Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two Less Heads on Sticks
I love to sculpt faces and I generally have several "heads on sticks" (sculpted heads on dowels) sticking in the tool holder or in the paintbrush basin on my studio table. Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to completing the dolls.
Professor Pocus changed so many times from the original concept (and his head had been around my studio for a couple of years). Originally I intended to do a European style hobo clown holding a skeletal umbrella. The idea was to put him in the guest room when I had it painted. I sculpted his head, hands and feet and there he sat in that state for over a year.
Then I had the idea to use him in a box, he was going to be a magician with a top hat with a rabbit coming out of the top of the hat on his head. I began working on the box...but...that's not really what he wanted to be either.
The box took on a more rustic look and I added the great feet by Tim Holtz. The box dictated that he be more of the traveling snake oil salesman, so I started working on that concept.
I was doing his body out of a piece of 2x4. I drilled and glued and attached his hands, arms and head. Again it sat, not quite coming together.
Last month when the gals were over for our monthly art play day, I got the idea to carve out the center of the 2x4. I dug out my handcarving tools and started working on hollowing out the center. (Husband asked why I didn't just go out to his shop and use the power tools - heck, it was 104 degrees that day & it is an uninsulated metal building).
Once I carved out the center, he began coming together quickly. I used grunge board and dies to cut gears. I painted them and added them inside the 2x4. I also used Tim's sprocket gears. I decoupaged pages from an old book on the top hat and dressed him with mulberry paper. I found the perfect item in my stash for him to hold, one of the Industrial Chic pieces I had picked up from Michaels several months ago.
So now I'm proud to introduce Professor Pocus & his Traveling Magic Show.
The other head on a stick that had been sitting around my studio was done with an air-dry clay that I was testing (I love this stuff - I do hope it becomes available soon). I decided that I wanted a cloth doll for this one, so I got out one of my Patti Culea books, Creative Cloth Doll Couture and used the pattern from it. I made the doll body and it was too small. I had to enlarge the pattern. The second doll was much better sized.
I gessoed the doll and painted her with Tim Holtz crackle paint. I used distress inks to enhance the crackles and to give her some aged character. I choose old laces to dress her and created her boots, skirt and belt from ostriche hide. I liked the hat that I'd done for the professor so much that I took rusted sewing patterns and stamped on them to decoupage on her hat. I added a Boutique Fleur flower from the Recollections collection with lace to trim her hat. I haven't decided on a name yet...any ideas?


Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

These are fabulous, Nina! Your work is always top notch!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Chris!

Tolegranny said...

Nina...these dolls are fabulous. Just found your blog. Long time no hear.

LindaS said...

love these dolls!

Elaine Akers said...

Nina..absolutely fabulous! Wow, your dolls keep getting better and better. You rock!!!
Wish I lived close by so we could art together.

inesos said...

Your figurines are fantastic