Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Making dolls with my daughters

I mention my daughters frequently as my chief inspiration.  Over the years we have experimented with nearly every kind of art and craft we have seen or hear of together.  Now that they are getting a little older they are interested in trying more complex tasks and they recently asked if I could show them how to make their own dolls.  We started these over the holiday break and they really did take their time with them and enjoy the process.  The most surprising thing for me was their final products which turned out to be interesting,quirky dolls that really reflected a little of each of their personalities.  I should also point out that I merely demonstrated techniques, the dolls were completely made by the girls and everything from the faces, fabrics and accessories was their own design.  With their permission I will share their photos and dolls with you.

Olivia had her eye on a bold black and white fabric and it became the starting point for her doll's style.  She picked purple eyes from my selection of handmade eyes and her color palette was complete.  She also took the most time sculpting her face, working and reworking it until it was just the way she wanted it.  Olivia loves to draw faces so she approached sculpting one with as much dedication. At the end of the project she decided she liked painting the features and thinking up the dress design.  She also determined she has little patience for sewing by hand and was not overly fond of how long it took to put hair on properly.  She thought her doll resembled the Snow White character from the show Once Upon a Time and she has been named Mary Margaret.

Eden started off with a certain color of hair she just HAD to use and some decorative chain.  She also loves the elf ears I use on a large percentage of my work so her doll also has these.  She worked through the sculpting phase pretty quickly and her doll had a sweet little expression.  She was really most interested in moving on to makeup, hair and sewing the clothes.  Eden's doll, Bridget, turned out to be half rock'n'roll/goth and half sweet, caring soul much like the artist herself.  She diligently hand-sewed all of the clothing and accessories and mounded as much of the red-blonde hair she could squeeze onto Bridget's little head.  Both of the girls mixed in a streak of a different color into their hair designs for a little edgy look.

My youngest is too little to make her own doll but she is our official Board of Cuteness Approval.  She would stop by frequently and check on the girls' progress, sometimes giving the dolls a kiss with her customary phrase "awwww, tyoot."
Tyoot = cute.

Once the dolls were complete we had a photo shoot which you see here.
We had a wonderful time working together.  They are proud of what they were able to accomplish and I was impressed with how creative and original they were.  They often joke with me about my love of unusual things but it seems a little of that may have rubbed off on them.  One great thing about this experiment is that as soon as they finished these dolls and were looking them over sharing their thoughts they immediately starting thinking about what they would do differently and what they would add to their next project.  I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.