Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday Inspirations

As the weather cools, it always seems to inspire me to slow down and pay attention to the details in life. The To Do lists get shorter, and daylight disappears.  It seems natural to spend more time indoors, and with that, doll making sneaks it's way into the "things that need to be done" category.

Today I worked on an Izannah Walker inspired doll.  She's painted and her ensemble is almost finished.  This particular doll has a young lady presence about her.  She will be dressed in a period cotton dress, red boots, and will be traveling with her handmade wool case.  On the way to catch the carriage, she encounters a lovely little bird who follows her down the dirt road.  Intrigued, she stops, and stands very still....little bird perches nearby and the two study each continue.  Stay tuned for photos of the two new friends and learn the dollyes name.


Sunday, September 7, 2014


Simple Wavy Hairline

Refined Features
Lovely Soulful Eyes
I am reminded that in order to develop the qualities of an Izannah Walker (IW) inspired cloth and clay doll certain features I prefer are to be featured.  I tend to like the above examples of IW dolls because of the qualities I have highlighted.  Sculpting expertise is required to avoid over-sculpting or under-sculpting.  Certain sculpting techniques lend themselves to better outcomes; such as building the head layers with a watchful eye on dimension and fullness.  The IW chin is small with soft full cheeks.  The eyes usually have a downward case with hazel, brown or blue eyes.  The skin colors are soft peaches, oranges, with a touch of rose in varying layers of linen or off-white.  The hair is thinly applied strokes of burnished bronze or blue-gray--rarely blond.  The iconic IW ringlets take practice to create and is best attempted on canvas paper before the final approach (I seem to avoid this step most of the time, and I'm usually disappointed in my IW-like hair styles).  The neck is small and short with narrow sloping shoulders.  The ears can be sculpted with clay, sewed and applied, or as I just experimented with, rolled on using wool yarn and glue (prior to the gesso priming layer).  Dressing the IW dolls should take note to several resources on child and young ladies clothing in the later nineteenth century.  Play things and accompaniments make to complete many IW doll vignettes.  My favorite is adding pet animals from centuries past; exotics, birds, squirrels...It is amazing what was befriended before animal protection laws of our present day. 

I hope you have enjoyed this Sunday's Muse.  I'll try to do a weekly post, now that I'm back from the abyss of graduate school blues.  

All the best,