Monday, July 26, 2010

I'M PUBLISHED... in fall ADQ issue!

Can a girl get more excited? Maybe so, but this is a definite high point in my summer! Somebody pinch me!

I received a copy of the upcoming August/Sept/October issue of Art Doll Quarterly in today's mail, and there I was... the first doll in the Show and Tell section. Wow, what an exciting moment for me! In March, I submitted the witch doll that I made last fall, and haven't seen her since. I figured that might be a good sign. Little did I know, the next time I'd see her would be in the glossy pages of ADQ!

Here's your sneak peak of the cover...

This issue isn't out yet, so you'll all just have to wait until it arrives in your mailbox!  No, that's not my work on the cover this time... but I'll get there. :)

And now... (drum roll, please) here she is, in a double spread with FOUR photos!

This was a goal of mine, to have one of my dolls grace ADQ's pages... so goal met, and it's on to the next! Thank you Art Doll Quarterly, this is truly an honor and a thrill. I hope there will be many more! Now, hurry home, Brunhilda... well, at least in time for Halloween!

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!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wonderland.... sneak preview!

Just can't help myself. I'm having so much fun creating this challenge doll that I can barely wait until the event (one week from today! *GULP*). I've decided to tease you all with a little advance peek of the "work-in-progress".

My character of choice was the Mad Hatter... mostly because I thought there would already be plenty of Alice's, and because I really wanted to try making that top hat!

No, I haven't seen the new Alice in Wonderland movie yet... so I'm not trying to recreate Johnny Depp in doll form. My Wonderland preference is for the original book illustrations by John Tenniel, so I've printed off copies of his Mad Hatter drawings for guidance and inspiration. My Hatter will be my own interpretation, but definitely informed by Tenniel's vision.
So here are just a few WIP photos to whet your appetite, should you have one!

His basic body parts have now been completely sculpted, constructed, painted and assembled. I'm down to dressing him and attending to details. One prototype hat has been made, but I may work on at least one more and choose the best for the final product. Enjoy... and please join me here, one week from today on July 8th, as we all fall down the rabbit hole together!!

 More construction details will follow on "the day".