I belong to a mixed media art club, and we recently had a challenge to find a thrift store item and turn it into an art piece. So, I went to my local Goodwill's and saw an old jewelry box for $7. I knew would be perfect. It looked exactly like a miniature wardrobe for a doll (at least to me, it did). It's about 15 inches tall and has glass panels on the doors with a mirror on the inside.
I painted it red with gold trim, added some wood filigrees to the top, and painted the glass panels with mirror spray. I took out the mirror in the back and covered the inside with black felt.
Now, I had to create the doll and the wardrobe to go with it.
I remember seeing a doll by Friedercy on Pinterest that inspired this idea. I made a simple rag doll and dressed it like an old-fashion clown. I wanted the colors to be neutral, so I created the costume all in grey with black trim.
That was the easy part. The next part was more of a challenge for me. Instead of clothes for my doll wardrobe, I wanted to make MASKS! This would be very theatrical. I researched 18th century "comedia del arte" figures and masks (this art form came from Italy, and was the origin of our modern theater company).
I created masks of polymer clay (I used "Super Sculpey"). I made a second cloth head so I could use that as a form to hold the clay shape while it baked (you can put cloth and stuffing in the oven, as long as it's on low temperature).
I decided to first make a thin shell of clay that would be the base of the mask. I rolled out a thin piece of clay, cut it in an oval shape, and draped it over the cloth head. I baked this shell for just a few minutes, as it was very thin and I didn't want it to burn. When the piece was cooled, I sculpted the mask face over the shell. I baked the finished mask again. I colored the mask using acrylic paint and chalk.
I had originally intended to tie the masks on to the head with ribbon -- that's why my clown has ears (to stop the ribbon from sliding down the head). But, I decided the masks needed some hair or a hat to finish the character of the mask. I decided to make simple hats out of felt. I made the hats in the style of the "comedia del arte" period to complete the look.
The final mask is a skeleton mask. --Sort of a "death mask".
This is Friedercy's doll art, titled "The Wardrobe". As you can see, hers is far more detailed and elaborate than mine.
She is such a talented artist. I hope she doesn't mind my piece being inspired by her great art. To see more of her work, click here.