doll body I created in the same manner as my very first figure sculpture to cross into art doll territory, “No Rag Doll”, with a soft sewn body over a posable wire frame.
The nordic theme of the doll came out of the weather on the days in which I created her, and the addition of iridescent clay into her face that lends a slightly frosted appearance. I had all of the fabrics and trims used on hand in my studio, and she came together quite smoothly, but seemed somewhat incomplete when I finished her clothing.
I noticed that this art doll could stand unaided. I had enhanced the ability to balance for several of my other art dolls with the addition of a staff, or walking stick. “Snow Days” snow shoes and ski poles were born from that bit of brainstorming.
“Snow Day” will most likely stay in my studio until my feature show at the end of May, though I may be convinced to bring her to the gallery earlier while she still matches the season.