Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mad Men Joan Doll

Joan Holloway is such a great character on Mad Men. For Christmas I was commissioned to make a one of a kind Joan doll. My Joan is made of polymer clay, and has a form fitting red dress and her signature pen necklace as well as a black fur and purse.

I know Barbie has made a Joan doll, but I really don't like it at all. How do you give Joan and Betty Draper the same figure? Just ain't right. Just my opinion, but just ain't right.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hamlet doll

hamlet doll


Hamlet - the second in my Shakespeare doll line - finished. The melancholy Danish prince is made out of paperclay over a wire armature. His clothes are Elizabethan, and of course they're black because he still mourns his dad. He holds Yorick's jestful skull as he contemplates mortality.

Alas, poor Hamlet. Flights of Angels. You know the rest.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hamlet the First

I've started my Hamlet doll. Not Shakespeare's noblest character, in my opinion. His dad tells him right away, "Hey, kid, your uncle killed me. Get revenge, but leave your poor mom alone." So what does he do? He puts on a play, TALKS about killing his uncle, but instead picks on his poor mom ("Whoops. Sorry, Dad") and his poor girlfriend. Then he kills Polonius by accident, which sends Ophelia to her death. He then wreaks havoc at the funeral, and Laertes has to fight him cuz he's being such a tool. All this before he can kill his uncle.

If there weren't so many bodies piling up, it sounds a lot more like A Comedy of Errors than a tragedy. Hamlet shoulda stayed in school a little longer.

So, my Hamlet doll will reflect my feelings about this whiny little guy. (That's the other thing. What did whining and playing mad get him besides another Act to procrastinate?) I started with a big Styrofoam ball for the head which I carved into the basic head shape. I covered it with paperclay and put it on a wire armature. I'm going to paint the wood base black, I think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lady Macbeth doll

Lady Macbeth. The first of my Shakespeare dolls. I've taken a LOT of time on this one. In theatre "The Scottish play" is bad luck, and to say the name of the play in a theatre is to call disaster upon your troupe. And just so has Lady M caused me nothing but trouble from moment one.

First, I clean my hands religiously while sculpting polymer clay, and store the work-in-progress in plastic in between working. My pirates, perversely enough, never got dirty. But Lady M attracted little specks like a vacuum, and I spent a lot of time gouging out dirty clay and replacing. Grrrr.

Then when she was baked and ready to go, she didn't want to be dressed. She snagged on loose threads and her hands were just a LITTLE too big to go in her sleeves. I had to remake and handsew them on. Grrrr.

While making her dagger, my first attempt snapped when I cut the hole in the guard. Grrr.

Her hair, mohair from the Angora goat, was like a rats nest. I treated it better than any salon with cream rinses and delicate untangling with a knitting needle. I guess it's okay, but you'd never guess I did it.

Now that she's done, I want to start on Hamlet. I'm hoping the whiny Danish prince won't be near as much trouble.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jane Austen's Emma!

My latest Jane Austen doll is Emma Woodhouse, the confused but clever heroine who knows that to be poor and unmarried is to be pitied, but to be well-off and unmarried is always respectable, and she happily belongs to the second category. The movie "Clueless" is based very much on Emma, and keeps all its humor and innocence. I like the movie, but I love the original.

My Emma is paperclay with viscose hair. Her pink cotton dress has printing of the novel Emma as its print. Mrs. Weston, Mr. Knightley, and Harriet Smith are all discussed in the print on her dress. She also wears little kid slippers, cotton bloomers with lace trim, and a handmade bonnet with handmade lace and ribbon flower along with a feather.

emma doll
jane austen's emma doll
jane austen doll
jane austen emma doll

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sense and Sensibility Doll

More Jane Austen! Marianne Dashwood, the oh-so-romantic heroine of Sense and Sensibility, is my latest doll. She's sculpted in paperclay, jointed at the shoulders and legs. I wanted to print the text from the book on the dress again. After much trial and error (and cursing and pulling of hair) I got it down. Her bonnet is the capote style, popular just at the turn of the nineteenth century. Again, she has little slipper shoes and bloomers with lace under her skirt.

I think Emma and Elinor and Fanny are still calling my name.

jane austen doll
marianne dashwood doll

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pride and Prejudice doll

Love me some Jane Austen! I finished my "Pride and Prejudice" doll - Elizabeth Bennet, clearly, because chapters about her are printed on her dress and bonnet. Inkjet printing on the fabric worked well, once I got a working printer. She's made from paperclay with tiny slippers, a silk bonnet, and a lightweight cotton dress with embroidered organza overlay.

jane austen doll
elizabeth bennet doll
pride and prejudice doll

elizabeth bennet doll

First of a series, I'm sure. Paperclay is very different from polymer and cloth. On one hand, it's not as breakable or heavy as polymer. Painting and finishing paperclay is tricky - I need to work on that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jane Austen revisited

Okay, so i got a little Austen itch and I'm going to make another doll - this time a Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennett doll. Soooo, how do I show it's a Pride and Prejudice doll and not a Persuasion or Lady Susan doll... By printing text from the book on the dress, I figure. I've heard tell that you can print fabric in your inkjet printer. I got the necessary freezer paper and did a test run. Here's the results - much more old newsprint than old book. I haven't given up, mind you - but I'm going to try to do ruffled strips of print rather than big blocks of it.

More to come!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Steampunk doll

For my next doll, I went steampunk - as much punk as steam. She has brass chain for arms, brass rods for legs, a steel coupling torso, and marabou hair with a silk dress and sleeves. Her goggles go on her face or up on her forehead. I gave her a hat but took it away again - it took away from her hair. She's available on Etsy (see link on side of page)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Grit doll - Mattie Ross

Love me some Coen brothers, especially True Grit. Mattie Ross is my favorite character of the year, so I made me a doll. I made a hat block out of paperclay before I shaped the hat, and I found a replica of the Navy Colt revolver she uses in the film.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

True Grit - Mattie Ross doll

Okay, I love love loved True Grit. The dialogue, the characters, and most of all 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who showed more grit than most. I'm making a doll based on her character. Here's the movie version and then my take on it.

True Grit
True Grit Pictures

mattie ross doll sketch

So I'm taking a short break from pirates (haven't weighed anchor on that yet, matey) and I'll post as I go.