Tag Archives: figure sculpture

Independent Art Doll Figures

An artist’s work quite often reflects what is happening in the world, and right now there is almost too much going on. I’m not sure one could successfully escape current events even if they wanted to. I’m also not sure one should try. So very much of consequence seems to be at stake. It seems no surprise that such things might be on my mind in the studio, and find their way into my art doll creations.

Mice Can Roar, My RBG Art Doll

The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the rush to fill her seat are just two news items from the past few weeks. She was a model of intelligence and strength expressed with class and grace. Her rise to cultural icon status seems to be incongruous with her role as Justice, her age, and small stature. She seems truly a mouse that was able to roar. This is why I’ve titled this small anthropomorphic art doll sculpture Mice Can Roar. I didn’t want her to be derivative of other artists depictions of RBG, so I based her off of a recent piece of my own, Adventure Begins. I also wanted to stay away from the now all too common representations with a crown or holding a gavel.

Mice Can Roar

The sculpture stands about 7 inches high. She is needle felted wool over a quilt batting frame. Her shape and size allowed me to construct her without an internal wire armature. I used iridescent dark glass beads for her eyes, and her Dissent Collar I created by sewing glass beads to a felt base. Her eyeglasses are also needle felted without an internal structure. Mice Can Roar is now available in my Etsy Shop.

Placing Her Own Crown

Another recently completed, and quite independent art doll now found in my Etsy shop is Placing Her Own Crown. This frog princess isn’t waiting around for a coronation. She is placing her crown on her green head by herself. I like twisting fairytales around from time to time. Placing Her Own Crown doesn’t necessarily erase a prince from the story, but doesn’t make him a requirement either. While not inspired by a specific event in the news, Placing Her Own Crown does seem timely. I don’t suppose having a college age daughter has any influence on this fairytale reinterpretation.

Placing Her Own Crown

My frog princess is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. She features large blue glass bead eyes and glass bead accents on her crown. “Placing” sits about 10 inches high on her wood block display base.

In need of an Inked Art Doll?

An Art Doll With a Bit of Ink

This latest anthropomorphic art doll is a bit off the beaten path. Inked is a needle felted and “tattooed” squid figure sculpture. Several types of cephalopods produce ink like substances that they use to deter would be predators. Playing with idea of being tattooed as “being inked,” my squid creation sports a jellyfish tattoo. The inked connection is reinforced by the needle felting process itself. Wool fibers are felted together by pushing them with a felting needle as ink is pushed with a needle in tattooing.

"Inked" - anthropomorphic needle felted squid art doll sculpture with tattoo.
Inked

Inked is not the only cephalopod in my recent body of work. I created the piece ‘Multitasking”, a tea serving octopus, for my gallery feature show. I wrote about him here earlier this year

Construction of a Squid Art Doll

The under structure of this sculpture is somewhat more involved than most, as you might imagine. Quite a bit of wire twisting was needed to form the base of the head, eight arms, and two tentacles. Once that somewhat unwieldy structure was complete, I felted quilt batting over the wire to provide the more sculpted form. Over this batting form I then felt the wool “skin” of the creature. I set large glass gems for the reflective eyes, and felted the socket surrounds of each.

Inked’s distinctive jellyfish and bubbles tattoo was needle felted in place on the the figure’s tube and head.

Not Your Typical Doll

detail of Inked's needle felted tattoo
detail of Inked’s tattoo

Inked is certainly not your typical art doll sculpture. It is neither pretty, nor cute in the usual sense. I do find it both intriguing and visually interesting, and hope that others do too. Playing with ideas and forms that others might not helps to keep work fresh, fun, and surprising. I have added Inked to my Etsy store so someone else intrigued by its distinctive nature can take it home.

Adventure Mouse

Adventure Begins…

Adventure Begins anthropomorphic needle felted mouse art dol
Adventure Begins

I named my newest needle felted anthropomorphic art doll creation Adventure Begins, as this little mouse is all ready to set out on a journey. His backpack is on and his travel journal is in hand. With the addition of his hat and scarf, he is ready for what ever conditions he encounters.

Adventure Begins is also the first sculpture I have created since setting up the Etsy shop I told you about in my last post. As you can see, that means I also happen to have more images of him than past pieces. Why, you may ask, is that? Well, selling and showing sculptures online is quite different than in a gallery. In the gallery, a viewer can see the item from all angles. They can take time to notice all the little details incorporated into the piece. In the gallery there is also no real need for dimensions or an image next to something to provide scale. Online I want to show you the little handmade journal I created for him. You can see that his backpack has a little brass closure button, and that his hat fits neatly between his ears. So, a greater variety of images is needed.

