Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Tin Ear and a Ballerina

Isn't art a funny thing? It's how I express myself, how I communicate the beautiful things I imagine. I have always admired my sisters beautiful singing voice, in 3rd grade choir (which I LOVED, by the way, and sang as loud and proud as I possibly could) my teacher (who's name fails me now) said I had a Tin Ear. I didn't even know what that meant! After all I was only in 3rd grade. So any way, back to the point, I feel that my ART is the way I SING.
My schedule has been pretty hectic the last few years, especially after my first book was released. Sometimes I get so busy making projects and meeting deadlines that I don't work on anything simply JUST FOR ME. Well this puppet was one of those "for me" projects. I started making exacting porcelain reproductions of antique dolls (did I mention I collect antique dolls?) a few years back. Acquiring repro molds cast directly from the antique dolls themselves, as this is a very delicate process and sometimes the actual dolls themselves are broken during this process and only so many pourings can be had from each mold( they lose definition quickly) these molds tend to be very expensive. Some times I would buy the head and shoulder plate first and then the body and limbs molds later. I learned how to cast, clean and fire a doll. Then to paint it in the appropriate colors, making sure the eye brows and eyelashes are correctly angled, the correct type of glass eye is used for the type of doll, German, blown glass or French paperweight. How to insert and attach the eyes, then how to make" period" correct hair styles out of a batch of undyed lambs wool or mohair. Since I love the history of dolls this is the purest of pleasures for me.

When it comes to making the clothes, well thats another story, fortunately for me I have a friend who makes the most amazing "period correct" doll clothes! She even uses rare antique fabrics salvaged from old ball gowns and such! Now, my artisic style is kind of ALL over the place, I like SO many different things, I love to use the basis of the dicipline I've learned and make my imagination dolls. So here one is, Hyacinth, 54" tall. Many different materials went into the construction of this puppet. Chicken wire, batting, paper mache, and porcelain to name a few. The 1920's style cornet crown was made from an 1890's ivory silk wedding gown that had seen better days, I used vintage millenery and wax flowers to embellish it. The choker was a notebook spiral I rubbed with paint and added pearls to. The puppeteer cross was a broken accordian clothes drying rack, cut to fit. She has big brown, blown German glass eyes. Covering the seal between the breast plate and the body is a blue silk garter. The bodice of the tutu was a mutton sleeve from a 1910 blouse, and the tutu itself is 3 layers of lace and tulle. I added a few metal grommets for interest. And her toe shoes were antique baby shoes embellished with silver foil flowers. And just for a bit of spice I gave her a floral band "tattoo" on her right forearm. She sits in a chair at the foot of my bed, and everyday when I see her it just makes me smile!

Bye for now.