I just discovered today is Dobby's birthday (yes, the Harry Potter Dobby) so what better day could here be to share the birth of my new little baby house elves? I will be doing a Wizard Fest show locally here and wanted to make something for the children that will be attending. My daughters had also requested something wearable which made me think of a sculpture I made of a mother and baby house elf which we all loved and sold quickly. The girls really loved the little baby named "Dinky" so I decided to make more baby house elves that can be ornamental, hung on a wall or tree for the holidays, or worn as a necklace. What I love about them is they tend to have that "ugly cute" quality. I make all of them individually and drawn on memories of those days when the girls were babies. There is something fascinating about a sleeping baby - all the funny little faces they make. You wonder what they might be dreaming of at such a young age.
Here is Mabel and baby Dinky - the inspiration!
Here are a few of the first babies - the yawning one always makes me yawn.
Once I have faces to work with I pick a colored clay for the blanket. I usually do not use colored clay but paint can be worn off so this is the best choice for items that will be handled regularly. House elves are not given new clothing so I model these wrappings on common household linens with frayed edges. I have a large stash of trims - colorful, shiny, aged, every type you can think of and these become the bindings for the blankets. Depending on the little face I may or may not give it eyebrows or hair and so far the hair is always bits of feather. I love the way the feathers float and have a completely wild, unkempt quality.
One row of baby house elves ready to be painted.
Each of their little faces and fingers are then painted by hand. I am sure to give them rosy cheeks and a touch of grubby house elf complexion. A small loop is secured in the back of each where the string for the necklace or hook to hang the piece can be attached. My girls have worn their little friends everywhere and "Dave", "Lucy" and "Baby" have been great entertainment and just what the girls requested.
I'm looking forward to seeing what the next batch of characters turn up!