Thinking Differently

I began making Adventure Begins in much the same way I make all my figure sculptures, But, I have to admit that knowing where you will display a piece of ahead of time, can influence some design decisions. As the piece is a mouse, you would expect him to be rather small in comparison. This does happen to make him easier to ship. As a result, when I listed the piece on line I decided to offer free domestic shipping on him.

Etsy tells its sellers that they are more likely to highlight pieces that offer such perks as shipping or special coupons. His small size also makes Adventure Begins easier to store in the studio. The piece also provides my customers with a choice that has a slightly lower price point. Im not sure any of this will make any difference in who visits my shop, but it’s worth a try.

Adventure Begins anthropomorphic mouse needle felted art doll
Adventure Begins

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture

Moose Call to Etsy

Moose Call is my newest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture, and he seems an appropriate piece to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop.

Moose Call anthropomorphic moose art doll figure sculpture
Moose Call

I have gone back and forth on opening an Etsy. As you know, you can inquire about my pieces available for purchase here. Additionally, I have pieces listed on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts shop pages.

Driving traffic to stand alone websites mine or HGA is multifaceted. It is easier and more effective to let those whose job it is take charge. So, I made the decision to let the web marketing pros on Etsy take the wheel in that area. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still have to do as much posting and sharing, or even perhaps more. But, it does mean that the audience is already gathered in one place.

Having work available both online, and in the physical gallery, takes a bit more inventory finesse. I am learning as I go. Taking more and more varied images of each piece. Weighing and measuring each before listing them for postage calculations. Also, making sure that inventories in the virtual world and physical gallery don’t intersect. Not sure, but it may be possible that this last one could cause some cross dimensional rift to form. As a result I have only a few pieces up so far. I will be working to round out the inventory soon.

The Moose Himself

Moose Call sits about about 14 inches tall on his “stump” base. He is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. I used dark slightly reflective beads for his eyes that provide a nice extra sparkle. He is dressed for a brisk day in the woods with his wool vest, scarf, and cloven mittens and boots.

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture
Moose Call close up

My Etsy Shop is named LWSculpted Shop, and you can purchase Moose Call there right now!

If you do take the time to visit my new Etsy shop, please give us a “Favorite ❤️.”

Thanks.

Hedgehog Folk and Giving Back

I was about to start musing about 2020 already being half over, but let’s start with an introduction instead. One gets the feeling that right about now we need some poignant, soon to be classic, protest songs. Ironically, I created a piece titled “Protest Songs” last October. Now, I just finished an anthropomorphic folk singing companion piece I’ve named “Dylan.”

Dylan anthropomorphic hedgehog art doll figure sculpture
Dylan

Dylan is a hedgehog and he stands about 10 inches high. He plays a custom made acoustic guitar, and sports a hat that seems vaguely familiar. He is loosely inspired by Bob Dylan’s look from his 1975 “Rolling Thunder Review” tour. As Dylan often serves as the quintessential model of a folk singer, I chose him as my model too. Who isn’t in need of a little folk singing hedgehog right about now? I’ve added Dylan to my “Available for Purchase” pieces, so you can let me know you need him to live in your home.

Giving Back

The gallery currently has a new online show up that opened last Friday. You can shop this new show, “Surfaces,” and work by all the Hillsborough Gallery artists in our online shop.

Opening later this month will be our special “Giving Back” show. This show will donate a percentage of the proceeds to local first responders. I will have two pieces available in that upcoming show. I will be sure to share the link with you as soon as the show goes live on our website.

Wish on a Breeze needle felted relief on up cycled denim
Wish on a Breeze 9″x6″

The first piece is a twist on some of the little needle felted relief sculpture panels I have created. This panel, titled “Wish on a Breeze” combines techniques I’ve incorporated into my one of a kind handbags. I needle felt, and then stitch secure artwork onto denim recycled from old jeans. This 9″ x 6″ dandelion panel can be hung by the chord stitched into its back, or tabletop displayed on the included easel.

Squiggle Heart needle felted wool on leather chord necklace
Squiggle Heart

I will also have available this needle felted Squiggle Heart pendant. The heart element measures 2″ across, and slides on a leather chord with hand forged hook clasp.

