Tag Archives: mermaid

Seated singing mermaid art doll "3rd Time Charm"

3rd Time Charm, Mermaid Art Doll

Sometimes, the third time can be a charm.  My latest addition to my portfolio of art doll sculptures is a rework of a rework.

Seated singing mermaid art doll "3rd Time Charm"

3rd Time Charm

How she started

I created the first incarnation of this art doll, Mermaid’s Song, in late 2014.   She was a steampunk mermaid with the hand sewn tail you see.  I fashioned this first figure sculpture the way I did the majority of my pieces at the time, with a hand-hammered copper face and hands, and a fabric body over a padded wire frame.

Sometimes, there are certain elements of a piece you really fall in love with, and others, not so much.  This art doll definitely fit that description.  I was quite proud of the tail that I pieced and sewed from some faux leather from the Scrap Exchange.  I weighted this tail with an internal sand bag that would allow the sculpture to lean her upper body back a bit to sing out loud.  Her body I wasn’t as enamored with.  In an attempt to make my mermaid more androgynous, I think I just made her kind of spindly. Also her face, though satisfactorily wrought, I applied with just a bit too much space behind it.  This had the effect of creating very deeply set eyes, that appeared a little mad.

art doll mermaid song

Mermaid Song – $260

So I changed her

I decided to rework this sculpture with a paperclay head last year.  This second version I thought possessed kinder eyes and a mouth more open in song.  I left the torso of the piece the way it was, but changed the fabric to a more “watery” color and pattern.  This version was an improvement over the original, but I wasn’t completely happy with the face I had created.  She appeared a bit too caricature-ish to me, and was still quite spindly.  I  think that the fact that I can’t find an image of this version tells a bit about my satisfaction with her.

Mermaid Song needed another makeover, so I kept only her tail, hands, and the internal wire frame.  I re-sculpted the rest of the art doll out of papier-mâché and paperclay.  The surface color and her hair I created through tissue paper collage, and I also changed her proportions and positioning.

I am renaming this art doll sculpture 3rd Time Charm, and she now seems aptly titled.


Mermaid’s Song

art doll mermaid song

Mermaid Song

Mermaid Song is my newest art doll. For an earlier mermaid doll I forged an all copper tail.  I decided allow materials to drive creation with this siren of the deep.  I source some materials for my work at a local “creative reuse” center known as the Scrap Exchange.  Upholstery samples provide a great inspiration starting point.  Within a stack of faux-leathers I had several colors of materials with a dappled pattern impression.  They reminded me of fish scales, and called to be part of a new mermaid doll.

I tried some other new things with the construction of this sculpture.  Along with my last, “Barre-ing Degas”, this doll has hands created from a narrower diameter copper tubing.  I think this brings the hands into better proportion with the rest of the doll.  It does require I work to an even more exacting tolerance when cutting fingers in the end of the tube I flatten to form the palm and fingers.  Another new technique I employed was making a small sandbag to include within the doll to ensure that she would sit up while still having her head tipped back singing.

Mermaid Song will be off to the gallery soon.