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A thousand ideas
September 2017 M T W T F S S « Jul 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Putting together the pieces for my new art doll, Grace
Representing: Arizona, California, New York, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, M0ldova, Peru, Thailand, USA, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Honduras, and Maldivas
Also starring: Victoria Ashley, Calvin Klein, Fuzz Jeans, Chico’s, F&F, Michael Stars, Start Cody, Fruit of the Loom, Reiss, Lane Bryant, Jones New York, Victoria’s Secret, Xhileration, Charter Club, BlueAsphalt, STARINA, Old Navy, Cobra, Eileen West, Accomplice, CJBanks, Paris Blues, Silk House, HOLLISTER, Silk, j. jill, White Stag, My Michelle, J. Crew, Jaclyn Smith, tapemeasure, MERONA, Carolyn Taylor, Loft, french kitty, french dressing, whimsy, TRIBAL, rave, Rgl New York, brenda lim, Calispia, Mosiimo, Isaac Mizrahi, Route 66, August Silk, Zenana, Jay Jacobs, AVALANCHE, no boundaries, GAP, ClassicGirl, Rampage, Poetry, derek heart and PRETTY GOOD
Starring Sizes: Extra small, petite, to extra large, one size fits all and Jumbo
I have a favorite thrift store…always good bargains. I rarely go away empty handed. Yesterday proved interesting. I found a couple of brand new shirts, still had their tags, 3 beautiful, tiny bud vases, a couple of percussion instruments (bells and rattles), a rack for the studio, but mostly this: a delightful “jewelry” holder, shaped like a doll with a lace skirt…oddly no head, so I am not sure what the underlying meaning could be there, but sweetly quirky.
One of the special qualities we have as humans is our ability to adapt to the stresses we encounter at every turn. This adaptation is why we can (theoretically) live to be 100 or 125 years in some cases. Our bodies are assaulted daily by unexpected, spontaneous cellular anomalies, that without our amazing immune system, always on guard and ready to fight, would overwhelm us, causing infections or cancer. But, without a whisper, we roll right through most of those attacks on our brilliant systems.
I wish you a healthy, resourceful day.
Recently I have been experimenting with different forms of polymer clay to make the head, forearms, lower legs and chest of the dolls. I started with Sculpy because it was the only polymer sold at the local craft store, Party Time, in Napa (now, sadly, out of business). Sculpy III, specifically, is a good work-horse clay. However, it takes quite a lot of kneading to shape it. The kneading warms the clay so it is workable.
Last December, after making a portrait doll on commission for a friend and customer, my thumb joints became red and swollen, forcing me to stop work for several weeks. I recovered, but I have changed my practice. I take frequent rest periods and switch to alternate activities that don’t involve my thumbs. Opening and closing my hands frequently to stretch them and improve circulation helps also. I find it’s good to have some ice/gel packs ready in the freezer to apply to my joints as needed. I never in my life would have anticipated this! Yikes!
I was searching around on the internet for a clay that responds better and found some very useful You Tube instruction videos on dollmaking. One artist recommended Cernit clay, which I promptly ordered from Polymer Clay Express. I am finishing up with the Sculpy on a new doll and haven’t opened the Cernit yet. It is a wonderful Bisque color.
I am currently preparing to dress the Tall Doll, Grace. She is made from wire, cotton, silk, Sculpy III Polymer Clay, acrylic paints, various fabrics. Her wig is made from human hair.
There is no easy explanation for why I started making dolls dolls. As most artists will tell you, we are simply compelled in one way or another. In that, I have been all over the map, to be sure: painting in oils and acrylic, printmaking, silk painting, writing poetry, singing, and dancing. Making these dolls, for now, just feels right and good. That all the wire-twisting, stitches, beading, modeling, and painting are hand-work means a return to the investment of energy into each piece in a way we rarely see in our tech-driven, factory processed products. In addition they are locally produced, and often customized specifically to a customer’s design. My skill and approach are always evolving. I am always a student, though often a teacher.
I am fortunate to live in beautiful Napa, California, a source for my inspiration and peace, with my equally talented and ever so witty husband.
I invite you into my process.