Thursday, April 25, 2019


Hi All,
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.

Friday, April 12, 2019


Hi All,
I haven't posted for a while. It isn't because I haven't been busy -- I have. But, I can't share what I'm working on until fall. But, I have started on my Halloween dolls. I've been working on some more "Dearly Departed" Ghost dolls.

So, for my ghosts ladies, I start with a wooden candlestick and glue a large base to the bottom for stability. I've patterned the torso in a way that makes it lean forward slightly. (Just to make it easy for me, I glue on pom-poms to make the breasts.)

I make a tight "slip" of some stretchy silver fabric that helps hold the torso to the candlestick, and helps hide the base. Then comes a tulle petticoat to help hold out the skirt.

Over that, I start to build the dress. I am building the skirts with multiple layers. The first, and longest layer is gray. Next is a silver or iridescent color. These photos are all of various phases.

Over that is a white sparkly layer, and finally a sheer layer of the finished dress.

I love using lots of textures, mixing sheers with opaque fabrics. I want my ghost ladies to be "sparkly iridescent visions" floating about, looking for their final home. I'm looking for an "incandescent" quality to my fabric choices.

More later.
Have fun!