Meanwhile, I went to a wonderful class over the weekend. DollWorks in Sacramento sponsored a class by one of their members, Judy Barclift, whose creations are amazing. I attended the class because I had long been interested in making animal dolls and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to find out about construction. The topic was witches, which (no pun intended) I'm not much into. But I had a super time in spite of that and enjoyed making my own character, Bat Woman.
I had so much creative fun fashioning Bat Woman following Judy's clear and helpful lead. (I should say that although Judy walked us through her process of sculpting head, hands, and feet, and constructing the doll, she left creating the characters up to each one of us).
We began by hand sculpting head, hands, and feet from polymer clay. Then we made our body and assembled the doll. Judy supplied pieces of white or black faux fur for the hair, and I chose black. I didn't know what to expect in the class and I brought fabrics for the clothes that just didn't work, but several of the other class members were very kind in supplying me with wonderful fabrics. (They are a very warm and generous group and I'll probably be joining their club.)
Dressing her had me using several techniques. I made her vest from black felt, hand painted it with iridescent fabric paints, and sewed beautiful glass beads around the edges. The glass beads are covered with an iridescent blue/green/purple coating which gives them a gorgeous sheen and picks up the colors of the painted lapel, swirls, and stars on the rest of the vest. Her dress is an unusual bluish gray fabric with an unusual texture and a fabulous soft drape. I made a rosette of the fabric, centered it with a glittery bat button, and used it to add interest to the hemline. Exotic ruffles made from selvage strips of a gauzy crumped fabric accent the cuffs and neckline. She has demure black silk pantaloons trimmed with small bows.
Then came the most fun of all - making the bats! I sculpted them from polymer clay, dusted them with iridescent blue and purple mica powders, and brought them to life with tiny black glass bead eyes. One sat dutifully on her hand, but the other absolutely insisted on alighting on her head! I guess she just couldn't resist those soft spikes!
Although I had great fun making her and have already nearly completed another because I'm so hooked on the process, I feel differently about these dolls that I do about most of my other creations - for some reason although I like them I'm willing to part with them. I've just listed Bat Woman in my Etsy shop and I hope she sells as it would be nice to have the funds to donate to the animals.