Monday, February 29, 2016

29 Faces challenge

Paint, draw, doodle (sculpt!) a face in any medium or surface. Aim for 29 for the challenge. Originally created by Ayala Art to celebrate Leap Year and Art.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Hello! Just a quick post to direct you to the 29 Faces Challenge on Facebook!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Gourdo Baggins

I love playing with mixed media, often there is no plan or structure, and the piece just evolves in it's journey. This w as the case with Gourdo Baggins, who is not a hobbit, not an elf but just is.
It started with s studio cleaning mission in which a box of gourds was discovered under a fabric bin.
I found a cloth doll head in my body parts bin and attached it to the gourd neck through the hollowed out back of neck area with E6000 glue. Always a good thing to put those rejected body parts to good use!
Next I applied Paperclay to the cloth head and just let the sculpt become what it wanted.  I painted and blended the head with the gourd with acrylic paints Ears were next. Not a perfect face, but often small irregularities can add character.
The legs and shoes were next, which were formed over a foil covered armature with paperclay and painted with acrylics. I bonded the legs to Gourdo's body by inserting the armature wires through small holes, then reinforced at the top with Apoxy Sculpt. I created some pants for him to hide the leg attachment.

Arms were next and they were created the same as the legs, but I made a small hole in the top of each arm and button jointed with a long jointing needle through the gourd body. I did not want to completely cover the gourd, so I sewed some individual fabric panels resembling and wired them with chenille stems. I attached the panels with E6000 glue, as sewing them on was out of the question.
Gourdo Baggin's hair is loose mohair which I wefted myself and attached to his head. He is a well balanced little guy and can stand alone!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Meet Malaika, my Hoffman Challenge entry for 2015. Her name is African for Angel. A really different approach for e this year creating a stump doll for the challenge. She is 18", and has a cloth over clay face. Fabric manipulation was involved in her costume, as well as fabric covered
 wires, beads and homemade clay jewelry

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Nest Weaver

It has been a while since I updated my blog or created a new piece. This is a mixed media piece created with ivy wood, armatures, paper mache, Paperclay, Sculpey and found objects.
 She is called The Nest Weaver
An armature is attached using wire, screen and foil

Paper mache is applied to imply the tree's roots, tiny clay faces are embedded

The face is attached, created with sculpey, and branches are attached at top of head by drilling small holes. Black gesso base coat, and about 5 washes of acrylic paint are applied to integrate the elements.

The nest, woven from grape vines is attached with small amount of Apoxie Sculpt and the owl, created from a pinecone and Sculpey, is attached the same way. Another lighter acrylic wash is applied, then the piece is sealed with acrylic matte finish sealer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aquanita is an 18" mixed media piece. She has a full body armature an perches on her driftwood throne, holding a shell with pearls. aquanita is my Hoffman 2013 entry, and she won 2nd place!

CRAZY CAT LADY STARTER KIT is my Hoffman Challenge 2014 entry. She is a bit of a departure for me, and may not be a judge-pleasing entry, but I really created her for myself this time, and she proved to be fun and challenging! She has a full body armature, a dollskin fabric skin over needle sculpted head to create the wrinkles and creases in her face.
She holds her Starter Kit of 3 little kittens, a bag of catnip and cat magazines. the Hoffman fabric is in her apron and her hat.
the size limit for the challenge is 20", and she is a 20" doll but appeared to grow after she was completed, costume and all, she measured 22". so I had to cut her legs off at the top and re-sew them to the torso. I also used a steam iron to compress the stuffing in the top of her head. End result, exactly 20"!
She was created from my Gayheart the Gardening Granny pattern.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goulianna, 18" mixed media Halloween wall doll

