Friday, September 25, 2009
This past week I thought about what I am good at and what I am not in terms of my doll making, mixed in with a good portion of what I love to do and what I do not. I think my doll faces are coming along nicely. The painted flat faces seem to be something I pull off pretty well, and I like doing them. I guess it goes back to my years doing portraits, though then I did them in bits of cloth and they were 2 or 3 feet high at minimum! Scaling back to the 3-inch size required for a doll face has it's own challenges, but I enjoy them.
I also like making my own fabrics from what starts out as white silk. And I love making fancy costumes, though sometimes the challenges inherent in that send me about over the top.
What I decided I would really like to do is make Victorian ladies. I love the long, highly ornate dresses and gowns of the time, especially the very latest point in the Victorian era. So, this week, I began and finished my first Victorian doll. I don't have a name for her yet, or even a real story. She brings to mind for me the Thomas Hardy short story, written in 1894, "An Imaginative Woman". Mrs. Marchmill, waiting for her elusive and yet unseen poet crush.
"It was about five in the afternoon when she heard a ring at the door and the editor’s brother's voice in the hall. Poetess as she was, or as she thought herself, she had not been too sublime that day to dress with infinite trouble in a fashionable robe of rich material, having a faint resemblance to the chiton of the Greeks, a style just then in vogue among ladies of an artistic and romantic turn, which had been obtained by Ella of her Bond Street dressmaker when she was last in London. Her visitor entered the drawing room. She looked toward his rear; nobody else came through the door. Where, in the name of the God of Love, was Robert Trewe?"
I have posted pictures here of my first Victorian lady. You will have to let me know what you think.