Categories
Doll

Four Dolls

There is something I find satisfying and rewarding about doll making, although I can’t claim to know what that is. These four dolls are button-jointed in the Jan Horrox style, about 60 cm long, their clothes are made from embellished and embroidered scraps and may be much longer. The fabric scraps are often silk and satin and have many metallic threads but these shiny things do not show in these photos.

These dolls might represent both birds of the British Isles and the four regions, Scotland – Magpie, Wales – Red Kite, Ireland – Greenfinch and England – Tawny Owl. I think the Magpie, the first one I made might be my alter-ego, a Scottish Prince!

Categories
textiles

Embellish and Sew

Finally finding some creative energy and some old pieces of partially worked fabric which can be worked on some more. One of the joys of machine embellishing is that there is no limit to the amount of layering other than the ability of the embellishing machine needles to pass through, without breaking. Another pleasure is the using up of tiny scraps which would otherwise just be waste. The needles do break from time to time and they are not cheap so care must be taken. I often overstitch or couched threads, silk or metallic, embroidery, wool &c. but the thicker they are the more likely to trouble the embellisher, so these are best added after embellishing. But as I am rarely satisfied I often return to embellishing after stitching. The possible combinations of colour, texture, fabric and other elements are of course infinite.

It’s quite tricky to get a good pic of the shiny fabrics and threads and this low res one is also a little out of focus, I’ve used a wide appature on a small camera.

This patchwork of embellished fabrics and embroidered threads will be made into a long dress for a 60cm button-jointed cloth doll, just visible on the left .

Also out of focus, unfortunately, but show the shiny stuff a bit.

Categories
Doll

Doll

Almost finished the owl doll, her costume is mainly silk embellished from scraps. The embellishing machine is great for using up even the tiniest of remnants and bits of thread.  Embellishing needles get used up (broken) fairly quickly so I always keep a stock.  Just a few final touches needed, her limbs and neck and around her face need to be darker .

Owl doll

Categories
Doll

Doll

I’m making another in a series of bird inspired dolls, this one is vaguely based on the Tawny Owl.  Button jointed dolls are fairly easy to make, I always follow  the pattern and instructions of Jan Horrox, a wonderful and inspiring doll maker, then modify things according to my wish.  The most challenging part is to put a face onto the head.

Tawny Owl

These dolls have needle sculpted faces, which takes some practice, then the features are drawn on with Micron pens and water-based coloured pencils.  A steady hand is essential and the results can’t be guaranteed.

Doll head etc.

Once the face is drawn then it has to be sprayed with artist’s fix, the solvent type.  These dolls are more ornamental than play, although I try to make them robust enough for older children.  Next stage is to attach the head, then make hair, or in this case feathers of some sort.