Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Gotta Love Mixed Media Victorian Collage & Paper-clay Art Dolls

It should come as no surprise to all of you that I LOVE dolls of every shape, size, medium, type, season, and holiday, but Victorians have always been my favorite - especially faceless ones. Over the last 5 decades I've made all sorts of dolls and woodcraft's. Some were cloth only, some were wood only, some were a combination of cloth and wood, some were paper, some were even terra-cotta. Some had faces, some didn't.

It should also come as no surprise to all of you that I LOVE taking online classes - especially those offered from Artful Gathering. In fact, over the last three years I've taken 5 different kinds of classes at Artful Gathering.

I've wanted to make some Victorian mixed media collage and paper-clay faced art dolls for quite some time. So, combining my love of dolls with my decades long experience with sewing and crafting and utilizing everything I've learned in my classes I decided now was the time to make these dolls. I tend to favor stump dolls and shelf sitters and knew these would be no exception.

I also wanted to utilize some of the molds I had bought several years ago when I was enthralled with goddess dolls. Given I never seem to have enough time for doing what I want to do right then and there my goddess dolls have sat on the back burner for several years - that is, until recently.

I decided this was the perfect time to make some Victorian wooden dolls - some with paper-clay faces, some with paper-clay mannequin faces, some with paper faces. Their outfits could be a combination of fabric, lace, paper, creative embroidery embellishments, ribbon silk floral, beads, etc.

I also wanted to utilize some of the alpaca yarn my sister, who is the owner of Rock Garden Alpacas Fiber,had given me for their hair. I had some alpaca yarn fiber from Cosmo, Zinnia, Sunflower, Ivy,and Masquerade. All was hand-spun, but some she had single plied and some she had Navajo plied.

When I was doing a little cleaning of my craft area several weeks ago I found some 3/4" wood shelf sitter shapes that my husband had cut out for me a few years ago. I had intended to make a painted figure of some sort out of them and decided to create two witches with paper-clay faces.

I was happy with the way my shelf sitter witches turned out so I decided to make a bunch of templates of different shapes and sizes that my younger brother and husband could use for cutting the wood dolls that I wanted to make. Since I never do anything in moderation I ended up with several templates - okay, make that lots of templates utilizing different lengths, widths, and depths of wood. It took us a long time to draw, cut and sand the wood pieces. By the time we were finished I had 41 dolls to make. I told you I never do anything in moderation!

After working on my dolls for what seemed like weeks on end I'm happy to report they are done.  It took a long time and was a lot of work, but I'm happy with the results.  I'll be posting about them over the next few days so stay tuned.

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