Saturday, 10 September 2011

Getting better all the time...

The comments on this post on my facebook wall have got me thinking, I've been making puppet dolls as art pieces for 2.5 years now, and the way I do things has changed over that time, even though the basic techniques are the same.
So, what's different?
Firstly, the bodies. When I started the backbone was made from sticks I found in the park and then dried out, now I use bamboo skewers. This change happened because I couldn't find enough sticks that were the right size, and straight! My first dolls were very skinny, then I started adding bigger bums so they sat better, then I started building up their bodies more. so they've gone from this -

to this - 

The first dolls definitely needed to lean against something, this young fellow is self supporting.

Then there's the skin tones. I still use the same tissue paper and glue, but I've just become a lot better at using them! My first dolls had rougher skin, like Anna here - 

Though there is something rather lovely about her imperfections, these days my dolls' skin is a lot smoother - 

Another difference is in their clothes. For a while I used glue a lot to make their clothes, I don't really know why, perhaps because I was coming from a theatre background where it's more about the overall effect than the teeny tiny details? Maybe because the dolls were so skinny back then stitching clothes onto them was harder? Anyway, now all their clothes are completely hand stitched, it's easier and much nicer.

Then there's their eyes. I started out using tiny beads, then trying to break up tiny beads, then I used fabric backed with glue and cut to shape, then thread rolled into a ball with glue, then I started doing what I still do now. I colour in a patch of my palm with the desired eye colour, I splodge a little pva into my palm, then I rub and rub and rub. The glue picks up the colour of the ink and forms into a rubbery doughy consistency. Then I cut it to size with a scalpel, and roll it into a ball. I use a little more pva to glue them to the doll while they're still soft. They then dry rock hard.

So there you go! With every doll I make I perfect my techniques a little more.

I'd love to hear how your work has evolved over time....


BIKY said...

your dolls are wonderful i love them

Robyn said...

:-) thankyou!

Christianne Teixeira said...

J´adore!! Your dolls are unique and wonderful! It was great to hear how do you learn with them! xoxo hugs

Karla of Dreamaginarius Arts said...

I hope one day to experience what you are experiencing now!

You have come a long way! But I believed it has paid off. Your dolls are awfully cute :)

It will be interesting to see a similar post in two years from now!


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