I made this beaded art doll for a good friend of mine in Alaska. (Click the picture to see a bigger version and a picture of the back). This is my second art doll, but my first that is completely 100% beaded. I had so much fun working on her, and I feel that I have finally found the medium that I could work in forever! It is so perfect because I enjoy it and you can't really mess up, it always turns out beautiful. There were so many times in the middle that I thought that she was going to turn out so ugly, but she didn't! I really enjoy the process of making these dolls which is something I have never had before. In fact, I enjoy the process of making all art now better than ever. I have always loved art and making things, but before usually I would get frustrated and only make art for the finished product. When you do that, the finished product either doesn't happen or doesn't turn out. I guess I learned from this doll to have confidence in myself and just be patient. I also free formed the design, and I learned that while I am a compulsive planner in most of my life, in my art I need to be more spontaneous. That way there are no expectations which usually just cramp the creative process.
She is going to be the first in a series that I hope to make in the future for sale and possibly donation to the local abused women's shelter. I want to call them "Every Woman is a Goddess" beaded art dolls, and their intention is to be a comfort for women in their tough times. Most of them will be small like this one (around 3 inches) so they can be held, because the feeling of the beads is so soothing. And not only will they be a comfort for those who buy them, but for me as well. The free form design process is so therapeutic and takes a life of its own. With this doll, it was almost like something was guiding me because she still turned out perfect for Kathy for many, many reasons. For example, the back looks like she is wearing a knitted shawl and floppy hat. Kathy is an avid knitter, so this worked out great! The fact that it got kindof bunchy in that area didn't even matter because it makes it look even more like a knitted garment. Just another reason to be patient because I was getting really worried when working on this part.
I want to thank Grace (http://gracebeading.blogspot.com/) for the inspiration for this doll as well as the spiral on the back of the head. I also want to thank Dot for posting a picture of one of Grace's dolls which lead me to this journey.
I also want to point out that the polymer clay faces I have been using (this doll and the pastel icicle doll) are not my own creation. They are made from a mold by, I think, Sculpey. I plan on in the future making my own, but I need a little more practice first!
I also found a new technique for coloring these faces. I don't have any paints right now so I was looking for something else. I have a sample Mary Kay bronzer that is way too dark for me, so I rubbed that on the face with the little brush it came with. Then, I sprayed it with a charcoal fixative. This was just an experiment but it worked wonders! I will definitely do it before attaching the face in the future though, because its a pain to have to cover up the doll before doing this. What a great way to make beautiful faces and recycle old or off color bronzers and eyeshadows!
I have quite a few practice dolls in mind that I will be working on in the next few months so I can get good enough to make high quality dolls. I will keep you posted.