Keep an eye out for the opening of Giving Back.

Wings and a Whisk –

Let’s start with the whisk. Titled Hands Off The Carrot Cake, my anthropomorphic rabbit chief appears to mean business. This art doll sculpture appears cute and fluffy, but also not afraid to use his whisk if needed. This needle-felted figure sculpture stands about 15 inches high, and is ready to oversee things going on in the kitchen.

Hands Off The Carrot Cake - anthropomorphic needle-felted rabbit chief sculpture
Hands Off The Carrot Cake 15″x8″x 8″

Hands Off The Carrot Cake features a custom chef’s hat, apron, and hand formed copper wire whisk. This piece recalls an earlier singing chief I created in paper mâché and paperclay, and two early terra cotta figures I made in school.

About the Wings

Titled Stretching Her Wings, this piece is about a foot tall and stands on four of her delicate butterfly legs. She is using her top two legs to help get the last bit of stretch in her new wings. We can only imagine that she is happy to have emerged from her metamorphic phase.

Stretching Her Wings - anthropomorphic butterfly needle-felted sculpture
Stretching Her Wings 11″x 13″x7″

I’m not sure if I will just make these two new pieces available online, or if one or both will take a trip to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I’m still figuring out the the ins and outs of maintaining an online inventory. For now, both are available on my Available for Purchase page.

Going on at the Gallery

Due to Covid-19, the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is currently open on Saturday afternoon from noon to 4, or by private appointment. I will update you as we add more open hours to the schedule. You can see an ever growing and changing collection of art from all the HGA member artist in our online Art Shop.

Anthropomorphic Art Dolls Moving On?

…But they’re not gone!

This week is the last Friday of the month. A new featured artist show, Construction, is going live online for HGA. But, Three Narratives isn’t really going anywhere. My anthropomorphic art dolls will remain available both within the gallery featured sales pages, and here on my Available for Purchase page.

Multitasking anthropomorphic art doll
Multitasking 12″x7″x12″

At the Gallery

Those same anthropomorphic art dolls are now at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts awaiting our controlled reopening. As you can imagine, a space where patrons linger, converse, and touch objects is rife with contact concerns. The HGA owner artists are carefully considering all the angles we can think of to safely start to welcome visitors back. The current plan is to offer private appointments one weekday, and open a few hours with precautions on Saturdays. Details on both options are still being finalized. I will share all that information with you here, as soon as I can.

High Fashion anthropomorphic art doll
High Fashion 7″x18″x10″

Not Just Anthropomorphic Art Dolls.

Even with the move towards careful reopening, we are building and refining HGA’s online sales offerings. As you might imagine, something that required building on the fly has experienced a hiccup or two. The experience of the past few months has taught us that we need to develop this side of our gallery further. Keep checking in with me here. I will continue to share new developments. In the mean time, take a second look at our special Art Under $100 show. This show features pieces donated by the HGA member artists, and all proceeds go to maintaining the gallery.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″
Flower Necklace -purple and turquoise needle felted flowers on leather chord
Flower Necklace

Making Lemonade

Marketing art at the moment is, as you might imagine, an interesting challenge. For both my own work here on this site, and for our co-owned Hillsborough Gallery of Arts the learning and adjusting curves are quite steep. In both instances, sharing more online seems to be the short answer. The answers about how, and what is most effective are much longer and trickier. The cliche of “turning lemons into lemonade” is the guiding principle, and an increased online presence using a variety of attacks is the strategy being employed.

Newest Lemonade Stand

On the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts website there is a new choice on the top menu bar, Art Shop. This page offers a selection of work by all of the HGA artists that you can now purchase online. Take a moment to check it out. There is a wide variety of media, styles and price points available.

Wise and Magical anthropomorphic wise-woman owl sculpture
Wise and Magical

My latest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture titled Wise and Magical is one of the two pieces I have available on that page. She is a colorful wise-woman owl who has apparently been forging for some herbs for her medicine bag. Wise and Magical is perched on a natural stick base.

DIY anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

D.I.Y. also is available now on the new HGA Art Shop page. I shared D.I.Y. with you a few posts back, and only had her available here on my site. I also took the opportunity to update her image as well.

Also New This Week..

The new Art Under $100 donation page that I wrote about last post will be up this Friday, May 15th at Noon. Remember, my Blue Butterfly Bag will available there as well as donated items by other HGA member artists with all proceeds going to keep the gallery going while the doors are shut. Shipping is included on all items there.

