Laura Humenik of Lands Glory Artisan Jewelry and I had a booth at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival this year. I saw lots of beautiful quilts while there, and the dolls from the Hoffman challenge too. While sales were slow, it was good to get out and try my new grid display and new ways of presenting things in the booth. It’s also a great way to see what is popular in this area and what I need to make more of before the next upcoming shows. All in all, we were glad for a chance to try and new venue and see how everything looked set up in this configuration! I really do like my new grid displays. This time I have them set up like a folding screen. Here are some pics from the show–click the image to see a larger version.
Yesterday my friend Laura of LandS Glory Artisan Jewelry and I set up shop for the day at the Lyons Outdoor Market in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains here in Colorado. It was a gorgeous day, and we got to see some lovely art, listen to live music and do a few hours of beading on Spirit Dolls. Laura and I both enjoy seed bead embroidery and finding just the right bits and pieces to go into the dolls. There’s no pre-planned design; rather, these pieces start as a collection of bits and pieces and parts and then as they come together, other bits and pieces seem to show up and present themselves, demanding to be used. “As the spirit moves” is the way Laura and I both prefer to work, rather than using any sort of drawings plans or patterns (other than the basic doll body outline pattern that I drafted).
This project got started a few months ago, but is just now really starting to come together. I pulled a few items for this doll that included some green tie dye fabric (click here to see the slide show of textiles from our annual Dyeing Days, beads, a glass cabochon made by my fusing friend Mad Margie that I beaded, and I made a ceramic face and two ceramic buttons for her breast plate.
I cut,sewed and stuffed the body. My least favorite part is stuffing, and sometimes I just use pre-made cotton bodies that I dye, but only for smaller dolls. Its worth the turning and stuffing drudgery to get to use my own textiles… and since we are only talking about less than an hour, I somehow manage to get through it!<g> Then comes the fun part, hours of beading, adding dyed trims and other costume fun.
These dolls come together in several sessions for me, a few hours at a time. Usually as I’m working, I’ll find other pieces to integrate into the piece–like some beautiful teal dyed cheesecloth, or peacock feathers. (they’ll be part of her skirt and head dress, eventually—along with more beads!)
This time, I lost a piece. One of her busty-buttons went away somewhere in my workspace. I’d already sewed one on, so I looked and looked…nowhere to be found. I thought about making a new one to match. I thought about taking the one off and using something different. Then I realized, as I looked at her again and again, that she was just right the way she was, with only one. After all, sometimes these things happen. She’s beautiful anyway, and I choose to see her as just right, not as missing half a pair. How we look at things is just as important as how things look.
She has a sort of Amazonian Dance Hall Warrior style going on, and I love seeing her progress. I’ve got a lot still to do, with adding hair, shoes, sewing on her skirt, and sequins and beads for the other arm and leg. And of course MORE BEADS!! I’ll post another picture of her when she’s finished, and here’s how she’s looking so far.
I’m continuing to work on web site updates for myself and for clients during this break between semesters at school. I’m also spending hours every week making faces, beads and pendants with ceramic clay. Some will be fired when I go back to school, but some I’ve been firing with the help of my bead and jewelry artist friend Laura. Here are some pics of the first and second batches.
I’ll be making some of these into beaded Spirit Dolls, some into jewelry and selling some of them individually and in new Spirit Doll kits with hand dyed ribbons and fabric. Its all a learning curve as I work with new materials, and I’m happy to say that each batch gets better technically and I’m starting to achieve more of what I want with these. I’m always excited with the adventure of each new batch, and looking forward to carrying out some of the ideas I have connected with them, and seeing how others do too! I’ve got a new doll started already, and I’ll post pics of that in progress next.
These are some of the miniature faces I made in my ceramics class, raku glazed and fired. I like the fiery nature of taking these out of the kiln while still red hot and dumping them into the trash can with shredded paper, then coming back an hour later to see how they look!
I made a lot of different faces using some of my own silicon molds that I created using my polymer clay originals. Thats something else I really enjoy—the creative connections that different media allow.
These first four faces are all made from the same mold, but look very different, partly because of the varying glazes. The fourth one has no glaze at all on the face, and the bare clay turns black when fired.
Here are two masks that are full sized replications of traditional Noh mask characters, the Maiden and the Fox God. The Maiden’s chin broke during the bisque firing, so I painted her with acrylics.
The Fox is glazed and details were added after firing, like the gold leaf around the eyes using a Krylon pen.
In addition to faces, I also got to try my hand at throwing on the wheel, and managed to create several cups, a teapot, three lidded vessels and two small vases. I had a great time in my ceramics class and look forward to taking ceramics2 next semester!!