Friday, February 12, 2010

Bohemian Ballerina

I should have a contest to name her or something. I needed a title for the submission. So, this is, let's call her Rainbow for now. Her body is needle felted over a wire skeleton. Which was not as difficult as I thought it might be. I didn't even break any needles. I love her cocoa colored "skin." The face (the head is felted and the face covers the felt) is made from paper clay that I molded over the head and down the neck and a bit of the torso. That was tricky and I'm still experimenting with methods because I think I can improve this. It *was* white so I needed to make it go better with the body. I tried just mixing up some watercolor in a brown tone to match the skin, but it looked green and sickly. Then I thought I'd try Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Gold ( I love Daniel Smith watercolors anyway, they're my favorite, but this color gave Rainbow's skin the color of well-loved and aged parchment . . . very rich and warm. I painted on most of her features with a Van Dyke Brown from Windsor Newton or Grumbacher, I forget.

Her dress is made from a skirt I picked up at a rummage sale and knew would be good for repurposing. Her bodice and the ribbon detail are vintage lace. Her ballet slippers are red wool mixed with red sparkle and laced with sparkly purple laceweight thread.

But her hair . . . oh, her HAIR . . . is made from Bronte's locks. I KNEW they'd make wonderful doll hair and they do. If I could take her hair off her head and put it on mine I would do it in a heartbeat (but then I've always wanted dreadlocks too and I'd soooo get them if Rob wouldn't divorce me for it.) They are needlefelted in place and I actually used them to attach the face using a process that would be too tedious to explain. Anyway, it was brilliant and totally unplanned, as most truly brilliant things tend to be. I threaded some little beads onto her hair like people with dreads do and hung a sort of rustic bead around her neck on some twine.

So, now that my experiment in making an art doll was successful I plan to make another. Just as soon as I get a handle on my wretched knitting!!! And spin 1400 yards of BFL for a cabled sweater.

It's our 25th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day so you won't hear anything out of me for a bit, but I hope you all have a wonderful day with the ones you love.


  1. She's GORGEOUS!! Forget about a contest to name her, I think you should enter HER in a contest!! Nice job!

  2. Wow, she's beautiful! I can't wait to see the next one! Your project list is a lot like mine, though. :)