Art Dolls

Create Your Own Iconic Shrine, Art Doll, or Wearable Art

I make all sorts of kits in various sizes and combinations. Each is just a starting point for your creative input! Take the soft, vibrantly hand-dyed cotton or silk fabrics, silk, cotton and rayon ribbons and lace, a clay face and bag of assorted detail beads, feathers, trims, and sequins as a starting point for your creativity and make your own art doll, totem, necklace focal point or talismanic pillow. Or create a shadow box, a mini shrine, a reticule or a guardian bag for your tarot cards and other special items.

Personalize your design further by bringing out your own collected baubles, bells, or charms to embellish a one-of-a-kind piece that’s all your own. Add other fabrics from your “stash” if desired–velvet, lace or satin are always a nice touch! Throw in a few buttons and a tassel or two and you will have a truly awesome piece for display, treasuring, or gifting to someone you really like. The doll bodies and 100% cotton jersey fabric , silk handkerchiefs with hand rolled hems and the ribbons and lace bits  have been dyed using Procion MX series Fiber Reactive coldwater dyes, and thoroughly rinsed and washed using Retayne and Synthropol for dye permanence and no shrinkage or color bleeding.

Faces are available in polymer clay and ceramic in a wide range of sizes and finishes. I create an original face in polymer clay, then make a silicon mold and use it to create a multitude of unique faces using the mold as a starting point.Polymer clay faces are finished in one or more of a wide range of styles, and can be affixed to the cloth in several ways including PVA glues (white glues such as Aleene’s Craft glues or Sobo) or by hand-drilling small holes for sewing with a pin vise or hand held drill bit.

Polymer clay is relatively soft, and may crack if you just try to push a hole through–but it drills VERY nicely with little effort. You can also glue the faces to ultrasuede or leather using superglues (cyanoacrylates) and then use small decorations and seed beads around the face as a central focal piece. Faces can be re-baked using your own raw clay to embellish them further. Ceramic faces are glazed with low fire glazes, with raku finishes, or with hand painted under glaze details and a clear glaze finish. Some versions are available with a stringing hole pierced from side to side on the top for sewing to doll bodies or for stringing into bead necklaces.

Each person chooses what they wish to express in an individual doll, and are not limited to “pretty” or “nice” applications although those are valid option as well. Art Dolls allow all levels of craftsmanship to have a fulfilling outcome to their project and are opportunities to become more aware of what is inside the maker’s thought processes and emotions through artistic creative expression involving the small, nonthreatening Art Doll as a canvas. It can become a vehicle for communication with various parts of one’s deeper self.  It can also be a simple opportunity for few hours of fun!

However the creative spirit is expressed in an Art Doll, it is just right and fulfilling of the artist’s vision for that particular doll—and this freeing concept can translate to other areas of life as well. Here are some ideas:

Make a simple round or square pillow using the cloth and stuff with Fiberfil Polyester or cotton stuffing (or use dried lavender flowers!) Attach face in the center, and add beads, fringe, ribbons, and other decorative accents. Use a pre-made cotton doll body and attach the face, dress the doll in the fabric and accent with added fiber hair if desired or use the ribbons and beads. Make a doll body using the cotton fabric and a simple pattern. Rounded five pointed star shapes make very good doll forms with one point for the head and the others becoming arms and legs. You can draw a simple “Gingerbread Person” type outline or other shape on paper to use as your pattern–or use the pattern included. Sew, turn and stuff the doll, then attach the face and add hair and decorative details. Create a purse or drawstring reticule with the canvas bag as a base and the cotton jersey as a lining-or the other way around!

Premade doll bodies are available in my kits or can be purchased in craft stores. I have also drafted a very simple patterns that can be downloaded, printed and used for personal use. Print it out at different sizes to make dolls just the size you want. Have fun with it, but please don’t sell it to others as your own. If you want to sell the dolls you make, then please do!

click here for my simple patterns to download and use

Here are some dolls and wearable art pieces. Also shown are some works in progress and some of the kits.