Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Time Travelers and Goddesses

I was invited to participate in a collaborative doll making project last summer with Pamela Hastings and six other doll artists. We're doing it "Round Robin" style, each starting a doll and mailing it to the next person in the circle for them to add something to and send on. We've been through five exchanges now, taking one month to add our contribution to each doll. Our original dolls will come back to us next spring, as the circle is completed. Each doll has a journal that accompanies it's travels, in which we document what we've done and add to the story. Below are the two most recent pieces I've been working on.

First is the spectacular "Gears of Time" doll, begun with the clockwork torso by Lori Grassette. I've been calling him "Time Traveler Steampunk Dude".... aka, "Time Traveler" or just "The Dude".

After Lori, Lynne Sward added the wired cloth arms, then Mary Klawetter did his sculpted paper clay head and heart. Thea Roy did the marvelous spindle, wire and sari silk legs. We just go with what unfolds and let the dolls suggest what they have in mind. I think this is the first doll in this project that has taken on a male persona.

For this round, I added black wire hands. They're sculpted from old plastic-coated telephone wire and attached to Lynne's cloth arms by wrapping around some beads she added at the wrists. I tucked the wire ends up neatly under the blue-green quilted cloth "cuffs" that Pamela added, along with a majestic Aztec-ian headdress.
I also added this old key.... which allows him to be the "Master" of his very own Universe.

Time Traveler has a "winged companion", which I decided to attach at his left shoulder. She is a little fairy spirit that gives him some much needed divine guidance.

Just learning how these new hands work!

This is the journal The Dude carries with him. I added a cover today, to rescue the poor thing which was falling apart a little.

Here is the "Sacred Porch Spirit" that started with a seriously amazing two-sided head done by Lynne Sward...
The bodacious body was done by Mary Louisa Klawetter... the legs by Thea Roy. Thea picked up the bird theme in Lynne's porch spirit's face and gave her long heron-like legs. Pamela was next and added the whimsical bird feet.

From there, how could I go with anything else but.... WINGS? With each design element, we're not only challenged to work with the pieces and parts that have been added before us, but must make sure it will be durable enough to survive packing and shipping... and fit in the box! These wings are made from painted Tyvek mailing envelopes. The top edge is wired for strength and shaping, so they could be flexed and curved slightly forward around the body.

Inspired by Eric Carle's wonderful textured collage papers, I dragged a comb through the wet paint to created the feather effect. Each triangular snippet is glued in place with heavy gel medium. I pulled the end point of each feather between my thumbnail and finger... like you do with curling ribbon, to make them swoop up on the ends and stand out, adding dimension. 
The wings are secured to the back of the doll's body with C-lon cord, threaded through punched holes. She has a face in the back, too... so it might look like her wings are on backwards. Confusing? Ahhh... but that's by design! Evil spirits beware as she protects Lynne's screened porch next summer!

1 comment:

katales said...

I've come to look at these a couple of times now. They are SO spectacular! Neither one has come to me yet, but, I think will be heading my way soon now. I can't wait to see them in person! The creativity is just mind blowing and I am so grateful to be allowed to participate with this group! ~ kathryn