Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I'm not the first person to post about this, but Patricia Anders is calling for entries to a new exhibit at 10 Women Gallery in Venice in honor of Barbie's 50th Anniversary. (Just a few miles from my house! For that matter so is the Mattel corporate HQ and outlet shop.)
The details for participating in Barbie Redux are on her website.
I'm excited about the idea and will be making something and my 9year old daughter who is a huge fan of Patricia's past altered Barbies also plans on joining in. We have a bunch of Barbies set aside for art doll purposes.
Here is a website devoted to caring for your collectibles. Collecting Warehouse a large selection of acrylic display boxes, as well as a glass dome collection that makes me think "miniature diorama". They also carry stands.
I keep seeing commercials for this shoe storage box, that I'm thinking would be a nice storage option for many of my daughter's play and fashion dolls.
At Jack Johnstone's Art Doll guild site, you can find hidden doll stands to give the appearance of free standing dolls.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Green Dollhouse project has closed, but the book is still available. I wish I had seen the exhibition when it was current. "Creating a Doll's Eye View of a Healthier World". Nice Tagline.
Meanwhile the National Parks Service has free downloadable instructions for making Corn Husk Dolls lurking in a lesson plan.
Orit Dotan's flikr set shows Waldorf dolls of all natural materials - they are all rather lovely.
Planet Pixies are three adorable fairies made of organic cottons, with an ecological message.
Don't forget Earth Hour tonight 8.30-9.30 pm your local time. Lights out!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Sorry I wasn't paying closer attention when I got the notice for this in my in box. Closing very soon is Paper Cuts: 200 Years of Black Paper Dolls at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. There are still a few days to get there before Sunday.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
According to Wikipedia, March 26th, 1484 was the day that William Caxton first published Aesop's Fables translated into English. Aesop's best known fable could be The Tortoise and The Hare.
Madame Alexander produced a pretty 8" doll accompanied by a plush hare and tortoise.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Today was also World TB Day, a disease once called consumption that is highly contagious, and more common that we might think even in the developed world. About 250 people die each year in the United States from tuberculosis.
Today is Ava Lovelace Day, a day where bloggers all over the world are celebrating women in technology. It is interesting for me, in the context of doll making because it seems to me that the majority of doll designers and artisans seem to be women. Certainly the majority of doll collectors that I know about are women, at least here in the US. My clients so far have all been women. Doll making seems in many ways to be a very feminine art, and many of the collectible dolls, like fashion dolls, seem to be concerned with feminine stuff, like...well...women's fashion.
It seems to me that we doll makers use a lot of technology, and the fruits of technology - sewing machines, polymer clay, cloth from mills, paints and dyes, wire, porcelain clays and kilns, vinyl and molding technologies. Not to mention how we in general have embraced that most modern of technologies the computer and internet to connect, to sell, to teach and to explore.
And yet so often we return to the simplest of technologies, holding needle and thread in our hands.Meanwhile here is an art doll maker who is not afraid to explore the technology of new materials. Susie McMahon's dolls, figures and sculptures are wonderful. Check out her Redivivus dolls which she has made from recycled material that she has concocted.
Monday, March 23, 2009
It's nice to have some free stuff now and then. Here's a free pattern for some adorable crocheted clothes for teddy bears. I can see how they could be adapted to other dolls too. The whole site looks useful actually.
I don't mean to neglect teddies, really I don't.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Legends By Valkyrie are vinyl doll character repaints, mostly in the fantasy genre. On her site are a number of tutorials with photos that look like a good introduction to repainting and related crafts, including modifying the face sculpts and material recommendations. Who knew you could shrink a Barbie head by soaking it in acetone?
There is also a Yahoo group for people wanting to learn techniques and discuss creativity.
These Karito Kids are some more of my daughter's favorites. She has a Piper vinyl doll (pictured) and a Ling of the plush travellers. I like how each vinyl doll character has a unique face mold. The high quality wigs allow for hair style play. American Girl clothing fits around the body, but is generally too short. (Time to make some new patterns.)
All dolls come with a story book. A portion of the proceeds from every item is donated to one of several international charities. The buyer can go online with their serial number and choose where to direct the contributions, and there are also several online games.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Yeah, I just love these dolls with their bizarre faces and twisted stories. I'm waiting for the Loopy Boopy Uma Therman portrait, or perhaps Bette Davis when she was very young. Is it the magic of New Orleans infusing them with their character? I wish I could have been part of the ADO Travelling Doll project, and I'll look forward to seeing the final results of the collaborations. She has a well stocked Etsy store too.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I don't speak Spanish, but pictures are an international language. Lotty Weinberg has a Colombian website with many pictures of the decorated paper mache figures and sculptures that she makes - that is I think she makes them. They are lively and colorful and fun to look at anyway. Don't fail to click on each year at the bottom of the page for more figures, mannequins and relief sculptures.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here is a great collector's resource, that could lead to hours of happy reading. Lotz Doll Pages form a comprehensive collection of great information about carved dolls of all kinds, vintage and new and of all nations. I particularly enjoyed reading about Chinese Dolls of Hope which have a sweet quality about them.
