A short post just to catch you up on some new work and happenings.
Another Proud Fisherman
I was sketching a few weeks ago, and decided that I’d like to revisit my little puffin fisherman, but in a more minimalist fashion. So, let me introduce “Proud Fisherman #2”. This puffin has placed his catch on the ground to share how magnificent it is. He didn’t stay on my work table long, as I had some empty pedestals in the gallery to fill, so here’s a shot of him in the gallery.
He is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature, with hand sewn glass bead eyes.
I have been dropping off additional prints from time to time, and thought that I’d share the latest batch composed from fresh flowers and leaves on the gell plate. All of these prints are one of a kind acrylics on paper with some watercolor hand finishing.
I’m asking “what now?” because I find myself with a very different schedule this year. Normally, I would have finished helping with our annual juried show and made pieces for our group shows. Then it’s Valentine’s jewelry items, and start pieces for my featured show. For the past two years I had a feature show in April, and had two months to get all my new work complete. This year my show is in September. You would think this space would provide freedom, and it does creatively speaking. The trick is deciding just what to do with the work as each piece is completed. Do I make the new piece I’m excited about available on Etsy, in the gallery, or the gallery online shop? Or, do I hold it back as part of a new body of work I’ll present in my feature show?
I’ve completed two new pieces since my last posting and have no Idea what I’m doing with either Just yet. I’ll just share them both with you and figure it out later.
A baby elephant to be exact. I think we all could use a bit of optimism right about now. This piece is titled Looking Up, and and seems happy with what she sees. “Looking” appears quite pleased with the bright red ballon she’s holding in her trunk.
I sculpted the elephant figure’s body from quilt batting without an internal wire skeleton. There is a wire hidden within her balloon’s string that allows it to hover above her trunk. The elephant sits abut 7 inches high, and the top of the balloon measures just below 13 inches.
A Puffin Is What Now?
I become somewhat done with puffins following the holidays. I crank out quite a few of my puffin ornaments, and am not ready to even think of them again until maybe August. But this puffin figure was just asking to be made. He’s based on a photo I shot when we visited Iceland. One puffin landed quite near, and stood for what seemed an eternity showing off his catch. I created a relief sculpture panel of his photo, but felt he needed to become a fully fleshed figure.
Titled, Proud Fisherman, this anthropomorphic piece captures what we felt the tiny bird was trying to communicate to us. He was so happy with his catch. Proud Fisherman is needle felted wool over a quilt batting and wire frame. His bucket style fishing hat has beaded lures. His glass bead eyes are sewn in place. The hat, large beak, and fish make the proud fisherman a little top heavy, so this piece has a needle felted “rock” sandbag that serves as ballast. This art doll figure stands about 9 inches tall, and has the same comical charm of his real life inspiration.
“What now?” for these two anthropomorphic art doll sculptures? Don’t know, What do you think?
I suggested you to check back here for links to holiday sales sites. Your patience has been rewarded. The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts online holiday show, The Art of Giving, went live yesterday at noon! Here is the link to find the gift offerings from all of the HGA artists… https://hga-store.square.site/holiday-shop
Feet on the Ground
You’ll find Feet On The Ground under Holiday Items, my puffins and polar bears under Ornaments, and my felted brooches under Jewelry.
Take time to browse around the holiday show categories, there are plenty of unique gift ideas from all of my artist partners there.
If you are local, you can stop in to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Take in all of the amazing artwork there. Some of the items in the HGA online shop are available for pickup at the gallery after purchase.
I strive to capture movement in many of my sculptures. I’ve also managed to make a few of them move on their own. Or, at least they appear to be in motion.
I’ve recently written about the fact that transitioning work to online venues requires more than one or two good images. I’ve started providing multiple angle views, scale views, and images of work “in use.” Now, I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with stop motion animations. The hope is that using these videos on my social media can help capture a few more looks during the holidays. Having work that resembles characters from classic holiday specials helps in their creation. They are also just plain entertaining and fun, though they are rather time consuming to produce.
I’ll start here with the most recent. I just created this playful video of some of my puffin ornaments forming a pyramid. My puffin and polar bear ornaments will be available on my Etsy shop, the HGA online shop, and at HGA. I create them several at a time following my own original design. However, they are each truly an individual handcrafted item, all just a little bit different. This allows them to be a small, unique, and very gift-able piece of original art.
