Friday, November 16, 2012

Doll #4- Koi

Next in this series is the Koi Story Doll...
As you well know, I just love making these hats!(More to come with that in 2013!!- stay tuned- I always have something up my sleeve!).

I will say in the hats, the fish is one of my favorites to make! Mostly because it is just made  up...not the legend but if I were to make a hat for a child with protective qualities put into it- it would be this! 
The fish symbolizes a word for plenty, surplus, and enough to spare. It is an essential food. The fish is a homonym for jade. It is also a symbol for happiness, good luck, and abundance. The fish is able to beat all odds because it is able to swim against the current.
The koi fish are a variety of carp that is now bred in captivity to retain the beautiful colors that are distinctive to the fish. While many know about the koi in Japan, the fish was actually imported into Japan from China.
One of my students, Peggy, gave me some precious pieces of vintage kimono and I immediately knew that it was to be a koi!
After the body is complete, each hat is created with the under-structure or base being of hand-quilted silks.  The hat ornamentation is made from vintage Asian fabric trimmed with vintage coppery-gold-metal cording. The eyes are handmade from the tiniest bit of vintage silk with glass black beads for eyes. Vintage sequins depict a line of scales.
Front View
 One of things I most enjoy is using precious one of a kind fabric pieces as used with this fish. I was able to just squeeze my pattern design onto these piece of fabric to create my fish!

Back View

I had these piece of vintage metal fabric in my "special" stash. I thought it represented the feel of water lilies. The coppery-gold vintage metal cording was just enough to fit around this band!  I am ever-thinking how each piece fits within the theme of the doll.
I believe the more you can hand-make any thing that is added to your doll the more it enhances the originality. I hand-made the tassels for this hat, I love the variation in the threads.

What is missing from the photos is the interior of the hat, done in vintage kimono fabric that is pink and purple flowers!

Again, I choose to work with this beautiful peau de soie silk fabric... All garment pieces are lined in lavender dupioni silk. While the fabric is stiff it still has a softness to it.
This silk and metal brocade had to be handled so delicately to create the collar and the shoes. But it was the ONLY choice!  Note- how the fabric pattern of the flowers is place so carefully to cross over and ended with the silk tied button...I love pretty little details like that!

The cross-stitch embroidery band was done in variegated  metallic threads in a wave pattern the center in lavender was to symbolize a Chinese pattern.
And to finish this piece, comes the shoes. I fussy cut these so the "water lily" pattern was at the toes. These shoes are lined with the lavender dupioni and tiny gold flowers are holding the straps in place.

I hope you enjoy these details of Koi, I will tell you that as I write this I know how blessed I am to be able to do this- to create.

Photography: Mark Mortensen
Koi is held in a private collection 

For more read Dragon

Next week is off for Thanksgiving
The following I will be back with Little Red!

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