SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Merman Heads.

Experimenting with faces. From stuffed to needle-sculpted, to coloured. These heads are all the same colour fabric.


 Different lights make them look like different colours. The original fabric colour is the one with the ears pinned on. It is a mottled, creamy colour, quality quilters cotton.

I am designing a new pattern and I think it will have to include a drawing lesson! Is this a bit much to put in a pattern? I worry that my patterns are too involved for the learner dollmaker, and yet, I recall how I needed more of a challenge when I learned most of the techniques of dollmaking, not realising I was leaning towards art.

I know these end up being works of art, but I do want those that need more to be able to take the next steps towards their own artistry, to have the opportunity to learn what else they can do, to develop their own talent. 

Like all artists, writers and musicians, I do something every day, and I am most surprised what happens!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Soul Sisters

I was thinking about refugees when I made these Soul Sisters.

I found the wood amongst the firewood and was attracted to the torn limbs. It is macrocarpa, branches from an old established tree, still standing. Storms broke the branches off and they lay discarded for some time, muddy and weathered, with the bark peeling off. The branches had been gathered up with other fallen branches, and eventually cut up for firewood. As I weighed the wood in my hands, they felt solid. Too good to burn!
I sanded the bases evenly, so they would stand on end, and the wood is beautiful and strong. I peeled the outer layers of bark off and the colour of the wood is beautiful. The heads I made fitted snugly into the torn elbow of the branches, and the torn pieces reminded me of wings.
As I worked with these pieces the story of the wood reminded me of refugees, torn from their countries by the storms of war. Separated, weathered and discarded and eventually stripped of everything, cut down to size and redefined culturally, spiritually and emotionally. Yet at heart there is a strength born from hardship, there is comfort, protection and the hope of peace.