Blue Butterfly Bag
Blue Butterfly bag 8″x11″x1/2″

Show Now Open!!!

“Three Narratives” Show Online at Noon.

The HGA April Featured Artists show titled “Three Narratives” goes live today at noon on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts web site. The anthropomorphic art doll sculptures I’ve been sharing here with you will be available* through HGA’s new shopping site.

*Blog Bonus Sculpture

D.I.Y. anthropomorphic art doll
D.I.Y.

I just completed this ironic little figure titled D.I.Y (Do It Yourself), so her image didn’t make it on the HGA page. But I will be adding her to my Available for Purchase page immediately after I post. D.I.Y. sits about 13″ high, and is working on a warm red scarf. This anthropomorphic art doll is extra special. Her wonderful wool curls come from the sheep of another HGA artist, Susan Hope. I love when I can incorporate things from others in our HGA family into a sculpture.

D.I.Y – W.I.P.

D.I.Y also features a bit of interesting work-in-progress elements that I thought I’d share with you. I needed to knit her red scarf, but didn’t have any needles, let alone any small enough. I created the little needles you see in the image by grinding and polishing the ends of a couple of 16d finishing nails!

Knitting D.I.Y. scarf
Knitting D.I.Y. scarf

There are several parts of art doll sculptures that each artist sort of developed their own strategies for sculpting. Noses, ears, and fingers are examples of such features. My method for noses involves shaping the basic nose, and then piercing where the nostrils would be. After I create the nostril hole, I have to keep it open to continue shaping. So there is a point in each art doll’s creation where as my child states, they look like they are getting a rhinoplasty.

D.I.Y work in progress image
Work-In-Progress on D.I.Y

Last Piece for the Show

The last piece I need to share is the one that our card designer chose to highlight, Pierre.

Pierre anthropomorphic art doll
Pierre 4″x13″x8″ $400

Pierre, is a fox who is all set to hit the slopes, but probably in a bygone era. I had a bit of fun creating his vintage styled skis, poles, and warm wool ski wear. Pierre, stands about 13″ high, and his skis and poles provide his interesting base.

Show Here, Show there

Pierre, and his *friends can be purchased directly from me here, or through the HGA website starting at noon today. You may notice slightly different pricing, that is because the shipping, handling, and processing costs have been added in on the HGA site. Hope to see you online today!

Adapting On The Fly

I found myself staring at the keyboard for some time today. It wasn’t a case of writer’s block, but more along the lines of not knowing exactly where to begin. Along with creating and introducing new work, I’m adapting to an ever changing landscape for sharing and showing my sculpture. I should be at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts right now installing my Featured Artist show, and the opening reception would have been this Friday evening during the Last Friday Art Walk. Of course, none of that is happening now. Instead, my show will open online Friday on the gallery website. That in itself is a bit anticlimactic for anyone reading these posts regularly. I’ve shared most of my new anthropomorphic art doll sculptures with you, and they can be seen on my Available for Purchase page right now.

Three New Friends Today

Stroll anthropomorphic art doll
Stroll

Stroll is another of those pieces that looks like he stepped right out of the pages of a storybook. He features a handsome walking stick that provides a him stability to stand on his own, and also appear to be in motion. The bright dotted pattern of his tie playfully reflects his own spotted patterning. His brightly colored waistcoat features embroidered embellishment.

Out of Water anthropomorphic art doll
Out of Water

I created Out of Water in different sequence from most of these sculptures. I didn’t have an idea of the complete composition to begin with, just the koi itself. Sometimes I like to let the figure take the lead and tell me where to go. Her Japanese parasol was a fun construction challenge, and presents a nice color contrast to the fish itself.

Secrets Locked anthropomorphic art doll
Secrets Locked

Secrets Locked is a quiet little piece. Turtle shells are such unique examples of nature’s engineering. They readily lend themselves to imagining other or additional purposes. My turtle serves as a lockbox for one’s secrets. He has several different types of locks’ and doors and gates. His hat style is borrowed from a woodblock print described as depicting a medieval locksmith.

Adapting the Gallery.

As I mentioned already, my Featured Artists show with Nell Chandler and Michele Yellin, Three Narratives, opens this Friday on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts website. The HGA site should soon have several choices for you to view and purchase art. We are still working on and shaping how those all will look and work. I will share links and information as soon as we have it all worked out and up and running.