Archive for January 30, 2008

Domino book

January 30, 2008

Domino bookAnyone ever go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the midnight show at the movies? Where everyone dressed up and interacted with the movie? I have really good memories of doing that (uh, except dressing up – I didn’t do that – although I probably would have if I could). Today my movie soundtrack came in the mail and, although it is very strange, it just makes me happy. I can’t believe I remember most of the words to the songs! My husband ran out to the garage when I started blasting it. I love Tim Curry!!!!
Today I had to make a domino magnet for a customer and since I had the dominos out I figured I’d try one of those domino books. Pretty simple to make. I used watercolor paper for the accordian book part – painted it with metallics and interference paints. My friend and I are supposed to start going to water aerobics so I made this for her.

Domino book 2

Moving right along

January 25, 2008

duct tape 2I have to say right off the bat that there is nothing much original about this piece other than the pattern. I was inspired last year by all the artists who were making dolls with ‘something’ under their skirts. I can think of Natalie, Sherry, Stephanie, and Karen right off the bat. I have been wanting to do something along that line for a while now. I made a pattern from the duct tape body – not as hard as I thought – then transferred it to freezer paper. Sewed it up and promptly cut half of it off – the torso was too long. She needs some adjustment and I really don’t know how to create a bustline just by darting. The boobs look funny, LOL. But that’s okay – it’s just a first draft. Here’s my tip of the day: Use arms or other body parts from your boneyard to get an idea of proportion before you draft new body pieces. I didn’t know how long I wanted my arms so I stuck a couple of spares on to see the length. Also stick a head on it – even if the size is wrong – I did that and once the head was on she had no neck left. As you can tell I’m not a scientific designer, LOL. It’s kind of trial and error for me!

Duct tape dummy

January 22, 2008

Duct tape dummyI read somewhere about making a body shape using cardboard and then draping it with muslin to make a pattern. I think it was Arley Berryhill who was talking about it. I tried it but got a bit carried away with the duct tape. I have no idea how to do the next step – it was bad enough doing this. Although I did enjoy the process and had a lot of laughs. It’s just not pretty,she’s kind of chunky wouldn’t you say? Notice how much room I give myself to work in … NOT…and yes, the jar will be part of the doll …

Poxley twins – infectious plushies

January 20, 2008

Poxley twinsThey’re baaaack …. they have been waiting for their faces and spots since November! Since my muse is on vacation along with half the other Muses around I figured I’d try to finish them up. I didn’t realize until I was done with the spots that I was doing the blanket stitch backwards. Oops. But I like the way it looks – gives a bit of extra color. Yeah, any excuse, eh, Jude? These two will be going up for sale at my Etsy shop along with the rest of my plushies sometime this week. The usual $30 plus shipping. If you want one just email me and I won’t put it up at Etsy. They are cute, aren’t they!

Another cat bag

January 18, 2008

cat tote bagI love computers except for when I get a new one and I have to move everything over. I bought a laplink cable/software and that worked really sweet – it moved all my files over. It would have been sweeter if I did it before I manually moved the mail over though because I managed to wipe out a couple of days worth of letters. Darn.
Oh the creative front things are moving way more slowly – all I’ve managed to do is make a little tote bag (toy bucket?) for my 4 year old niece. I used the pockets that I didn’t add to the cat purse and made my own pattern up for the tote. Not much of a pattern – cut matching panels – sew into a tube – add a square to the bottom – add a lining – turn inside out – add a strap. Pretty simple!
I still have more computer stuff to do too – the wireless printer kit I bought didn’t work with Vista so I had to return it and get another one. This one is made by HP for HP printers – so that should help immensely – plus it is certified for Vista. I just keep putting it off … I find that I tend to get kind of depressed when the computer stuff doesn’t work like I think it should … and I don’t want to be in a bad mood! I need a teenage geek!

The purse is done!

January 14, 2008

cat purse doneIt’s done! I have to tell you that making the zipper pocket was very interesting as I had no clue what I was doing. I am really bad at visualizing something from a bunch of words. I can do it with dolls but this was too confusing for me. All the layers of the pocket ended up being the back panel of the lining – which would have been nice to know when I started. I put the lining in backwards too somehow, so the inside zipped pocket – which is usually in the back of a purse – is now in the front. Oh well. I have copious notes on the pattern now. I’m going to rock the next one now that I know what I’m doing!
I spent most of yesterday playing with my computers. I really wish someone else in my house was a computer expert! I took the hard drive out of my desktop (which died) and today I’m going to try to turn it into a backup hard drive for the new laptop. I managed to get the wireless printer kit installed and working – yay – so now I can print from my old laptop. I still haven’t set up the new laptop though – this Vista is really different – every time I click on a letter in Yahoo mail the window gets tiny instead of opening the letter. Weird.

It’s me … I escaped from the computer

January 10, 2008

Can you believe it? I told myself I can do computer work until noon and then again after supper. The afternoons are going to be mine, mine, all mine! So today I decided to start on a little purse. I had bought a pattern when Laura at Dollmakers Inc had her end of year sale. I’ve never made one before. See the little cat pocket panels laying on the table? See the completed front of the purse? Oh my. The paragraph title on the pattern was front/back pockets – so that is what I labeled them after I sewed them up. I didn’t realize that they turned into the front/back panels. So when the instructions called for the front/back panels I cut out different material, LOL. If I had cut it all out first I might not have made that mistake but I couldn’t tell what piece was what from the photo, it was too dark. So I just cut as I went along. But it will still make a lovely little purse for my niece – just without front pockets! It has side pockets though. Plus now I have front/back panels for the next one – can’t send a purse to one nieice and not the other. I am learning though and my pattern has all kinds of notes on it – because there were a couple of things left out. Don’t these people have their patterns tested like doll makers? They need to take lessons from us! HA!

cat purse in progress
Oh, and how cool is this .. the cat fabric? It was given to me at our doll club’s annual junk swap. We all swap bags/boxes of stuff we don’t want but is useful at our Xmas party. I hate cats – but my niece loves them! So this will work out great for everyone. Tomorrow I have to sew a zipper into the lining! Ewwwww.

