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!
xoxo
Leslie

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