A Winter Ride in Motion
The first stop motion I produced a couple of weeks ago is a silent short for my piece titled Winter Ride. This anthropomorphic sculpture is already available on my Etsy shop, and may be on view in-person at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts soon. Winter Ride can be that future holiday heirloom, but I certainly hope whomever takes it home would want to display it year round.
Winter Ride in motion
The complete sculpture assemblage is 12 inches long, 6 inches high, and 4 inches deep. Momma bear is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. Baby bear is needle felted wool over quilt batting form. The miniature sleigh and harness I constructed from wood craft sticks, copper coated flat wire, leather, metal brad fasteners, and jewelry findings. Both bears have hand stitched iridescent glass bead eyes.
I will be sharing both videos on various platforms over the next two months. I hope that you enjoy them, and take the time to follow the links to their sales pages.
I am doing a bit of holiday planning this week. It is more involved than in past years. Before, I just had to decide what I was bringing to the gallery, and if I would have items in any other shows or shops. The complexity comes in the form of now having an Etsy shop, and HGA also having an online shop.
Surviving in the age of COVID makes an online sales presence pretty much a requirement. This means choices need to be made where items will be. Pieces that will be online, need more photography to provide shoppers with different angles, idea of scale, or context. To have popular holiday items, like ornaments in all locations, I have to generate more inventory. Items going in to my Etsy need to be weighed and boxes found because you can’t list them without shipping info… even if you are offering free shipping.
Feet on the Ground
My newest anthropomorphic art doll sculpture, Feet on the Ground, is an example of a hard choice for placement. He is so fun and eye catching, I want to list him everywhere. Listing an item for sale online, and having it available in a gallery is not a great idea. It raises the possibility of crossed sales. In his case, I think I have decided that he should go into the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts holiday show, and sit proudly on top of a pedestal. Never fear, if you aren’t local, you can contact me here, and we can get him to you.
Feet on the Ground is a stable anthropomorphic art doll sculpture. He stands on four custom made snow shoes. “Feet’ is constructed of needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. His hat and scarf are needle felted wool as well. I made his distinctive snowshoes from polymer clay, toothpicks, embroidery floss, leather, and metal brads. Iridescent black glass beads are used for the eyes.
Something New for the Holiday Season
I recently made a miniature version of one of my needle felted panel pieces and attached a pin back to it as a gift. The recipient asked if I was going to have these items available in the gallery. At first I said no, as I don’t especially enjoy working on lots of small gift items, and would rather concentrate on my sculptures. After a bit of consideration, I admitted that it couldn’t hurt to make a few and see how they fare over the holiday season. Above are a few examples with a large paperclip for scale.
Old favorites Too
Puffin and Bear ornaments
I will have my needle felted puffin and bear ornaments available in all three (gallery, Etsy, and HGA online shop) locations. I will let you know when all are available. There is still a bit more inventory background work to complete, and two locations (HGA and HGA online) have specific dates the shows open. I will let you know all those dates and times, as we get a bit closer!
Some may find being home bound for several days as a slow moving hurricane passes very frustrating. I am fortunate enough to currently have power and materials close at hand. This presents an opportunity to sit down to some extended workbench sessions. This time of year part of my attention turns the coming holiday season. In addition to my art doll sculptures, I create handcrafted original ornaments and some extra jewelry for the gallery.
Iceland Inspired Ornaments
Usually, these ornaments reflect what is currently occurring in my sculpture. One influence on the items populating my sketchbook is a recent trip to Iceland. A charming addition to the amazing and other worldly landscape one encounters is sheep everywhere. In response to this, I have planned both art dolls and this season’s ornaments utilizing the technique of needle felting. I am still very much in the design phase, but thought I’d share a couple of works-in-progress images.
Polar Bear Ornament
I snapped both of these quick shots in my studio with my phone. There is one more arctic inspired creature, a reindeer, that I’m designing. I will refine each a bit for production efficiency, and have a selection in the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts starting in mid November.
I was also finishing up a small completely sculpted little figure piece this week. In stead of wigging and costuming as I do with my art dolls, I sculpted minimal clothing and hair from paperclay. I decided to do a bit of experimentation with the surface treatment of this piece. I created a “faux bronze’ finish with the layering of metallic bronze paint and a moss patina glaze.
Seated figure with faux bronze finish
With any luck Hurricane Florence will allow me to get a bit more accomplished today as well.