This week, I have several new art dolls almost ready for images. The integral word here being almost. So, I thought that I’d share a few shots of one of last week’s pieces while she was still a work in progress.
This is the image of my character from Japanese folklore, Otohime. She is quite different from most of the art doll figures I usually create. I constructed her primarily out of paper products. Her base is classic glue and newsprint paper maché over a chickenwire frame. The “watery” surface of the base I created through the application of layer upon layer of torn tissue paper. Her head, neck, and hands are sculpted out of paperclay with a painted and distressed surface.
The base of the head and upper torso consist of a foil base covered with florist tape.
One of the drawbacks of letting mixed media works take you where they want to go is that each can require reinvention of techniques. This can however be as enjoyable as it is vexing. I do like the discovery and puzzle solving involved in the process. It does require more time, and stopping as I work to decide where to go next with the piece.
Even the elements that I more regularly incorporate into my art dolls required tweaking with this piece. For her kimono, had to fit the garment over an already posed figure, and carefully coat the underside of the garment with glue to resist fraying. In her right hand she holds a copper fan that had to be set and sculpted in place. The copper hands that I forge out of tubing and wire are able to be positioned to hold something added to them at a later time.
I will be interested to see how this figure sculpture is received after she is displayed alongside my other art dolls in the gallery.