Art & Soul Portland was September 30th through October 5th this year, and it was a blast! This was my first time... yes, an Art & Soul virgin. I only wish I could have taken classes every day. I took just two... Judy Wise's "Dolls for Big Girls", and "Who's Your Dada?" with Linda and Opie O'Brien.
Here is one of Judy's great dolls...all of hers inspired me, but this one in particular...
We had some technical glitches during the class, resulting in incomplete curing of our clay, and so many doll parts ended up crumbling... mine included.
Here's mine... let's call her "Pink". Her tutu is an upcycled Art & Soul trading badge. (If you were there, you know what that means!) She has one shoulder joint hot-glued together, and broken left leg propped up just long enough for a photo session. I've gifted her to Iris, but she won't get her until repairs are finished. I will absolutely be working soon on a re-do... baking new limbs tomorrow!
I'm excited to incorporate collaging some vintage text to my next doll, as Judy has done with her "Grace" (pictured above). I simply ran out of time while there. It was an easy technique and Judy is a great person... really easy to be around and fun-loving. I met some wonderful new friends in class and enjoyed it immensely.
"Who's Your Dada?", with the O'Briens, was such a good time! We had a small group, so Linda and Opie were able to devote a lot of individual attention to each one of us. Linda was extremely encouraging and supportive. Opie did all of our drilling and figuring out how to attach various pieces and parts. These two are an inspiring and remarkable couple, who work so well together. We all loved spending the day with them.
Some of my classmates made truly FABULOUS Dada dolls!
Here is one from Diane in California:
My doll looked like this when class was over, however:
... definitely not "fine art"!
I realize now that I was not well-enough prepared, and should have brought a lot more of my stash of crazy-ass junk, and had a better concept of what I intended to make. I kept thinking of all the stuff at home that I wished I'd had there! Soooooo.... my "Dada" doll now looks like this:
Stripped down to bare basics! I took the giant key out of it's back, now allowing for the finished doll to hang on a wall, and installed it into the hole in it's cranium, which Opie so patiently drilled for me in order for my tea set sugar bowl lid to serve as a hat. Well, good idea, Patti... but it just didn't look right after all that trouble. So, now, everyone agrees that the key looks just right, and we'll work from there!
The only negative to my full day class with the Amazing O'Briens was that it was over far too soon. I bought their new book "Who's Your Dada: Redefining the Doll Through Mixed Media", and it is a real gem. Probably the best doll making book I've ever purchased. Can't wait to sign up for more classes next year, and only wish I could join them for the upcoming Art & Soul cruise in the Mediterranean. THAT would be something downright incredible!