Monday, May 30, 2011

Experimenting With Felt

I have always been attracted to well-made felt dolls, whether made by dollmakers from the past like Lenci or Steiff or by more contemporary makers like Maggie Iacono and R John Wright. I've made a few in the past with mixed results, but I've had the "doings" sitting around here in my studio to have a real try. I bought some lovely pure wool felt a few years ago and I'd sculpted a head with the idea to cover it with felt. I even had a body pattern drafted to try. Yesterday, on a whim, and with all the constellations in the right place, I got out all the "doings" and put a little felt toddler doll with a chubby body together. Here it is all ready to have the features painted.

This little "Clover" (quilting tool?) iron is great for flattening the nap of the felt before painting - it tends to get a bit fluffed up when you are working with it. The iron also works to smooth the surface of the stuffed parts of the doll. Now I just have to think obout painting the face and adding some hair and clothes. I have already learned a thing or two: One - be very careful with the glue - it seeped through to the surface in a couple of places, but I think I'll be able to disguise it with shading. Two - making the hands with the two middle fingers joined makes it much easier to turn them - felt is tricky to turn. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is This My Best Work?

I have really enjoyed making this doll - I think it is one of the best pieces I have made. I started it while I was away, worked on it during the long flight over the Pacific - is still not finished, but it should be done in the next few days or so. This one is called "Silver Apples of the Moon, Golden Apples of the Sun". For those of you with a literary bent, this comes from the WB Yeats poem, Song of the Wandering Aengus.
The doll has cloth over clay head and limbs and a cloth body with joints. I am making a special chair for her to sit upon, using wire and ApoxieSculpt.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back home after a wonderful trip to the US. I managed to avoid hurricanes and floods, although it was the wettest Spring on record in Columbus. The AFIC Conference went really well - I had a wonderful, focussed class with a number of the students finishing their pieces in the three days, which was great. The atmosphere at the conference was buzzing and energetic with plenty going on all the time outside class time. Thanks must go to the indefatiguable Cyndy Sieving for her fantastic skills at organizing and running such a wonderful event. If you are at all tempted to attend in 2013, start saving and do it! You will have a great time, meet some wonderful people and learn a lot!
Here are some pictures from the class at AFIC:

Emily Eckel's wonderful w.i.p.

Cody Goodin's fabulous figure almost completed

Kristen Strand-Tibbets great idea taking shape

Hard at work
I wish I had taken more pictures, or at least more that weren't duds!

Here's a picture of The Ladies In Orange at the Hat and Heels banquet - Gypsy Pamela Armas and Peggy from Taos:

The class at Annie Hesse's place in Florida was also terrific - I loved what those gals came up with. When I am teaching,  what I really like to do is to create an atmosphere where I can simply pass a baton (an idea; a technique or two) and then watch as the students take the baton and run with it, with bit of help where needed. That happened with both of these classes. It was great.

I had a bit of spare time on this trip, so I spent some of it with my good friend Linda Apple in Columbus. She is a talented painter and she also makes wonderful art dolls usually with a fair dose of quirky humour. Check out her work here:
We have a lot in common, so we spend time bouncing ideas off each other as we work. Here are some of the pieces I managed to get made in that arty hothouse atmosphere:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...