Not only dolls, but many other decorative crafty objects are available through Aunt Manny's Creations, all primitives with the patina of created age. I enjoy the folk art primitive aesthetic, and now is the time to enjoy her new spring creations, like the pictured Egg Fairy from her visually appealing blog. Lots of personal stories and links to upcoming events there too.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I've been a bit busy, and I am going to stay busy for a few days, so I'm going to post a website that is a wonderful browsing opportunity. Mrs. Blathersby's Orphanage for the Unattractive and Mentally Unsound is an online doll club for the makers of the sad, the bizarre and the lonely in dolls. Mrs. B. is acceptant of their quirky creepiness and sometimes twisted stories. From this site you can access the members' Ebay sales and Etsy stores as well as the blogs and the websites of the makers, some of whom have already been featured here.
Mrs. Blatherby herself looks rather stern. I hope she doesn't find it presumptious of me to include her here....
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Chaska Peacock is a very interesting mixed media artist and photographer. She has a colorful and interesting website, with many sections including her art doll gallery. I find her spirit dolls and altars to be deeply personal, unique and very beautiful. I've enjoyed poking around and reading the descriptions of the dolls.
She has a store, and also offers online classes including one starting very soon, March 15, 2009 on Vision Boards and one in April that is a "Healing Doll" - not the one pictured, I just liked the look of her.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
There is a little baby in Austin TX who is need of a lot of expensive medical attention and whose family is giving the people in their community the wonderful gift of the opportunity to help.
Many crafters are donating proceeds from sales at their Etsy or other stores toward helping "Ike-asaurus". Here is one, FaerieRebecca who describes the sweet and pretty Waldorf inspired faun doll she is selling for the cause.
Other crafters who would like to help can read how at Average Jane Crafter's blog, where there are also links to participating Etsy crafters.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I have found a cool site of interest to collectors of vinyl toys and most particularly character action figures. Michael Crawford publishes very detailed reviews - I mean really getting into the minutiae of quality and design issues - about new collectible action figures and cool licensed characters. His reviews are also very heavy on pictures, which are fun, and the site has lots of relevant links and news. He sometimes has guest reviewers also. I enjoyed browsing there.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Ulla Milbrath maintains an absolutely elegant inspiration blog, that includes home decor, assemblages and dolls and figures by many different artists, including herself! It has romantic, sometimes shabby chic vintage aesthetic, but all the photography is just beautiful. You can almost smell the Lily-of-the-Valley and Gardenia, with the occasional hint of Jasmine. Visit often and be transported.
How adorable are these? Pecanpals. They are made from painted wood with articulated limbs, in very limited editions, and hail from Carrara Island in the Pacific Ocean, a place of some mystery. They all have names and stories, oh yes they do.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
With many performances in New York and Washington D.C. in upcoming months, Chinese Theatre Works presents traditional styles of theater box puppetry from China and Taiwan, amongst other types of Chinese performing art forms. These are some glove puppets from the Taiwanese tradition.
Angela Briggs is a doll maker working with traditional African folk art forms in cloth, wood and other natural materials. I'm sorry to be missing her children's doll making workshop at the Huntington Gardens today.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
For lovers of the beautifully macabre, here is Bleeding Hearts, a portal to several different BeGoth gothic doll lines including limited edition 12 inch and 7 inch fashion dolls and plush dolls. There is also a club fans can join, the Crypt Club (with club exclusive dolls!), newsletter sign up, forums and assorted books and stuff available.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
There's an Etsy team for dollmakers - the Etsy Guild for Art Dolls and Such or EGADS. We have a Yahoo group and a nice blog, where we can post our newest works. They are a very supportive and loving group as well as extremely creative working in a wide cross section of media and doll styles. For someone looking to buy some art dolls for their collection, a visit to some of the EGADS members' stores (linked from the blog) would be great fun.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sue McFadden makes truly sweet and pretty lifelike child dolls from felt. They have felt over paper clay faces and are jointed and costumed charmingly in high quality fabrics with an olden days traditional folk costume feel. From her website she also sells kits and supplies.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
March 3rd is "Girls Day" or Hina-Matsuri in Japan, a festival popular since the Edo period that involves creating codeified displays of beautiful dolls dressed in traditional clothing in homes to celebrate the young daughters of a household. Some people buy new dolls, other people have collected and preserved antique dolls over many generations.
Other older versions of Hina-Matsuri involve using a paper or straw doll for purification, casting the doll into a river along with your sins or worries.
ODACA member Christine Shively has a beautiful website showcasing her painted and embellished cloth dolls, including those for sale at prices that look pretty darn reasonable. She also offers workshops for particular dolls and travels to art fairs and conferences.