Friday, August 29, 2014

Chloe's Charm Girl: The Body

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything you do. I knew the moment that happened for me but it still was a few years later until I was able to comfortably bring forth my vision in my mind to create it with my hands.

The Charm Girls were pretty much how I knew that I had made it to the point of where I was finally having that mind and body (hands) connection.

These are the dolls that Gayle Lackey first saw in 2006 and asked me about my interest in applying for membership to NIADA.

These are the dolls that my heart soared when I created them and I knew that I would and could grow greatly from that point onward.

Which my hope is that you can see I have done creating lines of Story Dolls, Folktale Dolls, and now working on a line of artistic small Hats (2015) to grow into a line of hats that YOU can wear.

So, when Chloe contacted me and asked to create one of my Charm Girls, I was so happy to do so. By this time my design had been worked through and understanding of techniques had developed so I could accomplish even more~ for example many of my dolls now have a moveable ball jointed head.

The Body
My first endeavor was to dye the silk crepe to the chocolate brown that I love. Sometimes this takes several dye baths to get just the right color.
Next was to sculpt the head...
The silk crepe fabric for these dolls has a beautiful matte finish with a very light texture. The silk can be hand-dyed to depict the doll’s ethnicity.
Each doll’s head is hand sculpted using stone clay, then overlaid with the specially silk crepe and painted in detail.
Sewing the body which is lined with cotton batiste to create stability comes next...and then carefully covering the head with the same silk crepe.
Note: before covering the head, I cut open the top cap so I can fit the ball jointing within the head. This cap is also covered with the silk that then can be hand-sewn back together. See below head with top cap.

I like to use copper tubing and wire for my armatures in the legs and hands Yes, it is a bit more expensive but I know that quality of metal is within my doll. Also, I think there is a psychological comfort knowing that there is a warmth to the metal within your doll.

Finally, the stuffing. It took, probably more than 10,000 hours before I actually -kind of- started liking the stuffing part...ok...I am still working on that...but, it is so important to create a firm solid doll. I like to use a combo of natural wool in the body and a silk blend in the the arms and legs.

So the body is now stuffed and ready to be assembled with jointed arms and head and stationery legs for standing.
Special note: I now place a gold "x" over all my doll's heart in memory of my dear Dad who passed this year in May...
Next week The Costume!

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