Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Soul Sisters...Part Two: Lotus

As we last left her...standing and patiently waiting...

Who was she to be?

Someone who has not only transformed but now had transcended into their being of peace within.

Blue Lotus: 

Symbol of the human soul, spirituality, and divinity. 

It also forms one of the important elements of enlightenment,
 re-birth, unification, and purity in a mystical way. 

Leslie O’Leary 2019

Fabric Choices

Color is one of the most important pieces of art...the lack of it to the neon vibrancy. 
This doll is designed with contemporary qualities...letting the beautiful fabrics speak for themselves.

Black. The outside of her kimono.
Black mat silk with this beautiful texture woven in.
Blue. The silk lining.
Not sure if this is actually a has the most interesting circles woven into it.
Hat. Chinese silk brocade.
Loved the tenderness of the stems...I felt this was perfect for her small hat.
The exterior is a piece of black vintage kimono.

Putting it together

You remember my drawing from last weeks post (Soul Sisters Part One)...

At this point in my design process, it is more about letting go then controlling...letting my fabric choices and design find their point of meeting.

I love working in silk. The variety is outstanding and what it does naturally on its own helps a designer create their vision. It does take years of practice working with it, understanding the different weights, and the how to handle it while sewing.

Below, the kimono body completed. I did use a stabilizer to hold the voluminous shape that rounds out from the hips.
Sleeves ready to be inserted.


The silk hair has been added. I wanted a very finished side part. Braid will be added at the end.
I also love how the hair mimics the texture of the black outside of the kimono.

Her hat base it also finished. Here the lining is showing.

Ready and waiting for finishing!

Blue Lotus

I love this process. I love dyeing.
Below, are the hand-made Japanese papers I use to create her lotus flower and leaf.
These papers are more akin to fabric because of the threads that are placed with in as the papers are being created..
The paper used for the Lotus is so delicate, yet so incredible durable- like the most translucent silk.

Blue Lotus complete.
Center section is made with additionally dyed paper adding in metallic threads.
Twigs are painted in a metallic wash and all is sewn to the hat base.


A special (African) circle bead is added along with linen thread embroidery to encircle it.
Tiny Japanese glass beads follow around the perimeter of the gently guide your eye to notice the shape.

The base is painted with a soft metallic paint finish and Pearl EX powdered pigment dusted on.
All sealed, then waxed.
 Symbolism is added to the bottom of the base.


And to this...I agree.

It is so easy to be so involved with what you are creating that too much momentum takes over.
I find that when I feel the piece is close to being completed, I stop and step away at least for over night.

When I come back...Do I need to add or subtract something?
I look to see if I am more no less. 
Did I make my point without going too far so the viewer has something to add of their own?


 Black braid discretly following line of the kimono.

Side note: The kimono is designed so you can see the metallic thread "X" in memory of my Dad.
 For inquires or comments please feel free to contact me- Leslie's email.

Next week's blog posting...will bring what ever happens!

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