Friday, October 4, 2013

Alma Benita ~the Doll

This is the final posting for the Journey of Alma Benita.
Now it is time to share what I gleaned from these years of the experiences and inspirations...how was all this caught into my hands?
 
If you look back you will find these inspirations below scattered within the past postings and now brought together as the key elements that I felt important in creating Alma Benita...
 
And taking these inspirations... Alma Benita...
Held in a Private Collection
Front view

 Back View
Alma Benita is made of silk crepe  
and is designed to be a wall mounted piece. 
Approximately 30" tall.

I am going to start with the White Feather. I loved the floatiness of the feather...being able to take flight and still symbolizing a softness and transparency.

I found a very delicate sheer linen fabric. It was as if I was actually working with feathers. So light and transparent, every cut edge needed to be stabilized. I needed to use a very light hand while sewing to make certain the gown would be secure but still represented the lightness and floatiness of a feather.

 Gentle Face
I loved sculpting this face, I wanted it to be gentle with an innocence but still holding wisdom in her eyes.  
Head is clay with overlay of silk crepe 
and hand-painted eyes.

Back of Bodice
I used mainly gold as an accent color, tiniest seed beads for her buttons and gold metallic thread to bind her herringbone braid. Also note that the bodice arches downward in the back to add in the design to create the added length of the skirt in the back.

  Jointed Arms
This fabric was so perfect for the sleeves, which I left unlined so the viewer can see her jointed shoulder and elbow.

Long Hands (and Toes)
The hands have a copper armature within and were needlesculpted and tinted with chalks to define the palm and finger joints. In some cases on my dolls, I love to show the tiny hand stitching as in this case with the pad of her hand.

Metal Crown
This was the challenge for me in this piece. I first made a head ring from a stabilize linen. I used millinery horsehair for the stabilzer which gives it strength and flexibily.
The roses came next. I gathered silk and leather flowers and cut them apart to only put them back together in a more pleasing fashion. I spray painted them with a pewter color, then hand painted them with metallic gold  acrylic and the final touch was gently adding liquid gold leaf. I was very happy with the step of the gold leaf that I also used on the flame of the Corazon below.

Corazon (Heart)
Casa ( House) 
I cut the base from fine foam and sewed the flame area to define it.  Printed the word Casa onto silk and hand appliqued it to the silk velvet which was overlaid onto the painted foam. I hand-sewed the vintage metal cording around the heart to frame it.

Spanish House Blessing
I love words interpreted somewhere onto my pieces. Initially, I printed the Blessing onto paper and enclose it with in the hem...just didn't work. So I reprinted the Blessing on the same silk used for the lining and pantaloons and hand appliqued it around the skirt, I was happy. You can see her toes peeping out from beneath.

This doll  was not only a summation of many years of experience but also a healing experience to know where I came from and what makes me tick. With that foundation in place, I believe I can pass on this Blessing to you through these dolls...

House Blessing 
Que Dios Bendiga esta Casa con Paz, 
Salud y Riqueza.
Que Lamisma sea Morada de Allegria, 
Amor y Prosperidad.
May God bless this House with peace, Health and wealth.
Lamisma (under the same) make a happy habitation, love and prosperity.

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