Monday, September 28, 2015


As I am about to head off interstate - this time to Western Australia - for a stint of teaching at an event called FibresWest, I have been busy preparing for my class and for my slide talk presentation........but I've still managed to get some of my own work done as well as completing orders, like this one. This was how they looked nestled in the box of padding before I sent them......cloudbabies!

And here is another mixed-media piece, which I've called "My Back Pages" (yes, I stole that!)

 And with Spring coming on, there is lots to do outside in the garden. At least I am mostly on top of it!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Foray Into Zebradom

It's amazing how a very small thing can trigger an entire body of work, or an artistic detour.......for me it was this birthday card ("Baby and Zebras" designed by Suzan Visser for Edition inkognito) given to me recently by one of my sisters:

 I love zebra patterning, but what triggered something and set the thinking-wheels in motion was the tiny child on the zebra's back. A series of anthropomorphic animals! The first would be a zebra: here is the planning drawing and the head I made for it:

I made a cloth body with hip knee and shoulder joints - it needed to be as well-made as I could make it, as the doll would be unclothed and the fabric body would be on show, albeit with a striped livery that might disguise a few flaws! Here is the doll assembled before painting:

Then I went to town painting the stripes - that was fun! I used lots of zebra pictures as references and made a bit of it up as I went along. I cut a slit in the top and the back of the head to insert alternate pieces of black and white fur fabric for the mane......I never realized before that a zebra's mane follows the stripes in colouration.

I'm planning a fox next.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Girl and her Hen

I've been experimenting a bit just lately with cloth-covered paperclay birds. This is the same technique I use to make many of my dolls' heads and in this case, for the hen, I used a woven cotton fabric that was fairly open, to give an almost canvas-like texture. This is a lovely surface to paint onto.......and as you know, I love to paint! This little hen needed a human companion, so I gave her an egg-loving little girl. The girl is a 12" (30 cm) jointed cloth doll with a cloth over clay head painted with acrylics. Her wig is hand-knotted Lincoln wool and she wears a cotton dress and pinny. I knitted her cardigan using 4-ply cotton yarn and her sun-hat is crocheted from cream and blue cotton. Her sandals (which were very fiddly to make!) are leather and I had to make the buckles, because I haven't been able to source tiny metal buckles for quite a while. And she has a little basket for the eggs. Brown ones, of course!

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