Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ask and You Shall Receive!

(Above: A collection of vintage and antique dolls and parts.  Donations from Flavia Isabella Lovatelli and Suzanne Spryn Smith, and two dealers from Bill Mishoe's auction.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Hurricane Florence didn't cause much damage here in South Carolina's Midlands but it certainly disrupted the flow of life, emptied grocery store shelves, and kept everyone waiting safe inside their homes.  For me, this meant STUDIO TIME.  I've finished four "Lancet Windows" and am about to melt four smaller "Window Series" pieces intended for the upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in early November.  Pictures are coming!  Yet, my mind was still on the Doll Stories Series which I blogged last week.

 (Above:  She Loves Me/She Loves Me Not. Broken vintage doll, letters clipped from antique ephemera. Shadowbox framed. 15 1/2" x 9 1/2". $100.)

While constructing and stitching new work, I continued to think about what dolls might have to say about their lives as playthings.  I mused about the movie Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the scene when Santa's sleigh stops at the Island of Misfit Toys. It always made me cry. I thought about all the creepy sock puppets featured on DIY videos, stuffed dolls with big cross-stitches for eyes, the suggestion of abuse.
 (Above:  She Loves Me/She Loves Me Not, detail.)

While I never really played with dolls as a child, I did have a large dirty yellow and seriously off-white stuffed rabbit with button eyes.  I must have been about three or four when my mother caught me flicking the eyes off the creature using a bobby pin.  I'd done it before, cried about the eyes, and watched my mother sew them back in place.

  (Above:  She Loves Me/She Loves Me Not, detail.)

When caught torturing my rabbit a second time, my mother wisely refused to reattach the eyes.  For as long as I can remember, the rabbit remained blind.  I was sad about that but still loved my bunny.  So, last week I thought about why I took the bobby pin to its eyes.  Was I a horrible, cruel child?  Was this a sign of future bullying or aggressive behavior or lack of moral consciousness?  NO! Far from it! I was just curious to see what would happen.  I loved my bunny ... but did my bunny love me?

Soon I had a phrase to exploit:  She loves me/She loves me not.  All I needed was the vintage and antique dolls, preferably in pieces.  I asked on Facebook and I went to Bill Mishoe's auction.  Sure enough, I asked and I received.  This is the first piece.  A few more are coming.

The detached doll's head was thicker than the shadow box's depth.  So, I decided to use my dremel and cut off most of the back of the head.  I nearly ruined the dremel when all the blonde hair got caught and rotated into a massive tangle.  It took a half hour to get the dremel back in working order.  Fortunately, I had another, similar head with red hair.  I pulled off the hair, cut away most of the back, and glued it on the other head.  Talk about torturing a doll!  The original doll had only one, unbroken arm.  I pulled another arm off another doll.  Do check back to this blog ... because I'm currently working on a doll with the porcelain head.  You wouldn't believe what I'm doing to it! Whether these toys love me or not, I am certainly loving the creative process.
(Above:  Me holding the current SAQA [Studio Art Quilt Associates] Journal open to the spread with my article, "Navigating High End Craft Shows".)

I'm also thrilled to share the fact that my article, "Navigating High End Craft Shows", is in the current SAQA Journal issue.  Best of all, I've been asked to write another article! 

 (Above:  Box Relic CCVII.  Framed 12 1/2" x 10". $60.)

During an earlier blog post, I promised to share images of the two pieces created while conducting my HOT workshop for the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild.  I always finish my demonstrations.  Above is (Box) Relic CCVII and below is Relic CCVI.

(Above:  Relic CCVI.  Framed 12 1/4" x 9 1/2". $100.)


Connie said...

Wow! I just read your Doll Stories . . . food for thought, I'll be thinking about some of these all day long. You have an amazing insight.
Connie :)

mycamerandme365 said...

I just want to restring the doll and put her back together again!