Monthly Archives: April 2015

Mixed Media Art Doll

An Art Doll That Plays With Materials

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I love to mix, match, and experiment with the media I use in my sculptures.  My newest art doll, Media, takes that materials exploration to its highest power.

mixed media art doll "Media"


She has a hammered copper face on a  paperclay head with parchment hair and torch fired glass enamel eyes.  Her shaped wooden torso connects to one paperclay arm, and one fabricated from copper and aluminum conduit.  One jointed leg I fashioned from copper tubing and a shaped dowel shin, and the other has a dowel thigh joined with a copper and aluminum shin.  Finally, she is clad in a copper hat, hand stitched faux-leather boots, a tulle skirt, fabric sleeve, and a bit of metallic paint tattooing on the side of her head.

It would be an understatement to say that I enjoyed creating this art doll. The final effect is both playful and somewhat edgy and mysterious.  I’m not sure what story she has to tell, but I am guessing that it is one that must be unlocked from safe keeping first.

Media will join my other new art doll figure sculptures at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts May 25th through June 21st.

New Art Doll and Countdown

Newest Art Doll

Joy is my latest completed art doll figure sculpture.  Dancers are natural figures for sculptors to do.  Trying to capture movement in a static piece is the challenge.  In Joy, I not only wanted the viewer to feel she is captured in a frame of time, but obviously having a great time while doing it.

Dancer art doll titled Joy


Opening Reception This Week

Tomorrow is the “Last Friday” of April, and that means that it is show opening reception night at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.  Being April, it is also the month when Last Friday switches from just the monthly art walk, to the full Last Friday with music, outdoor vendors, food, and of course, art.

The new feature artist show features new work by Arianna Barra, Chris Burnside, and Michele Yellin.  It is a great show, and definitely worth a look as you enjoy Last Friday in Hillsborough.

This Last Friday also means that I have just a month left until my own featured artist show opening on May 29th. So, with that I better get back into the studio and get my new work finished.

Paper Art Doll

Art Doll in Progress

Last week I shared some Work-In-Progress images of the newest art doll I was working on. This figure was inspired by a combination of my very first art doll, a snow day, and our yearly literary themed show.

Rather than playing with the idea of a rag doll that wasn’t quite floppy, I instead twisted the idea of a paper doll into a three dimensional figure.  This idea sprung from my picking up paperclay to incorporate into my pieces after having used polymer clay for a face on a snowy day.  Thinking of this figure as a 3D paper doll turned my attention to book illustrations. The images in a classic version of Alice In Wonderland became the literary basis for “Paper Alice.”

Full length image of Paper Alice

Paper Alice

I purposely kept Alice’s color palette muted and almost monochromatic.  I wanted the figure itself to feel as though she had been plucked off the pages of an aged volume.  I used mages and quotes from the text to further this concept.

Metalwork takes a supporting role in this art doll. Her shoes, dress collar, and headband I fashioned from copper.  The “drink me” tag on her bottle is tooled brass foil, and her eyes are torch fired glass enamel on a copper base.

detail of Paper Alice

detail of Paper Alice

I used an antique yellow parchment paper to create Paper Alice’s hair.  I created this wig by hand cutting sets of strips that were then stitched on to a tiny stocking cap I created for her. A bit of curling on the edge of scissors set her coiffure in motion.

Paper Alice hands

Paper Alice hands

I enjoyed experimenting with new materials and techniques with this art doll.  I expect that I will incorporate them in other figure sculptures in the not too distant future.

Art Doll with a Doll, and a WIP

Art Doll with a Doll

This week I completed Art Doll with a Doll. This piece reminded me that once you finish a piece she then belongs to the viewer.

seated art doll figure of doll with doll

Art Doll with Doll

The reason I say this, is that I posted her image on some of my social media sites, and almost instantly received a message to purchase the “mother and baby” piece.  I have to admit it took me second to realize that the writer, a soon to be grandparent, meant the doll I had just posted. This pair is now reserved for that viewer, but she will first appear in my gallery feature show in May with a red dot on her label.

Work In Progress (WIP)

Creating for a gallery show, I always like to push myself to stretch a bit.  My recent experimentation with a polymer clay face for my doll “Snow Day”, intrigued me.  I purchased a package of paperclay.  I have been wanting to try this air dry clay on an art doll for a while now. I will be working metal into the final composition of this piece , but her beginning is a bit different from my usual forged copper face and hands. The rest of the body construction for this art doll will follow my same form of a wire skeleton with padding and clothes sewn on.

paperclay head

paperclay head


head and hands drying

I chose paperclay after thinking about my first figure sculpture to cross into the art doll realm, No Rag Doll.  That doll as you may recall was a stuffed doll with a wire skeleton and a brass foil sculpted face. With her inner support to hold herself upright, she was a rag doll that wasn’t floppy at all. In using paperclay I am playing with the idea of a paper doll, but since she is rendered in three dimensions she is nothing like the flat counterparts from which I am drawing inspiration.  Her connection to paper also stems from a literary catalyst, but I’ll share more about that when I post her completed images.