A good swap can bring out creativity in ways that a single project doesn’t. You need to find something that is reproducible enough for many items (in this case 80) but still leaves room for expression and some individuality. I don’t want to just cookie cutter 80 pieces that are exactly the same.
After testing a few ideas, I decided on using relief texture using the thinnest snake die that comes with the Makins extruder. After that it was just a matter of placement. Or so I thought. It became a fun exploration of composition, moods, balance. Who knew what a difference a couple of strands could do. Some are frenetic chaos, others a graceful composition of few neat strands.
I was turn between leaving them white on white or using a wash to enhance the texture.Here the decision was made for me when the white yellowed in the oven and needed some brightening. A blue wash was called for. So color and enhancing came in one serendipitous moment.
I am glad I found a theme for my inchie swap at ClayConnection 2016 that came together so well.
I didn’t get any dolls done this week – I was in a community museum show near my house. I displayed 5 of my dolls. I was nervous enough to show them off in public, imagine my surprise when I got 2 commissions due to being in this shop.
Add that to my birthday last Saturday, I just wasn’t up to making anything, this coming week though I have 2 dolls to complete.
This week’s doll is one of the rare male dolls I’ve done. This is Gene, a travelling messenger.He’s cheery fellow, ready for a chat whenever he finds a friend.
I took a class last year to make a (mostly) cloth doll – well at least to me. Originally we used paper clay instead of polymer clay -that’s just how it was taught. I decided to remake another one. I have a little more experience on the templates – that means they don’t add seamlines and such.
I made some more gelli printed silk for the body – that may have been the funnest part. She’s kind of large too, about sixteen inches if she could stand, basically I just have her hanging in my studio.I like the sari sick ribbon I used to sort of “bandage” her and the flower skirt. She has button jointed at the shoulders and hips so she can move a little but hanging on the wall (ignore the ugly wall paper) she is not going anywhere.
I’m not putting her up for sales but check out my shop, FantasyClayStore.com. for more dolls.
This week I went in a different direction. I wanted to try some more jointed dolls and I am getting stuck on dressing dolls. I really like the sculpting part better, maybe I need to find a partner who likes to sew – but never mind that for now.
To add to the fun, I decided to use Doreen Kassel‘s oil painting techniques to get a soft and primitive look. She uses white clay then oil paints the cured clay. It has a translucency to it that is hard to beat. Everyone said never use oils on polymer clay but she too doesn’t listen to the rules and she gets amazing results. I can’t compare but I love this little guy.
I’m not sure if he counts as a doll or a figurine but I love him. Check out my shop for more.
I really like the progress I made on this doll. The face sculpt came easily, the hands worked out well and she even stands on her own. She was the first doll I tried that I made so large; her head fits right in my palm.
The head worked up nicely and I used Genesis heat set paints to color and give it life. I remember when I first started making dolls and figures with flesh, I never heard of using paints after the sculpt. At most I added a little pink powder blush on their checks before baking. What a difference even a simple acrylic burnt umber wash can do to make a face can alive – that extra bit of color just brings it together.
Looking at the face, I realize it could be either sex, but I was thinking female so I made an under skirt for it last night. I have been stuck in all ways about a costume. I feel like it needs something more than the very basic – there is room for details and I’m not sure if I want another witch – although she would look great for Halloween decoration. There just seems to be a blur for the next step.
I kept procrastinating – let me get hair, let me get fabric – well I have grey hair now, I have lots of fabric but I don’t know what I want to do. I thought starting with the slip and under garments would give me a spark but still nowhere. I guess sometimes you have to know when to stop and just let a creation rest until the next piece is ready.
I wanted a finished creation to post but she, maybe he in the end, is going to be sitting around bald and naked for a while until I know what comes next. It is better to wait and see than to just barge ahead at this point.
It is more a matter of waiting until that spark of creativity points at this doll again, for now she will hibernate on my shelf (not hidden in a drawer) until an idea hits me,