Monday, June 17, 2024

Bloom: The Process #1

WIP: Bloom - Collector's piece.

The Body

After more than three decades of creating art dolls, I know the body is the core of everything. When fellow artists seek my guidance, I always stress this: it's the element that will truly set your art dolls apart.

I know- I can hear you- say what?? I thought it was the costuming!

If you think about the doll artists' styles, you recognize, and if you removed all the clothing, you would still recognize that artist's work of the body. It is the first part of creating your own signature.

The body is most important because it sets the foundation for the uniqueness and quality of your creation. It is what the clothing flows around; it is the essence of all it is in feeling and individuality.

I used a vintage piece of damask linen for Bloom's body and head covering. I love the weaving of the florals within the fabric. It is a well-loved piece of cloth, so I (as always) lined it with cotton batiste. 

I also wanted to incorporate a mehndi/mandala-like symbol into her hands and third eye. 

The third eye represents the wisdom we bring to our art. (note: my favorite red dots over the eyes to protect the "soul".)
Attention to the hands because we work with our hands.

The Fabric Palette

As artists, we all love or are obsessed with fabric. 
The fabric voices what is in our hearts and souls to speak through our creations.

When I start on any piece, be it a workshop or collector piece, I choose my fabric thoughtfully so it relates to who this art piece will be. The choices are usually led by an intuitive feeling; I know that moment that it is the right fabric piece. This process may take days and be tweaked as I go along. That is when thought, direction, and experience step in.

With Bloom, I knew I wanted to use the vintage kimono and the embroidered netting. That was a given.

I disassembled it and was pulled in with the delicate and sturdy stitches of someone done so long ago. I connect with vintage. The quality and workmanship of the fabrics and trims bring a need to create at the same standard for the piece I am creating.
Fabric pieces washed and ready!

I struggled with the underskirt fabric. I went from dupioni silks in dark violet to rose to gold to olive green, and finally, it came together with a soft-colored vintage kimono piece with a slight green tint. That was the missing element of nature; I was looking to connect with the netting.

Any trim I use is vintage, or I make it myself. The more original everything is used to create an art piece, the more original and authentic the piece will be, and that is our goal, isn't it?

These leaves will be over-dyed, and the little silk organza flowers, I have a bit more touch-up with them.

After the fabrics are chosen, I drape them to see how they will flow. Silk is my go-to fabric, and each has a different flow or stiffness. Each can be used in specific areas to create a visual effect that holds the piece's shape and overall feeling.

And now, it is back to my devotion to creating!

Please visit my website for all kinds of wonderful things!

workshops: online and in-person
self-study: patterns and courses

Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Magician

Time and dedication.

I require more time as I expand into my work. While my techniques and precision have become more refined, I need to devote much thought and focus on elevating the entire piece in conception and construction.

As I have shared with you, my art is my spiritual journey. Therefore, I push myself to achieve mastery in quality and transcend in heart and soul.

This piece took four months of dedicated effort, and I feel fulfilled knowing I did my best.

Please kindly note: The Magician is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, and I do not teach any of my collector art pieces as workshops.

Art and Magic

Since my earliest memories, I've been enveloped in a presence that defies explanation—a unique kind of magic. It's been a subtle yet undeniable force, a constant companion on my life's journey, even when I struggled to find the right words. This magic, this inexplicable wonder, has always been integral to me.
Through the language of art, I have found my connection to magic, my voice, and my most authentic expression. We artists are sensitive creatures. As our lives evolve and we take this to heart, we can see it as our opportunity to change and grow ourselves and our art.
There is profound magic in the process of creating. It's not just about art but about bringing something into existence. Whether it's a great workout, a story, or a beautiful meal, the very act of creating has a transformative power that is truly magical.

Commission: finding the connection

When the commission of a Magician came my way, I could now focus on the connection between creating and what most of the world understands of what magic represents in a 3-D form. This commission allowed me to explore the intersection of my creative process and the traditional understanding of magic, blurring the lines between the two.

This piece demanded a unique and unconventional approach, a departure from the norm. Firstly, it was a male figure, a departure from my usual subjects, adding a layer of intrigue. Secondly, he was to be recognizable as a man in a suit capable of performing magic tricks, a challenge in itself. And this is where magic truly stepped in, not just as a theme but as a tool in my creative process, sparking new and innovative ideas.


Research is beneficial in finding inspiration. In this case, it gave me the foundation to 'levitate'!


It always starts with sculpting the head, drafting the body to sew, and completing it with armature and stuffing.
Fabric is a silk woven to give a matte and nubby look of linen!

Fabric Magic

Next is our favorite part, pulling out the fabrics to create the story.

This Magician needed an enchanting suit. Silks were the way to go. The bill was filled with vintage Chinese brocades and contemporary black and turquoise. Japanese cotton filled in as accents.

Fabric palette L to R: Bunny fabric socks and interior of the top hat, Red Silk- bow tie, vintage kimono White with print- (didn't end up using this), Black silk- suit, Cream silk or vintage White damask- shirt, and the cape- this really cool ombre metallic silk from silver to black, red dupioni for lining. Chinese brocade for the vest and turquoise dupioni for the lining.

Creating the Magic: Close-ups in progress

Vest: Chinese silk brocade- turquoise silk dupioni lining. Vintage glass beads as closures.

Jacket: Silk with dupioni lining. Cross over collar to update standard jacket!!

Magic Case: The understructure is mat board, and exterior linen and interior paper are completed.
The hinges and handle are coming. Magic tricks will be inside with a linen exterior and paper interior.

Socks: Japanese cotton. For some reason, I have 'collected' Japanese cottons with rabbits! 
This was the perfect time to use one of them.

Presenting: The Magician!

Finished Magic Case.

The Magic tricks inside include a book by the collector's favorite magician!

The Top Hat:
Silk with buckram understructure. All hand sewn.
Japanese cotton interior with a rabbit!
-Vintage ribbon band re-dyed to perfect red.

Suited up and almost ready...

-Hair is made of tussah silk hand-dyed and wefted to create rows of hair, then cut into a man's style cut.
-Ascot of vintage shibori fabric. Hand-painted eyes with embroidered eyebrows.
-Square Mother of Pearl buttons- used the backside!

-Silk exterior with vintage Chinese red silk liner and soles, and glass beads are used for shoe buttons.
-The interior lining of the pants is batik cotton. Navy with tiny dots.

Velvet with vintage kimono ear lining.

And the final piece- the Cape.
Vintage ombre silk with red dupioni liner.
-Quote from Magician Eugene Burger.

And let the Show go on...

Thank you for joining me on this creative journey!

My Promise

Every day, I strive to be the best version of myself, and I hold my art to the same high standard.

My promise to all of you, my dear collectors and beloved students is to bring you not just art but one-of-a-kind pieces that carry a piece of my soul. In my workshops, I will strive to share my best to inspire and guide you in your own artistic journeys.

Please reach out with any questions or comments!

Much Love-


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...