Blythe started off as a fuller figured doll and I had in mind to create a middle aged 1940’s character. Brogues, tweed skirt, that particular forties style of hair but she went her own way and turned into a rather pretty young thing with bright floral dress. I get such a buzz from the way they sort of develop into what they want to be. My lovely American friend Sue from Instagram bought her before I had even finished her dress. Mauve netting was added to her underskirt as Sue is rather partial to ballerina netting (i’ll always make an exception for Sue!). I also ditched the black pen in the detailing. Its automatic as thats my illustration style but i ran out of pens! Couldn’t be bothered to wait till my next art shop trip so I used my paints instead. I rather like it and it got a good reaction on Instagram too.
Oh dear I haven’t posted for quite a while have I?!!
Okay this is what has been made since The Illustrated doll!!!
The illustrated lady was a little jump into illustrating again. I enjoy details so now I’ve started painting all of my dolls with a white gesso background it makes an ideal base for pen illustrating. She has a lot going on front and back! It will give her future buyer lots to look at! The fox on the front is an important animal to me. I find them a very mystical animal. They feature a lot in my illustration work. The people represented on her legs are imagined ancestors that are watching over. Foliage, flowers and hearts are intwined. I added a little bit of subtle colour, coloured pencil. I don’t usually colour my black and white illustrations but this seemed appropriate for the lady. She hasn’t got a name yet…I’ll leave that to the new owner. For sale now in my Big Cartel Shop x
1.a strong, regular repeated pattern of movement or sound.
“Ruth listened to the rhythm of his breathing”
synonyms: pattern, flow, tempo, regular features, recurrent nature
“part of the normal rhythm of daily life”
2.the measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose as determined by the relation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables.
“the rhythm, pattern, and cadence of words”
synonyms: metre, measure, pattern, stress, accent, pulse, time, flow, cadence
“poetic features such as rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration”
How true the old saying of, ‘practice makes perfect’. When I first started making paper clay dolls way back in 2015 it seemed such a long making process. I could literately spend weeks on one doll. Nowadays I have developed a rhythm (see above the description – “part of the normal rhythm of life”, I like that!). The basics of a doll – wire frame, tin foil bulk then paper clay moulded on can take me less than a day. Since discovering I can oven dry the clay instead of air drying has made my life even easier, especially as it tends to make the end result a more smoother finish saving me horrible sanding sessions. This has made me love making them even more as Im always eager to start on the next one as soon as the last has left. If someone had told me at Art College 35 years ago that I would end up doing this I would have laughed!
My ambition is to make more dolls but maybe with a different form. I am keen to do some dolls without using fabric for skirts just using the paper clay to mould the shape and then hand decorate. My current one is underway and she will hopefully be full of hand drawn detail on the hat and torso. Here are a few pics of her so far.
I don’t like to do the same dolls over and over again. I get bored too easy and prefer a fresh new challenge each time I create. I made a few Frida’s last year which are always popular, such is the power of Ms Kahlo! A few weeks back I was asked by one of my Instagram friends if I could possibly make a Frida for her. I don’t usually do commissions, they put me under pressure. I always work best when I have free rein but the time was right to start a new Frida, so I said yes. I love Frida Kahlo’s way of dressing and her hair. Such fun to recreate her amazing red satin boots (do Google her real ones, they are fabulous!!). Recreating her false leg or blue satin embroidered top are little details that I love to do too. Here are some photos of her. She’s now complete and ready to go!
This is Suki and she is all about being strong! She was inspired by all the women of the world who recently marched on 21st January. The clenched fist on her top is a symbol of solidarity and support!
Suki has just been sold to a loyal customer of mine and is soon off to the USA.
As Winter draws in the construction of papier mache dolls becomes harder. The sanding and shaping of the clay is a messy old job which I normally do outside in warmer months. Wet clay and dust go everywhere! So for a change I have had a go at some cushioned ladies. I have four huge boxes full of fabric scraps in my workshop that I have collected over the years with the, “I’ll use that for something one day”thought in my mind. Well now is the time.
They are for sale in my shop from noon today!