Saturday, January 23, 2010
I've started on a new set of dolls for my mother. She's requested "The Woman at the Well."
This is the start of the Jesus doll. I wanted him to look more Middle Eastern than European, which is how he's usually portrayed. I think I have a good start.
I need to find a solution to the weak chest plate. They keep on cracking/breaking on me. I may have to use some kind of wire mesh under the slay as an armature. Looks like I'll be taking a trip to the hardware store to buy some tin snips and wire mesh soon.
I have a friend who really likes the story of Tabitha in the Bible. You will find her story in the book of Acts, chapter 9 verses 36 to 42. She made clothes for the poor, and when Peter came to visit Joppa, the people came to him and asked him to come with them. They arrived at a house where she lay, dead. The women showed Peter all of the clothes she had made, and he raised her from the dead.
My friend asked me to make a Tabitha doll for her husband to buy for her birthday.
I looked at some pictures of young women for this sculpt, and just couldn't picture her as a young women. I decided to use the picture of my grandmother. She is now 84 years old, but I made Tabitha a bit younger. I loved the process of studying my beloved grandmother's face, and translating it to clay.
I even called her and asked if she'd ever wanted to be a model. She said, "No!" I then told her that she was an unwilling participant!
Anyway, here's the result of my efforts.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
David and I have a tradition that was started when we were first married to give one another nativities for Christmas. I wanted to give him something special this year. I only had time to make Mary and Jesus this year. He'll get Joseph next year. This doll portrays Mary playing "Airplane" with her baby. She is laughing. It's been difficult getting a good picture of this doll. She looks like she's about to eat the baby!
I had so many challenges and disappointments while making this doll. There was a lot of cracking of the clay when it was fired, and pieces that would break off when assembling her. The first time I finished a head sculpt, I forgot to check the temperature of the oven after making dinner, and burned it black. The oven was set for 400 degrees. It should have been 275! I was really upset and took the evening off, and started new the next day. Her ears kept on breaking off, and I got cracks in her hands when I attached them to her arms. I ended up covering the broken off ears with her hair, and mended the cracks in the hands with more sculpey and refired it. It was a challenge to get Mary to keep her arms raised, and I ended up using invisible thread sewn to the baby's diaper and then wrapped around Mary's neck to accomplish this. She's definitely not a perfect doll, but I learned a lot that I am now applying while making the next one. When I finished her, I told dave that I wanted to cry. He told me he did too and that she was beautiful! I sure do love that man!