I had an very interesting commission inquiry a couple of months back. I was contacted by an individual who had seen and admired my art doll sculptures at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I was asked if I would create a figure of a doctor who had just delivered a baby. As it was the height of the “holiday ornament and jewelry season” for me, I was lucky that this patron was in no particular hurry for the sculpture’s completion.
As the child of an obstetrician, with I’m guessing just a dash of nostalgia, this collector’s assemblage of figures contains mostly pieces depicting the slightly bygone era when the attending physician extracted the baby’s first cry with a quick pat to the bottom. I worked up several sketches for this piece. Some standing, some sitting, some holding the baby in the doctor’s arms. My personal favorite was of a medieval midwife holding a babe in swaddling. I may choose to create some version of that figure in the future. The customer chose a sketch more in line with the existing collection. The resulting art doll figure I refer to as “Delivery”.
I chose unbleached muslin for the doctor scrubs, and metal and faux-leather elements on the surgical mask and head reflector in keeping with the steampunk flavor of my work. This aesthetic is further emphasized by letting a bit of the doc’s conduit forearms peek out. I like that this also helps to place this figure in an earlier time in the viewer’s eye. The baby, I kept very simple and stylized by fashioning him/her out of copper tubing and wire, with a featureless wooden bead for a head. However, I couldn’t resist adding just an extra bit if whimsy by adorning the little crown with a tuft of copper curls.
The piece stands about fourteen inches tall on its stand. I hope that I receive a photo once this figure is housed alongside the others in the collection.