Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's All This Then?

I occasionally get commissions to do some odd and interesting things - here's a case in point. These store mannequins have been modified to represent underground miners as part of a display at the Beaconsfield gold-mining museum.

(Remember Beaconsfield? Two miners survived and were rescued after being trapped following a mine collapse in a gold mine several years ago. Sadly, a third miner lost his life in the accident, which made world headlines).

Unfortunately, even though the poses of the mannequins had been changed to suit their new role, they still looked like store dummies, or worse still, life-sized versions of Ken and Barbie!
My brief was to paint the faces and hands (the bits that are going to show in the display) so that they looked more real and to make them look more like miners and less like effete metrosexuals.
Here are some before-and-after pictures.
It was a fun project.
Oh yes - one of them is a woman - she's apparently an underground surveyor holding her own in a man's world.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

To all my blog visitors and followers, may I wish you a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Greetings!

To all my treasured followers and visitors, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and all good things in 2011.

Thank you for following my progress through this year and for all your wonderful comments - I really appreciate it! And to entice you back in 2011, I will be having a giveaway early in the New Year to celebrate 20 000 blog views - a milestone which is rapidly approaching. So watch this space!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Babe's Things

Winter Babe needed some stuff, so I made a blankie, a felted ball, a bear (2" tall and jointed!) and some wooden blocks. She doesn't look any happier....................................................But I love this combination of moss green, bright red and camel.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Work

I've been busy getting a few last minute Christmas orders done - the doll in the chair is one. The other two dolls are ones I have completed in the past week. The winter baby is nine inches of snuggly cuteness and the Izannah-style doll has a moulded bun hairstyle and a dress made from reproduction 1850's cotton fabric that I found on my recent trip. They will be in my Etsy store soon along with a few other goodies. Now I have to clean up around here and brace myself for the Big Cook on Saturday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Escaping The Madness

Bob and I escaped to the East Coast for a few days before the Christmas madness are a few snaps:
Where else but in Tasmania can you find a beach like this in summer with no-one on it?

A lichen-encrusted post-and-rail fence in wetland meadow, St Helens

We ate crayfish - a rare pleasure, since most of Tasmania's crayfish is exported to the gourmet tables of SE Asia, making it unaffordable to most locals. A recent glitch in the export market meant a sudden oversupply locally and the price dropped dramatically. We were able to afford it at a third of the usual price!

Granite rock-shelf detail

Moody sunset over Georges Bay

Dramatic skyscape

Sunday, December 12, 2010

..........and so little time!

Here's a bit of a peek at all the unfinished doll heads that are currently sitting around in my studio waiting for bodies etc. With a nice long summer break coming up, I plan to get most of these finished, along with a few other projects I'm excited about. Back to work............................

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I'd like to introduce you to my daughter, Iseult, a fine artist with an excellent feel for graphic detail. She has tried various different media, but is most at home with pencil. I'm helping her with her blog - she has an aversion to anything related to computers! I know she would be thrilled if she got some visitors to her blog and maybe a few followers.........the two pictures here are a small glimpse of her talent. Her blog is

Please pay her a visit and maybe leave a comment

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Secret's Out!

For a bit of fun, I recently signed up to do Zan's Holiday Doll Swap. I received this delightful doll - "Tilda" from Marina ( and I sent her this one called "Celeste". Here is "Tilda" having fun in the lobelias and her formal "studio portrait shot".
If you want to see all the swap dolls, go to Zan's blog by clicking on the picture just to the right (above). "Celeste" is made from polymer clay with a wire armature, silk and cotton clothing and a mohair wig.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yoka's Doll

As some of you know, I recently returned from a wonderful trip to the USA, where I conducted a number of workshops. I love to teach and to help others improve their skills in sculpting and dollmaking in any way that I can, but often I move on before the class dolls are quite finished. I don't often get to see the results, so it is always a thrill when someone sends me pictures of their finished work. Yoka was in my class in Albuquerque and I was delighted today to receive some pictures of the doll she made in class. She calls her doll "Mackey" (after ME I think!). Yoka did a wonderful job on this doll - it is a great interpretation of my pattern. I love the colouring, the face-painting and everything about it - even the sassy pose Yoka has photographed her in. If you want to see more of Yoka's great dolls, go to

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What I'm Working On.......

Here are a couple of dolls I am currently working on - among other things. They are both made using my "Izannah" style head mould. The disembodied, unpainted one has a moulded on hairstyle made from glue-impregnated thread and the other has the more typical painted hair. The fabric is a lovely Civil War reproduction cotton I found on my recent trip to the USA - just perfect for a dress!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New doll

I have re-visited the idea of using felt to mould a doll face with this doll - in the dim distant past I did this quite a lot, but haven't for some time, mainly because good quality wool felt is very hard to source. I like the soft, tactile quality the felt gives to a doll. Her body is calico (muslin) stained to match the colour of the felt. I had the dress - it just happened to fit very well, and the shoes are ones I bought ages ago & had hanging around. Slightly outsized, but she likes them! I made her wig from curly black lambskin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

And here's some new work..........

"Nid" - closed

"Nid" - open


Ready for More?

Crossing the river from Ohio into Kentucky - on our way to MM&M

                           Hard at work in the sculpting class

Some finished and unfinished cuties from the Zozie class

Look at that chunk of cake! Annie is incredulous and Mike is just a blur

 Beautiful day at Harper's Ferry and lunch with Rose and Michael (yep - I was having the beer!) 

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Trip - Edited Highlights

From San Antonio

Hard at work in Albuquerque.
                                                         Moonrise in a New Mexico sky
                                                  Ruins of Mission near Mountainair, NM 
                                                                       A closer look.
Yep - it's a giant pumpkin seen at the Circleville Pumpkin Festival, Ohio

                               And pumpkin-like objects come in all kinds of shapes and colours

Linda hard at work completeing paintings for her one-woman show.

Here are some pictures from the first half of my recent trip to the US. They are in fairly chronological order and the reason why they are "edited highlights" is because my photography is a bit hit and miss - I've edited out the dross. I will post some more later this week.
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