Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Avast ye, me hearties! All hands on deck. Heave ho, weigh anchor, and hoist the mizzen! Any scallywag not pullin' with all ye might will be hanged from the yardarm and keelhauled in the briny deep to meet Davy Jones' locker!

Okay, that's all the "Pirate Speak" I know.

But, really -- when WAS the last time your "timbers" were "shivered"?

Okay, I'll quit.

I made 3 Pirate Captain Busts for my clients at Roger's Garden.

They are all cloth and about 17 inches tall (they have very tall hats!).

I don't usually do male dolls, as I don't have a lot of practice at it. But, I think these turned out pretty good. I really tried to focus on the differences between a female head and a male head -- (rugged) men have a stronger and lower brow bone, a longer nose, a square and stronger jaw, heavy eyebrows, and slightly smaller eyes.

I used "doe suede" fabric for the "skin". I did a more ruddy complexion on these, as I figure Pirates are outside on a ship, in the sun, all day. I even gave them freckles, age spots, and wrinkles. I also did facial hair.

For the hair, I used a fake fur on two of them, and a fur pelt for the dark one (I don't know if it's lamb or goat fur). For eyebrows, I needle-felted mohair onto the face.

I worked as a milliner (hat maker) for many years in costume shops, so making the pirate's felt hats was a lot of fun. (I LOVE putting feathers in all the hats!)

I designed these 3 following what most people believe pirates look like -- a basic "fantasy" pirate from the 18th century. I looked at lots of artwork, and of course, all those Disney "Pirates" movies.

There is not a lot of "body" on the busts - just shoulders and chest (about 3 inches tall), so there isn't a lot of costuming on these. In research, I found that Pirate Captain's wore close to the same as the navel military did in the same period. (I assume they stole their outfits from navy ships they captured, and added whatever they could find in the ports they stopped at.)

I "dirty down" all of the gold and silver braid, trim, and buttons with acrylic paint, alcohol ink, and matte gel. --I don't think of pirates as the "bright and shiny" types.

I hope you are all getting used to this "new normal" life we have right now. Be nice --Wear a mask! (it won't be forever.)

Have fun -- AB


Mary Ann Tate said...

Wow They are fabulous. The noses are perfect and the whole look. They actually remind me of someone I knew in the 70's...way back when...LOL Except for the eye patch of course :)

L said...

Not surprised, they are fantastic Arley! So inspiring. (you forgot the easiest Pirate speak of all---Aarrrrgh!)

Sharne Gregory said...

They are absolutely fabulous.

Arley said...

Thank you all for your kind comments! Mary Ann -- thanks for the giggle!