Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Art-Doll Workshop Project

My goodness, I've been away for too long. March and April have been full. Most of it fun stuff, some of it hard work, and there's been a bit of laziness, too. But one of the things I've been busy with was the art-doll club's spring workshop.
Our instructor was the very talented Sherry Goshon. She designed a doll specially to teach our group. It was a mixed-media project and we were all eager to learn some new techniques.  She designs her own face molds and her husband casts them. This face is so beautiful!

We started with the "bird-cage" that the doll sits on. Briefly, wires are poked into a round styrofoam, then curled to make a roundish shape. Then you twist a narrow piece of aluminum foil & wrap it around each wire vine-like. Once that's in place, you take strips of the plaster stuff that's used to make casts and lay that over the foil covered wires. Let it dry & spray paint as desired. Coffee - always a must while making art.

The lovely face mold is glued to a wad of aluminum foil covered in paper clay. My first attempt was terrible and after class I re-did it, using a halved styrofoam egg instead of aluminum foil. It gave a better shape. Not that you see it because the back of the head is covered by the hat.  Painting the face was a challenge for me. I'm used to colored pencils and felt less control with the brush. Yay for Gesso! Cover up your mistakes and start over!

For the body, I added 1/4" to the doll pattern as I find really small ones too difficult to work with. We sewed & stuffed the body & arms, then mod-podged pieces of tissue paper or pretty napkins on it.

Sherry taught "illusion costuming" too. No pattern. Take some measurements, free-hand draw a pattern and go for it. This was a stretch for the seamstresses amongst us! We're used to precise plans. So above you see what I thought was my finished doll.

Just today, I was taking pictures and thought, "this skirt needs something more." I rummaged thru my fabric closet and found a piece of bronze-ish embroidered organza. I folded & gathered it into a double-tiered petticoat. It adds a little something to the front and gives fullness to the skirt. I also inserted pipe cleaners in the skirt hem so it would have some flow & movement.
I actually made little lace gloves! I took a hand pattern from a larger doll and some dense lace. Here's what make this so easy - dissolvable stablizer! Not only does it give the needle & thread something to grab onto, the stablizer makes those little fingers nice & slick for easy turning. You just run the glove under water to dissolve the stablizer and fit to the hand. I will admit - I tried this a dozen times and still didn't get a good fit, but a little glue took care of most of the problem. :)

OK, so we have a cage. What do we put in it? People used plants, potpourri & ribbons, and flower arrangements. By this point, I was ready to be done and didn't feel like making a whole flower arrangement. I had a little box I had saved and the color and shape were perfect.

But an empty box just sitting there? Surely something must be in it?? Now we have an element of curiousity. Which is how this doll got her name. What famous lady is associated with a mysterious box?
Yes, Pandora! Dare we open it? What could possibly be in this particular Pandora's box?
What else - a fabric stash!
Some fun info about Pandora: almost everything on her came from the dollmakers in our club. The skirt & sleeves material, I bought from Brenda who was selling off a huge fabric stash. The hat - Jayne brought this material to the workshop and it was so perfect with my colors. She gave me a big strip of it. The organza was given to me by Sheri (I was supposed to use it on a challenge doll). The box is from Pam & held the gift I got in our Christmas gift exchange two years ago! I can look at Pandora and be reminded of my wonderful TDD friends.
So here she is....Pandora and her secret fabric stash!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Awesome Connie! Love your doll! :)
Thanks for her cute story - as I was reading, I could actually *hear* you telling it.