Friday, July 31, 2015

Hydrangea Part 2: Costuming

This week's post is about the costuming Hydrangea.
I would like to share with you how the layers of one of my pieces is put together to create an overall flow, balance, and depth within the doll.


When creating, my first inspiration is usually a word...that describes the doll in one simple precise manner...Hydrangea...says it all doesn't it?


So when it comes to deciding on my color pallet, it will always feed into that make an unspoken connection....Hydrangea...Blue

Make your point, clearly!

Simple, clean, precise...there is no guessing at what I am conveying to you.

This is a lesson that I try to teach. If you have to explain it to your audience than it is too complicated...simplify...make your point, clearly, in one glance.

The Story Hat series is all about the Hat. So, when considering the costuming, the Hat is the main focus and everything else around it is the accent and, yes, including the doll itself!

My costuming will be somewhat streamlined and monochromatic- ish. As many of you well, know, I use black as my base on this series. This year I added in the skirt in a color.

How could I not with this beautiful silk above.
I have had this wonderful soft blue Chinese brocade. It is a very unusual pattern for the traditional Chinese fabric...and that is why I think that I was drawn to it- breaking boundaries.
The fabric presents itself as delicate and light almost lace-like. 
I wish you could touch this silk. It has such a beautiful hand* to it. Light weight but with a crisp body to it.  The over stitches of the darker blue create a embroidered-like texture against the satiny feel of the silk background.
*The tactile qualities of a fabric. The way it feels to the touch.

I find that we, as artists, are first all about the visual and then closely second about the tactile sensation. How many times have you approached a doll because of it drawing you in by your sight and then your next impulse is to reach out and touch it!?! That is a sign that the artists has captured the points that I made above.

Photography: Mark Mortensen


As you look at Hydrangea, in the round, what is it that holds your attention?


Well, my hope is that first off she does exude a peacefulness...and if we take it further, it is the movement within the balance of color that keeps your eye moving around the doll.

If we look just at the blue...starting at the top and working keeps you eye engaged and your mind looking for balance.

And here with the black...

Repeat of Pattern

Next, we can look at the shapes. I love the petal shapes of the hydrangea and have repeated those throughout the doll.

Here are close ups of the above shapes.
 The Hat Petals:

The Flower Leaf:
Even the closure has a wee shape of the petal within the stone!

The Flowered Skirt:

The Cross Stitch Embroidery:
Embroidery side note:
From the Chinese culture I love their sense of the lore and legends that are imparted into their daily lives. In their clothing it is through their exquite and quite detailed embroidery. In the Southern region of China I have been focusing my studies on the Hmong People. As you will notice their embroidery has more geometrical designs than that of the flowery pattern of Northern China...

Traditional Chinese Embroidery

Hmong embroidery

Now, with all the knowledge you have gained...look at Hydrangea again!

Next week- The Hydrangea Hat!

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