Friday 17 February 2017

Marina and Gemma

I often sign up for online classes as I love learning new techniques.  But, I do not always make the doll during the online class, lol!  Recently I decided to tackle an online class that I had signed up for a year ago, a mermaid by Angela Jarecki, called "Enkai Nou", Japanese for deeps or ocean, gift or memory.  My mermaid piece is called Marina, Italian for sea and the child is Gemma, gift or jewel.

First I picked my fabrics:

I loved this colour palette, so bright and lush. I decided to use the back fabric with the circular motif for the tail and the other two for the fins. Next I had to dye some cheesecloth as Angela directed using Rit dye:

I then tacked the head using a batik fabric to add depth to the face.  I needle sculpted the head (eyes, nose and mouth).  I admit that the face looks a bit weird at this point but I know from experience that this will be a good face:

Now I went to town beading the mermaid tail and fin.  I also added real shells to the piece. 

 I then "skinned" the face to cover the needle sculpting and coloured the face using mostly watercolour pencils (some permanent marker and some acrylic paints).  I added a touch of dimensional glaze to the eyes and mouth:

Notice that I made the child mermaid as well.  The eyes on the child are farther apart and the face has less colouring than the mamma mermaid.  I used the same fabrics for both dolls, just in a different order.  I love the way they turned out.

I hope you enjoyed this duo as much as I enjoyed making them.  I love online classes as I always learn so much and it stimulates me to create!


  1. Wow Maria, I really like your mermaid dolls! I love the colors. I love the technique you used in the faces. I haven't tried "skinning" yet. Angela is a great artist, isn't she? Your dolls are wonderful.

  2. Thanks so much Arley. Yes, I like the skinning technique for the woven faces.


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