Friday, February 19, 2010

Where it all happens

I have struggled with several versions and arrangements of a studio for myself and now I realize what was wrong with each of them.  Not enough room .  And why is there not enough room? Because working in multiple media (ceramic clay, polymer clay, fabric,) like I do means that you require a wide range of diverse paraphernalia.

While making dolls, I get to use every skill and every bit of paraphernalia I possess. So I run from the drawing board to the self healing cutting mat, from the sewing machine to the ironing board, from  the hot glue gun to the wire cutters, from the cardboard to the polymer clay, the jewelry box, the silk flowers, the antique buttons, the embroidery floss, the polyester filling, the acrylic paints etc. etc etc.

Do I sound totally spoiled?  I am really happy and grateful to have my nice bright studio.The problem arises when I get out the paints or the glue.  I need a place to use them where I don't risk getting them on something I shouldn't. At the moment I have to keep clearing a space for each individual thing I want to do. See what I mean?

One way around this would be to do dolls in a nice neat series of steps:  design them all at once, cut them all out, sew them all, wire them all , stuff them all, paint them all, make clothes, shoes and accessories for them all.

Somehow I just don't work that way. Each step leads my undisciplined mind to a new jumping off point. For one thing I learn from each doll. No doll is like the next doll. I keep doing what I call "improving."

I tried this production line approach last time and now I have a series of doll bodies, cut, wired and stuffed but after I finished the first one I saw that there were improvements I would like to make on that design. And I didn't like the fabric I had chosen as every thread and bit of lint clung to it. Plus it pilled. So now what? Are all those doll bodies and all that time wasted?  Only time will tell.

My initial inspiration was dollmaker extraordinaire, Mimi Kirchner, who I would love to meet some day. Her pan cake dolls have a character and charm that is second to none.  You can check her out on her blog

My first doll was Tina. You can see how I made her in the "Well Lookee Here"  post.  I did manage to wire her up since for some reason posing the dolls is important to me. She gets into some interesting yoga poses if you let her.  I know that as her creator I am prejudiced but she does have a certain je ne sai quoi. And my dear friend  Joan loved her so much she wanted to adopt her even though I told her that this doll making thing was going to evolve. 

My next blog will be about how my doll making has evolved as promised....and continues to do so.

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