In Susanna Oroyanne's book Designing the Doll, she describes dollmaking as a series of problem solving activities. When the artist comes up with the idea, he or she then has to ask questions about how to achieve each element of the design, and how to bring those elements together as a whole. I love making a plan and having it come to fruition just the way I imagined it. When I made the Christopher Robin and Pooh piece I had a very clear picture of what I wanted to do (probably because the image is straight from the illustrations of E.H. Shepard). I knew just how I wanted them to appear--like they were stepping right out of the book.
I was thrilled when this piece turned out as I had imagined. (Visit my website for a picture.)
While it is a delight to have something turn just as you plan, it is also a thrill to follow the path that a work will lead you on, if you let go and let it. The piece I am working on is taking me down such a path. I love Halloween and I had a clear picture in my mind of a child witch doll. She is a cute child doll with a slightly somber look, curly red hair, witchy clothing, and she is seated with legs crossed and dangling. She is holding a primative looking stuffed black cat. And she will have to be born later because as soon as I sculpted the head, I realized I was not making her! I sculpted a child with a little smile. Her mouth is slightly open as if she has something to say. (I wonder what it is?)
I tried to think of a new plan, but only got as far as "just a little girl with a doll or something". I went ahead and sculpted her legs,and ordered two mohair wigs from Dollsamore.com because I couldn't decide between the red hair with braids or the long wavy blond. This picture shows the leg armature I made from wire,foil and white floral tape.
Here are the sculpted painted legs on the cloth body. I sculpted the shoes, too.
I also continued to work on my Teddy Bears for an upcoming show. I made a bear with a needle felted face and paws. I have felted bears, felted a doll face, and made bears out of mohair of course, but I had never done a felted face bear and I wanted to try. I felted his little pawpads too. I was playing with different proportions than my typical work so I loved him right away because he was so different with his felted face and tiny hands and feet! I often carry a new bear around the house with me when I fall for one like that,and this little guy followed me.(He's looking on even now as I type this!)
Well, yesterday the wigs came and as I worked on the doll's body and tried on the wigs (or rather the doll did), I saw the little bear watching. Then I had a thought!!! I know who this doll is! I'm making Goldilocks and Baby Bear!! Yes,I know, it's a common theme, but my Goldilocks and Baby Bear will be friends!! Arent they perfect for each other?
I had this little bench in my studio. I think I will make her hold his paw...
I can't wait to see where the rest of this goes!