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.