Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Resin Angel Egg Dolls!

A couple of months ago, I posted about my bottomless love for Angel Egg Dolls and all their virtues. I couldn't imagine loving them more, but now there's even more to covet! Marmite Sue is now offering her girls in resin! I was so happy, I made this paper doll. I set her onto a watercolored background near my desk so I could stare at her lovingly.
The resin version of this beautiful art doll is so intriguing because she's more affordable than her porcelain sister. This is nice, since folks like me will want more than one! Plus, I think people tend to think of porcelain as more of a display type material and would be less inclined to handle the doll, whereas resin has that weighty, sturdy feel that is really nice to touch. High quality resins are blended with various powders (like calcium, talc, mica, stone, clay) which lends texture and strength to the finished product.
The most beautiful aspect of resin in regard to Angel Egg Dolls, is the way the dyes infuse so much color into the skin of the doll. I think this saturation of color is so lifelike! The pale pink and deep tan are particularly luminous, reflecting color and light, which is amazing for photography.

The thing I love most about these wondrous girls is their ability to pose into so many natural positions. I think they would make lovely figure models for artists to draw from! I would have loved drawing one of these girls, rather than the stiff wooden mannequins I had in art school. This ability to pose is due to the thoughtful and well designed jointing system, which is fluid and very human. The elbows are particularly well done ( most dolls can't put their hand over their heart!).
I really love these little feet! They are the high heeled version one can choose for the doll, which is the trademark of Marmite Sue's dolls. They are so unusual and instantly recognizable! I love high heels and how long they make ones legs look, especially on this girl. Even though they struck me as strange looking at first, I really like how they look on this doll, like its totally natural. Good sculpting has that effect.
I decided that the jointing was my favorite thing about this doll, now I think its the face sculpts! Ok, I like a lot of things about this doll, but the faces really are wonderful! The blank face shows how sensitively the eyes and mouth are rendered, so much so, that the entire face can look completely different with a touch of paint. I've carved hundreds of faces and one of the most difficult things to capture in a sculpt is a serene expression, or the Mona Lisa smile. Artists are forever drawing folks while they are absorbed in books, or daydreaming on the train; there is a mystery to that expression that is so captivating. I think this artist has got it right, one looks at these girls and wonders what they are thinking about, what dreams are in those sad and thoughtful eyes.

To see more amazing dolls go to Marmite Sue's website: http://pickled.free.fr/index_en.html She also posts pictures on her blog: http://marmite-sue.tumblr.com/ I found loads of photos on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marmite-sue/ She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter under Marmite Sue.

new dolls!

I am crazy about dolls. This is no secret, they've appeared on this blog many times, some part of my collection and others that are on my wish list. I've added several to my ever growing family of little people and thought I'd share some of my newest additions. The dolls pictured above are made out of porcelain and are 1/12 dollhouse scale (which means an inch equals a foot). I met the artist, Marcella, at the dollhouse show in Chicago last month. We made fast friends and she invited me to her studio to watch her process, which I will someday soon take her up on. The dolls are so charming and beautifully painted, if you look close, you can see the tiny eyelashes painted on! Marcella also crochets and sews the dresses and bloomers. So sweet. She doesn't have a website, but can be reached through her email address: cutieminidolls@yahoo.com .
The dolls pictured above just arrived and are made by Tima Hass, an artist out of California. She sells her charming creations on ebay (seller name neverland43). She carves and molds the dolls, then casts each piece in resin. The dolls are meticulously and anatomically detailed and are double jointed at the knees and elbows. This is very unusual! Most dolls this size are only jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. I'm working on my own 1:12 scale doll and its a pain making all the tiny molds, so I have a lot of respect for this artist and all the planning and engineering it took to make such poseable and lifelike joints. I love these tiny dolls so much! I can't wait to build my dollhouse and put them in. Of course they will need to be redressed to look like The Borrowers, but that's after Bead and Button! The show floor opens Thursday, June 7 at 4pm to 9pm ( dang I hate the first night, by the time you leave all the restaurants are closed). The show goes onto Sunday at 4pm, so stop by and see all the new pieces! I'll probably bring some dolls to show my buddies, so if you are interested, just ask.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New for Bead and Button 2012

These are bronze masters that I carved. They will be cast into pewter to debut at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. The owl is a round bead with a hole going through the top, with a stylized wood pattern on it. The dog charm is part of my 'little blessings' series and says 'puppy love' on the back. The butterfly pendant/link is inspired by Japanese embroidery and says 'unfold your own myth-rumi' on the back.
These are pieces that Greg carved for the show. I think they definitely have a masculine quality! We've had lots of requests for beads and pendants that would appeal to men and I think these do. Especially the zombie head in the middle. The snake bead is beautifully detailed all around and has a nice feel to it. I think Greg should carve the entire Chinese Zodiac to match it! I really love the little gargoyle bead, it has such a charming look to it. I think he should make more of them.
Jessica Wiesel carved this last batch of pieces for Green Girl Studios and I am totally enamored with them! Jess makes the most beautiful miniature animals, her deer are especially wonderful, so its no surprise her deer are so sensitively rendered. She's working on an etsy store that will feature her miniatures and prints, which will open the middle of June. The store name is 'weazilla', so check it in a few weeks to see her amazing creations.

Jess said "I hope your customers like deer!" and I said "It doesn't matter, because I do!". I suppose that's not the best attitude for business, but really, I want to love what we make, regardless of what's popular or on trend. I think it would show if an artist only made what was asked of them. Maybe the pieces would lack verve, or folks eyes would just pass over it....its hard to say. Anyway, I love these pieces! What do you think?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

small pleasures

This time of the year is always a whirlwind of activity, carving until dawn, making jewelry till my hands ache, all on top of day to day chores. Its fun and exhausting, because I think artists thrive on impending deadlines. The house is full to capacity with the hum of machines in the studio, music to keep us lively and meals constantly being prepared (I'm loving anything in a slow cooker these days). The energy is wonderful. The new work we've been producing is fantastic (pictures as soon as they are out of the molds!) and we are really excited about it. While its fun, it can be a little tiny bit draining, so its nice to sit quietly and let one's mind wander for awhile. I started making tiny baskets from waxed linen thread. It keeps my hands busy in the morning, while thinking of the days activities, or while waiting for some process or another to finish up, since I can just put the basket in my pocket. The linen is coated with wax, so it doesn't come apart, or unravel easily. I use them as doll baskets or to hold earrings or rings at my desk. The pictures show them holding earrings by Kathy Van Kleeck and a bronze bird girl I had Greg make for a hairpin.