Our doll group is mainly involved in cloth dolls but many of us also dabble in mixed media. There is a group of us that love, love the work of Kate Church and we learned that she was teaching a new doll "Pinocchio and Bird" in southern France. Unfortunately, none of the five of us could afford the trip, so we organized a week closer to home in beautiful Cedar, BC!
The cars were loaded with food, sewing supplies, fabric, polymer clay, etc, etc. Not only did we want to attempt making "Pinocchio and Bird" on our own, but we also wanted to make a cloth doll in the woodsy style of the late, great Akira Blount! We knew, in our hearts, that five days was really not enough time for us to finish both projects, but hope springs eternal.
We stayed at a lovely cottage at Kiwi Cove Lodge. Yes they grow Kiwi. The cottage had everything we needed, a full kitchen, large living/dining room (we turned that into our workshop complete with additional folding tables), two large bedrooms with a full bathroom each and an adjoining suite with another bedroom and kitchenette. In short, perfect for our needs!
Five glorious days of crafting and we achieved our goals, we started both the polymer clay figure, based on Kate Church's creation and we started a "woodsy" doll (two in my case) based on Akira Blount's techniques. Two of us went for a walk in the surrounding woods to collect honeysuckle vines for the dolls!
Here are the finished dolls that I made: first is the polymer clay figure "Pinocchio on his wheeled bird".
We loved making him, so much fun putting him together and balancing him on his bird. The feathers on the bird were made using paper beads. The bird has polymer eyes and polymer wing/hands. Pinocchio is made with polymer clay (head, hands, legs, shoes, hat) with a soft, wired body. The cart was designed by one of our gang, Joan and her husband, and painted and assembled by us.
Now on to our next project, the Akira Blount style dolls:
The first one I made is called "Guardian of the Thicket" She is about 16" tall and is a wall doll with dupioni silk dress and wings and faux rose thickets for her skirt. She protects the birds that flock and take refuge in the rose thicket. The birds are made of felt. I tried to make her expression gentle and welcoming.
The second doll I started at the cottage was made using the honeysuckle vines I collected on my walk through the woods of Cedar. In addition, Bobbi and Joan supplied additional vines and woodland materials that I incorporated in my piece. This doll I called, "Nesting Angel":
This second doll is my favourite as the costuming turned out just as I had envisioned.
We loved our week of doll making so much that we want to make it an annual event and plan to book for March of next year at Kiwi Cove Lodge, perhaps inviting a couple more doll makers to our event!
We even managed to have an outing on Sunday morning (it was hard to drag ourselves away from making dolls). We went to the Cedar farm market and sampled local food and crafts. We were happy we took the time as it was great fun.
Joan then took us up the road from the local pub "The Crow and Grate" to a gallery owned and managed by the talented glass artist, Ted Jolda. Joan is a talented mixed media artist and she has many pieces of her work in the gallery.
|Ted, demonstrating his glass blowing in the studio|
|Some of Joan's birds and robots|
|Ted's newest ornaments in glass, his "Dragon Eggs" inspired by Game of Thrones|
Sadly, on Monday morning, our crafting week came to an end. We packed the cars and said our goodbyes and headed home. Next year we will choose another couple of projects, take less food and have just as much fun!