Crafts

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I am becoming increasingly fascinated with art dolls. I think it's because even when they aren't supposed to be creepy, there is always something unsettling about a fake human. And when dolls are meant to be creepy, I fall straight in love. The pull to make my own dolls is getting stronger. It required two things I suck hard at: sculpture and sewing. The sculpture I'm desperate to learn, so I can deal with that. The sewing I may find a way to sneak around.

I recently picked up my first copy of Art Doll Quarterly. Nearly every page filled me with inspiration and delight. Below is a gallery of my favorites from the issue, plus a few extras I can't resist including.

 

Fayette, by Sharon Woodward

 

Group of Hags, by Sheila Bentley. I love the vintage elements.

 

185, Karly Perez

 

Anntu, by Beth Robinson of Strangedolls.net

 

Einstein, by Donna of So Dark So Cute

Light calligraphy by Kalaam

Design Boom brings us light painting taken a step further in the artistry of Kalaam. I have always admired Arabic calligraphy. Calligraphy seems too unassuming a word for such elevated artistry. Kalaam's alphabet is Anglo, but it is heavily steeped in Arabic tradition. The photos are not altered or retouched. Kalaam drills the movements for the painting over and over before finally committing them to film. I love how the paintings work with the environment. The photographs would be lovely even without the painting. It is a magical melding.

Via Mein Welt comes something that I'm sure has existed on the web before, but I never looked for it. Will Kemp explains basic concepts clearly in his online Art School. I really want to take time to sift through all this--it looks great. And because you know I love a process video:

I think I still have those shoes.

I haven't had decent stats on this site in years. I had logfiles, but I never checked them until recently, only to discover that they're gone. *shrugs* I have lifetime hosting from a guy who I'm not sure even runs a hosting business anymore, so I can't complain. So I installed a little sitemeter thingie since I got interested again, and I've been finding the oddest referrals. Like one from a eight-year-old Metatalk thread. My link is at the very end. I followed it, of course, but got a 404, as it's from my old MT archives. Turns out what it should point to is this. What a blast from the past! That guy in the middle in the white t-shirt is JD Roth before he became all webfamous.

Gossamer

It's hard to believe, I'm in heaven.

So I was all ready to finish my carve tonight, but for some reason my wrist is acting up.  Stupid wrist, be less hurtier. Still, this morning I had a special crafty treat of another variety.

I buy most of my felting wool off Etsy. Sometimes I'll find a lovely batch in an out-of-the-way shop I'll never visit again. I finally decided it was time to find a local source. Altportland had a nice list, and I decided Gossamer would be my first visit. I'm not sure I need to visit anyplace else, ever. Wow. I've never seen so much roving in one place. In the pic, there's more wool to the right, and more felt to the left. That little pile on the table is the stuff I came home with. Ultra soft, ultra white merino top for Christmas tree owls, colors and high-quality felt for some other projects. So excited!

Stupid wrist.

 

 

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I know, this has nothing to do with Halloween, but I just couldn't get this out of my head. I wanted to make a needle-felted box, so I did.

Felted box, open

It is tiny. That's my wedding ring in there.

Felted box, closed

I haven't decided if I'm happy with it yet. I want it to be crisper, but felt doesn't exactly lend itself to hard edges. I used the technique I found on several sites, where you felt a shape around a core, then cut them apart, remove some of the core, and shape the top and bottom.  I couldn't let go of the idea of a fitted lid, so I added a bit of core color to the inside of the lid and shaped it. That part turned out well. I think I may try to do the top and bottom separately next time, as the scissors did a lot of damage that was difficult to repair on so small an object. Also, that would give me more control.

I didn't do much while I was sick for the last two months, but here is what I managed:

Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox LTC, for Winter Wonderland swap. I wasn't very happy with this, but everyone else seemed to like it. *shrugs* Technique: Fox was stamped twice on acetate, slightly offset, first silver, then black. The acetate square was sewn to the gold paper with gold thread on three sides. In the open side went three scoops (I used a #3 gouge to scoop, hee) bluish glitter and one scoop mica flakes. Sewed up the third side, glued to blue paper. Applied paper tape to cover the worst of my sewing.

 

Rock'n'Roll Valentine

Rock 'n' Roll Valentine. Technique: Stamped on red paper, cut out with a swivel knife, and edge distressed with black ink. The oval was made using alcohol inks--I dropped three colors of red and one silver on the felt of a stamp handle, and added plenty of Perfect Medium (this is all Tim Holtz stuff). Applied to pink paper with a twisting motion. I made a bunch of sheets then cut out the ovals, and edge-distressed them. Stamp went on the oval, oval went on the pretty sparkly black paper.

 

Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee, based on art by Abigail Larson . Technique: Annabel was stamped in black on a vellum piece half the width of the card, then tape-gunned on to the background paper. Paper tape (oh, how I love paper tape) went over the seam for an accent.

Yesterday there was a big gathering of friends, all meeting to carve stamps and have fun. And I, as I have been for nearly two months, was too sick to manage it.  This left me unhappy, and feeling a fearsome need to make something.  I decided to use this tutorial from Tim Holz:



My result was this:

I'd never done anything like this before.  It was a lot of fun, and I think I ended up using every craft supply in the house.  The Spousal Unit said my craft table looked like an explosion at Jo-Ann's.

Went to the OPA Ceramics Showcase on Friday, and talked to potters about how they did things, and grabbed several inspirational pieces...

martell-2

I purchased this cup from Craig Martell, who used a variety of slip and glaze decorations. This piece inspired me to make some slip at the studio today and play with it on a few green pieces.

lebreton-2

This "singing bowl" by Carol Lebreton is a hollow shape, filled with something that makes a beautiful, raspy, rain sound when gently turned. The bowl is a feast of texture, with an earthy mottling on the outside, and a deep, varied, glass-like finish on the inside. I was bummed that Carol was not around, as I would have loved to ask her about her glazing.

green-4

This small platter by Leslie Green was very difficult to photograph. Leslie uses a raku glaze, along with a clear glaze, and a coat of silver nitrate, to achieve a marvellous sheen.

fromme-4

I admit I bought this bunny by Michael Fromme because, well, it's darling. The more I look at it, the more I love its robust, lively form.

derosso-1

Finally, I couldn't pass up this monster by James DeRosso. This monster is only a few inches tall, but fills every bit of it with whimsical menace, if there is such a thing. DeRosso also makes much, much larger monsters, which I longed for, but couldn't afford.

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I have returned from my first pottery class. It was challenging, but fun. It took some patience and perseverance to figure out the whole centering gig, but I finally got it, and created the required cylinder.

One of my classmates wore a shirt that said: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" I've been having a blast learning new things lately. I hope I always have a good answer for that question.

In other news, I have a print of this winging its way to me now. I'm delighted. Now I have to learn framing...

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I've been getting seriously into making things lately. Yarn and fabric and clay and and...they are like wonderful toys.

Here is my first sewing project:

scarf

Bill has worn that pretty much constantly since I made it. Apparently, he likes it.

Here is the first critter I've made from polymer clay:

bunny

The bunny is very teeny--maybe an inch long. That flaw on his back is a toothmark, as KC thought he looked like a little mousie. This pic is before I glazed him lightly. I think I'd better bring him to work so he doesn't get eaten.

I had an aha-moment the other day. Part of what's kept me from getting onto crafts is that I always feel obligated to finish things. Crafts were "projects" that had to be handled in an adult manner. Well, sod that. I don't have to finish things, I just have to have fun.