I always like to make one or two Halloween decorations each year, and this year's addition is Goulianna, a 18" wall doll. I thought I would write a little tutorial on how to make this doll to share with all of you.
3" Styrofoam egg
Creative Paperclay, or LaDoll stone clay medium
Acrylic animal eyes
White Gesso medium
Black and white acrylic paint.
black colorred pencil
Matte acrylic spray sealer
Goulianna's head is created by applying Paperclay over a 3" Styrofoam egg.
Use a spoon shaped clay tool or end of large paint brush to make downward eye impressions in the Styrofoam egg. Make a depression in the nose bridge between the eyes area as well. 
Use paintbrush handle or clay tool to ream out an area at back of head, just above the chin area. The neck tab of the body will be inserted here later.
Roll out a golf ball size piece of the clay on a mat using a clay roller, or the edge of a jar. Roll to about 1/8" thick. 
Cover the entire head except the hole in back with the Paperclay. Trim off excess if needed, or add more for coverage.  Dip fingers in water to smooth the entire head.
Define the eye impressions and use a tool to define a  brow line above each eye
Form the nose with a small piece of triangle shaped clay and adhere to the hose area between the eyes.Use fingers or small flat clay  tool for this. Sooth all edges with water. You can use water as you work to keep the piece smooth, and smooth over any areas that may become damaged. Use the sharp end of a pencil or pointed clay tool to define the nostrils.
The mouth will be painted on, so leave that area smooth.
Insert the animal eyes into the sockets, make sure the shank if pushed firmly through the clay and into the Styrofoam. 
Allow the head to air dry or 24 hours, or dry it in the oven set at 170o temp for about 1 1/2 hr. Do not set the oven thermostat any higher or the eyes and foam may melt.
When the head is dry,  Sand lightly if there is any roughness to the piece. Apply 2 coats of gesso, allowing to dry in between, and sand after each coat if necessary. Paint the eyes sockets and  black. You can remove the eyes or put masking tape over them as to not get any paint on them. Mix the black paint with some white to make gray, and shade the nose bridge area. Paint the eyebrows bray, and inside of nostrils black. You can use the black pencil for the nostrils.
Draw a mouth with the black colored pencil, outline the center line as well. Paint the lips gray.
15"X 8" White cotton fabric
15" length of small gage wire
Floral tape, or masking take
2 strips of white cotton fabric to cover arms, 1/2" wide by 12" long each. Gauze tape works well if you have it, or cheese cloth.
Tacky glue
Wire cutters and hemostats
Needle and thread to match fabric.
Copy onto paper  and  cutout the pattern below from freezer paper  to make a template for body, and iron onto doubled body fabric. Note the dimensions. Sew around the template, leave open at bottom for stuffing. 
Poke the wire in at one shoulder, and out the other side, Make both wires even. Then use hemostats to push the middle of the wire up into the neck. Bend over the ends with hemostats to form the hands.

Use hemostats to stuff the body firmly. Make sure the neck is firmly stuffed especially. Stuff to 1" of bottom opening and sew a gathering stitch to close, tie off the thread.
Wrap tightly the wire with floral tape or masking tape. Apply tacky glue to the arms and wrap the fabric strips tightly around the arms. Make sure hands are covered, and no tape shows through. 

Black synthetic fabric, 1/4 Yd. Choose a fabric that is lightweight, but not transparent. Polyester crepe works well, or any black lightweight fabric that is not transparent. The fabric must be synthetic.
Black thread and hand sewing needle.
For the skirt, cut a piece of the black fabric, approx 7" X 15"
Turn under and zig zag one 7" edge. Cut long 1/2"strips into the bottom of fabric, about 10" deep.
Light the candle and run the strips quickly across the flame. Make sure you seal the edges of strips  in the flame to prevent raveling as well. Move the strips quickly above the candle flame, but not directly into the flame, until the fabric starts to pucker and shrivel. If a few small holes appear, that is ok, but take care not to sever the strips with the flame. You can burn a  few small holes in the bodice area if you wish. Use a well ventilated area, and pollen mask if you are sensitive to fumes.
After all strips are treated in the flame, sew up the back edge of fabric, up to top edge with small seam. Trim with pinking shears.
Put dress on doll and hand gather top edge, and anchor it to the doll's body. Take a few hand stitches at each side of waist.

Cut two 3" X 9" pieces of fabric for the sleeves. Turn under narrowly the top edge of each sleeve and zig zag on machine. Slit the bottom edge up to about 5" from top edge with 1/2" strips. Repeat the candle process for the sleeve strips. Sew closed the top 4" with narrow seam and trim seam. Put the sleeve on doll's arm and hand gather top edge, anchoring it here and there to the shoulder. Repeat for other sleeve.

Apply tacky glue to neck tab, and inside the hollowed out area of the head. Insert head firmly onto the neck tab. Wipe off any excess glue.

Glue on hair material of your choice, I used Tibetan wool on my doll. I added a little white cheesecloth at her waist, stiffened with fabric stiffener for an accent. Sew a ring onto her back for hanging, or suspend her from a length of elastic thread.

I had so much fun designing Goulianne, and I hope you enjoy creating her as well!!