Thursday, July 8, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole... Wonderland Blog Event

Welcome to my own little corner of Wonderland. The day has arrived and I can finally introduce you to my Wonderland challenge doll. This was my first doll challenge ever... and I had such great fun! Here he is in all his finished and completely mad glory... The Mad Hatter.

My Hatter is inspired mostly by Tenniel's classic Wonderland illustrations. I'll admit there are hints of the goofy Disney version and his wavy red hair pays slight homage to Tim Burton's recent incarnation, played by Johnny Depp, but the similarities end there.


He is 13 inches tall from the top of his hat to the toes of his striped stocking feet. The head and face are sculpted from Creative Paperclay, over a base of aluminum foil. Hair is hand-dyed Romney wool fleece. The body is a stuffed and weighted cloth construction; forearms and lower legs are polymer clay. All clay body parts were painted with acrylic paint and sealed with matte acrylic spray.

 



I used cloth-wrapped wire armature for the upper arms, as I was shooting for the particular pose in this Tenniel drawing, and needed extra stiffness and support.


Costuming was by far the most enjoyable part of this doll, once color and fabric decisions were made. The hat... possibly the most distinctive and essential part of the Hatter's identity... turned out just exactly as I'd planned, which made me a very happy hat maker! It is made from muslin, painted with several coats of thinned acrylic paint and trimmed with a shimmering bronze grosgrain ribbon.




The Hatter's jacket was a challenge to my garment making skills, as I was starting from scratch and designing my own pattern. I made a scrap cloth "mock up" first to do his fittings and fine-tune the pattern. The lightweight pinwale corduroy turned out to be just the perfect weight... and the result was quite a handsome jacket. Glass beads serve as buttons on both vest and jacket. Collar and cuffs are starched white cotton, stitched in place.


I wanted to make his vest from the same vintage cotton madras plaid I used for his pants, but he chose this bold Hoffman batik instead. He even has tiny wool felt shoes... but can never manage to keep them on!





Here's my original working sketch...












Oh, my.... tea parties can be so exhausting!





Thank you all for joining me... it's been grand!

40 comments:

Bonnie Jones said...

He is delightful and seems to be having much fun in that wonderful costume. Great job.
Bonnie

Linda said...

Brilliant love the attention to detail,especially those socks and shoes. Linda:)

lk moonwood said...

Patti - He is magnificent! All your techniques are amazing. And you can design my wardrobe any time - his jacket superb! Love all the fabric choices and details. WOW!

xoxo lulu

Christine said...

He really is superb..so much character in that face, I love it! You did a really nice job with all of the details, his stance, the hat and other accessories. Wonderful!

Hoopie said...

What a cute fellow, looks like he's having fun.

Alicia said...

A mad hatter, just the way i love it!! He's got a great expression!

kimkim said...

He is wonderful and so much like the original hatter,what fun he is and I love that you have shared your original drawing of him and showed how you begin with your work,nice job!

Sophia - La La said...

He is fantastic. Great detail - love the socks and the photos in progress.

darcyarts said...

I love this work! Making tiny clothes is difficult (for me, at least)I commend you. The jacket is lovely. Love the hair and teeth and stripey socks.
It's great to see your sketch, too. Work is the best fun.

sassypackrat said...

He's so wonderful! Love his big buck teeth!

Kelly said...

Your hatter has so much character! I love it...down to his sweet little shoes!

SpiritMama said...

Your Mad Hatter is incredible! I love his costume, great work!

FairiesNest said...

Oh he is delightful! Such a happy guy and such wonderful details ...marvelous work!

Forget-Me-Not studio said...

He is fantastic! I made also made the Hatter and strangely enough we both gave him the same colored jacket. I love you interpretation.

Zephyr Dreams said...

Good job. He is so homely and cute!

attaya said...

love the face!! he is a very interesting doll. the cloth is nice too!

j.str. said...

wow! he's great. I love his costume:)

LunaMay said...

Waaaah is a Super MadHatter!!! I ADORE HIM!!! He reminds me the Actor Martin Short!!

It's sooo funny and expressive, I love your Mad Hatter and I think it is very close to the Original!
Great Job!!!
^__-'

goblinfruitstudio said...

I think you were quite successful with the top hat! Great job :-)

Bradley T. Youngstrom said...

Wonderful! I love him and the details are great. thank you for sharing your talent with us all.

Mealy Monster Land said...

wow, you really nailed it!!
He is so awesome!

Modern Male Homemaker said...

Awesome! I love how you payed homage to the various incarnations while managing to make it your own. Incredibly unique... now you just need to make the rest of the cast of characters so he doesn't get lonely!

Julie said...

Patti! Love this guy...what a brilliant creation. Thanks for sharing.

Evelyn's Wonderland said...

Wow! Fantastic job! As soon as I saw him, he put a smile on my face. Love all the details and fabric choices. Love him!

Aimee Jeffries said...

Great job! Perfect mix of old and new style Mad Hatter.

Debbie said...

he's fantastic!

jasperandblue said...

He"s amazing, I love his hat and the attention to detail on his clothes .... he's face is great too.

Terrielee said...

He is wonderful and your attention to detail is amazing! I love the mix of fabrics and his tiny shoes are a marvel!

Sally StitchyWooWoo said...

Such character. Great fun

Jodi Cain said...

What a great Mad Hatter... I love how you shaped his face and gave him big teeth! His jacket is fabulous :)

Athena said...

He's terrific! I love his clothes, hair and hat, but his teeth are the best! Weren't John Tenniel's illustrations grand? :)

MarZel said...

Simply fabulous!!!

Yovanka Black said...

I am pretty sure I left a comment for this fabulous character yesterday.... ah well I sure didn't mind coming back to him hehe :))))

You know what?
Your little guy... is the one I would rather have with me if I ever found myself a little wonderland to get lost in ;)


So much work, so much character and humor... he's absolutely brilliant!


BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Yovanka

Kim McWilliams said...

Exquisite work in every step your creative spirit reigns, Patti!
He is adorable!!!!!

Abi said...

Patti. Mr Hatter is fantasic.. love every bit of him.

Papillon Bleu said...

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.........thump! oh! I have fallen through the rabbit hole and landed on your dolly palnet! oh! how extraordinary is this Mad Hatter. I like to see the sketches too.This is a fabulous adaptation of Sir John Tenniel's illustrations.

Anthropomorphica said...

I love all his little details especially his stripey socks!

Yarrow said...

Dare I say my favourite Hatter so far, I love him :)

HelenFern said...

Well done! He has a fantastic face and the costume is quite detailed. I admire artists who can costume so well.

flappergirlcreations said...

Wow! He is SO awesome! You are so talented, Patti! I can't wait to see what you come up with for Halloween this year :)