Interview with Kathryn Walmsley, NIADA, on mold making

January 8, 2008

moldmaking online classI know I promised that I wouldn’t use my blog as an advertisement for Doll Street but

MY BROTHER IS MAKING ME DO IT !

Actually, this class is going to be awesome and I’m going to take it myself. It’s not just for doll makers you can use this for just about anything. So many possibilities. Anyhow, Kathryn Walmsley, sculptor extraordinaire and NIADA artist, is going to be teaching a Guerilla Mold Making Class, beginning Feb 15th.
This class is designed to introduce both doll makers and mixed media artists to a variety of different types of quick and easy mold making techniques for use in reproducing their work. There will be step by step instructions with pictures for molds made with Flexwax and 5 minute silicon mold putty. Detailed overviews of plaster and 2 part mold making are also included. Both 2 and 3 D sculptures can be reproduced and applied to all kinds of surfaces as well as saving sculpting time in doll and accessory making. It’s going to be messy and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun!
You will be amazed at the things you will think of to make molds from. You will look at everything with a new eye after you take this mold making class.
Sign up and use the code ArtDoll Blog and you’ll get a free present from me! You enter the code as you go through the checkout process. But anyhow, read on for a interview with Kathryn in which she gives us a detailed overview of this class:
Why did you develop this class?
I developed this class because the longer I used these techniques the more versatile I realized they were and I felt that many artists could use them in their work. While I’m not a master mold maker I’ve been doing it a long time and think that I can present the information to people like me in a way that will make it easier for them to use. I wanted to develop techniques that a person could get together with few materials on hand. Some forms of mold making can be complicated and time consuming and while we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantage of some of those techniques in class I named the class Guerilla mold making to imply doing things the fast, simple, easy and effective way!
What will the students learn?
In this class we will learn a number of techniques mainly using Flexwax and 5 minuet mold making putty. Both of these materials are widely available and can be ordered online, by phone or mail.
Flexwax is especially suited to reproducing objects which can be cut apart to remove from the mold thus creating a 2 part mold. These molds are amazingly durable and while a bit messy it’s quite fun working with warm wax. A little bit like the candle making many of us did in elementary school. Flex wax can also be successfully used to make 2 part molds from polymerclay sculptures although it’s best to sculpt models for mold making as there might be some slight damage to the original.
Five minute mold making putty is just a revolution for both doll makers and mixed media artist. We’ll learn how to make impressions of finished dolls, relief sculptures, parts which can later be combined into finished artwork. You can even cast paper into these molds.
Also include in the class is just about everything I know about making plaster molds which certainly have their place in the picture especially if you would like to cast pourable paperclay such as Flumo. We’ll also go over how to make formal two part molds with pourable silicone which is important if you require tight control over how the two parts of your mold separate. We will make 2 part molds with the 5 minute putty but in a more informal way.
I hope everyone will complete the class with a working understanding of the different types of molds and how they can use them in their own work and for those who wish to work along with the class some completed molds.
How long have you been making molds?
I started making molds about 16 years ago. I started making 2 part silicon molds and as new products became available experimented with them too. Since most of my work is one of a kind I came to see that formal 2 part mold making was perhaps more trouble than it was worth to me. I began to see that what I wanted from mold making was a fast and easy way to create simple molds I could use to make duplicates of my sculptures but then go on and make that reproduction unique in it’s own way. I’ve been using the Flexwax and 5 minute mold putty for about 10 years and finally learned how to make plaster molds about 5 years ago so I could try casting Flumo a pourable paperclay which requires plaster molds.
The types of mold making I do now really helps me to make leg, hand and head “blanks” by pressing clay into my molds. I then go on and refine these. When using paper clay in the molds the resulting parts are so light weight that they can be used as additions to all kinds of mixed media work to give dimension. It’s especially fun to make flower and leaf part molds and molds to make accessories for dolls. I now have a large collection of molds of faces, textures, plant and body parts which I can mix and match to create unique artworks.
I’ve put many years into developing and learning about this type of mold making and am looking forward to sharing this info with my students on Doll Street.
Thanks, Kathryn!
So that’s it! The low down on the class – I don’t think you can go wrong taking this class – the possibilities of what you can do sound endless!

Sign up today!

Don’t forget the code for your free present!
Oh – and no permission is given to copy this interview and reprint it. All copyrights remain with Kathryn and Doll Street.
So, bro, did I do okay?

Will you respect me in the morning?

January 5, 2008

Francie My husband says that if I don’t stop making these crazies then no one will respect me as a doll maker any more. He said ‘you used to be a pretty good doll maker, now look at you…”. Men. He just doesn’t get it. I’m actually lucky I managed to pry myself away from the computer long enough to make this little sock monster! She has some scars on her back – socks aren’t as forgiving as cotton! But she just thinks they are battle wounds. Do ya think I should tell my husband to … ‘put a sock in it?’ … groan ….