Monday, September 23, 2013

Cloth Invasion

I was a cloth doll artist before I got bitten by the plastic doll bug. I haven't made a cloth doll in probably 2 years. This past week I got the urge. I think it was that i had broken some plastic part while customizing a plastic doll that got me thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just toss a doll here or there and not worry about breaking it?" I am not all that gentle with my plastic dolls. I take a lot of photos and they do get tossed to and fro. Often I have to give them a bit of freshening up after a mishap. With cloth dolls, they are really meant to be tossed here and there. Throw them on the bed, on a shelf, on a dresser. They fall on the floor sometimes. Children have been known to yank a leg off now and again. They are sweet, but maybe not quite that precious. The dolls, not the children :)

I made a basket full of dolls over the week. I think the big sad-eyed thing has gone into my brain and is trapped there and can't get out. My cloth dolls came out with giant eyes and sad faces. I deemed them orphans. There is a hill across from my home that my family and I sometimes walk up. It is called Hedgehog Hill. I am not sure why, as there are no hedgehogs in Vermont, but that's how it goes sometimes. They probably should have called it Porcupine Hill, but maybe that name was already taken. In any case, I imagined these little sad orphan girls to live in an imaginary orphanage on Hedgehog Hill and named them the Hedgehog Hill girls. They want new homes.

The faces on the dolls are handpainted and sealed. The bodies are muslin with black cotton permanent boots and a corset. They have silk, cotton, lace and tulle tattered dresses that are tea-stained or hand-dyed by me. They have yarn hair. Yarn is something I have had a lot of over the years. There is a yarn shop not that far from me that has the most glorious yarns. I buy all my yarn there. It is generally quite spendy because it is mostly natural fibers and sometimes hand-dyed or even hand-spun. I can recall paying as much as $40 a skein for some of it. At the time I was left wondering what a full sweater would cost at that price.

I am still working in plastic. I just wanted a diversion. I always seem to have one. Sometimes it's paperdolls, sometimes something else. I like the softness of these dolls and I like tattered dresses. I have a feeling I am going to need a very big basket at some point, as I had quite a lot of fun making these.

Hope if you are in the northern hemisphere, you are easing into fall and crisp weather. If you are in the southern, it must be turning green all around you and perhaps just as crisp.

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