Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All things must pass...A Tutorial of Sorts

Didn't George Harrison say that?  He was right.  They do, however I don't find myself thinking, "Hey Lis, all things must pass..." when I am tremendously happy...just when I need to get through something.  Through it, gone, done, and now I am revelling in happiness.  I pulled out some fun and silly work, just a little break....and it started with these.  Pomegranates from a friends tree, some lemons and limes thrown in...buried in my studio for at least a year now, perhaps longer.  Hmmm...All things must pass Lis, and apparently that includes my memory. 
So thanks for being here, and if you're interested, I suspect this is my first attempt at a tutorial of sorts.  Very informal.  So where was I...oh!  The poms are probably just a year old.  The natural colors, even though they've long since dried out and hardened, are still lovely and rich, another year or so and they become really dull.  I took my trusty drill and put holes in them and glued in some dowels, about 6 inch lengths or so, and left them to dry.  When I sauntered back to them, I got out the Paperclay and some glue, and fashioned noses...and wandered off to do something else again.  By now you're ready to bounce, but wait!
This is really fun and I'm just getting started.  I love all these different shapes, they lend themselves so well to odd and simple little faces.  When my 15 little noses were adequately adhered, I pulled out the Gesso and put two or three coats on...I don't know why, except sometimes the color from the fruit will bleed and I like playing with Gesso.  Then I had to go find something else to do again, not a difficult task around here.  When the gesso was dry, I started slathering on white acrylic paint.  Not antique white, but frosty white.

Aren't these little faces shaping up?  And notice my clever use of a brutal looking flower frog. 

Hmmm, I don't think I took a picture of them after white base paint, but you get the idea.  So then I went back and spent about 2 minutes painting freehand details on each one.  Simple, primitive faces very loosely inspired by antique Queen Anne dolls. 

Oh dear, I neglected to tell you that I put crackle glaze on them when the paint was dry, and then rubbed some watered down brown paint in to the surface crackles....This was all done gradually over the period of several days as you've no doubt gathered, and dressing their little selves will be done much the same way. 

Ultimately, these ladies will get primitive pillow type bodies, clothing, and little accessories or something.....and hats, definitely hats.  Well, maybe.  I like the little "crowns" on some of them, but they do break off sometimes.  Most likely I will use twigs from one of the apple trees for their limbs.  Was that an accidental pun?  I will post when I have a few dressed.  It shouldn't take too terribly long.

Meet MammyCat.  She came from last year's pomegranates.  Well, I think it was last year...hmmm.
Mammy lives with me, but all the finished dolls above will eventually adopted out.  Wouldn't they make great little handmade gifts? 

I will put some out at our craft faire, at September's end, and maybe a couple on Artfire.
Thank you all for your lovely comments, and for stopping by periodically. 


  1. Well, I would never bounce on you anyway, but as soon as you mentioned Paperclay, my ears perked all kinds of *up*!

    I've spent the last few days working on a ghost for a project, and three fellow plague doctors - I was so afraid that Paperclay would be hard to use, but am falling in love with it more every day! It's such forgiving stuff, isn't it?

    Your little ladies are beauties, and even more so after they are aged! I can't wait to see them dressed
    I love the petulant look on the bottom one pictured just before you show the aging!

  2. Hi Lis,

    These are just great, especially the ones with the crowns. Maybe you can find a way to strengthen them so they don't break off. They make perfect little "Prims"!!!

    Pattie ;)
    Mazatlan Mx.