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Friday, October 19, 2012

Something New, Something More!

Wow!  It's been 9 days since I last posted.  My internet access is so bad that the only times I can use it are first thing in the morning or after 9pm, so that's really slowed me down, blogging-wise.  A tech is coming out on Tuesday so hopefully things will be better after that and I'll be posting more.

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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cutest Squirrel

This is the cutest squirrel bead I've made.  Somehow, everything just came together.  I guess this little guy just wanted to be born!

Someone saw the bead I made and donated to Fire Mountain Gem's breast cancer fundraiser on their website and contacted me.  The one she saw was sold and she wanted to know if I would make another.  Sure!  The wire with the spiral ends just shows the direction of the hole.

As with all my little polymer animals, he was so fun to make.  I'm going to make another one for my Etsy shop.

Murals in Situ

Here are the finished murals installed in the Ag Building at the County Fair in Bloomsburg, PA.  They were well received, and I am proud of them.  They're colorful and are something that the fair goers enjoy.  The Amish did a wonderful job of installing them.  They can be removed from the wall easily in case of another disaster like the flood that ruined the interiors of the fair buildings last year.

I am grateful to Sharon and the Fair Board for the opportunity to create these.  It was a welcome - though sometimes disconcerting - stretch for me, an opportunity to raise some money for the animals at Fat Kitty City and Idaho Black Bear Rehab, and a confirmation of my work.  It was also a confirmation of my belief that when you "get out there" things come back to you in some form or other.

This project gave me confidence in painting big and in working with acrylics.  In fact, I'm going to work on a painting for the call from our local hospital.  They are opening a new wing and are looking for art by local artists.  It will be competitive, but worth a try.

Anyway, a chapter well ended.