I made one version entirely of polymer clay but I baked it too long and it became so brittle that it fractured and broke as I was winding cotton thread around it for its clothes. I've gone back to my preferred method: a clay head, hands and feet attached to a calico body. I'm still figuring out how to dress the doll. I've experimented with painting straight onto the neutral-colored calico as well as painting onto a fine silk from which I could then cut and sew the clothing.As I work, I think about other ways to make dolls. I'd like to use them in larger works. The artisan intricacy they require absorbs and soothes me. Small pieces, especially, can be worked on between chores or, indeed, other works, throughout the day. The hours pass more quickly, productively and enjoyably.
Friday, January 02, 2009
New Year Dolls
Despite my best intentions to start the new year well-organised, my study is still a mess. It unnerves me – not least because I seem to have so much bloody stuff. I've spent most of my life with very few belongings and now, the accumulation of materials, papers, books, ornaments, electronics and furniture is, somehow, burdensome.I take a break from tidying and filing every hour or so (I can deal with domesticity only in small doses). Then I work on a set of six, small dolls, a gift for a dear friend. The smallest is just 55mm high, which is about the limit at which my hands can manage detail.