Tag Archives: ooak art dolls

A Few Features

Shannon of Abstract Lucidity very kindly nominated me for a creative blogger award. While honored, I’m not sure how that sort of thing works so far as the tagging others or who to tell, etc. So instead of nabbing others, I’m just going to use it as an excuse to mention a few favorite crafty blogs. I also have to apologize, I’ve been having trouble getting links to work and while they’re back I’m still having issues getting images to show. Sorry, you’ll have to click the links, but they’re worth it, promise! Just beware, you might get sucked in for hours…


I’m not supper active in blogging, and some of these people aren’t either, so they might not be updated as often as you hope. But they’re all worth a visit when you want some inspiration.


Deri made the fantastic Tut I showed off last week. She has a way with tiny details (and I mean *tiny*) and distilling intense historical research into a deceptive simplicity. She seems utterly fearless about tackling difficult places and times for inspiration. She’s probably best known for her brilliant, mad, and sometimes morbid series of Tudor dolls. (Deri’s also a lot of fun to mess with when it comes to giving her more doll ideas than she can sanely cope with…)


Rhissana is always so nice, patiently sharing and explaining doll and general crafting tips. She’s recently got me looking at too many cheap things to play with on ebay… (fair warning, they might start showing up on here…) Her dolls have amazing, delicate details both in their bodies and costuming. She’s also upcycling royalty-Queen of the dollar store steampunk and Duchess of Kitchen Drawer (and everything but the Sink) magic. Beware, if you click, you’ll never look at yard sales or spray paint the same way ever again. And you’ll want to try everything.


The first doll artist I started watching was Cynthia. Like the others, I first found her on deviantart and she is wonderful about sharing her knowledge and joy of dollmaking. One of my first entries showcases two of her autumn themed dolls and their fantastic photosessions. She always gives them the best props to play with. It makes me wonder, do you need the right garden and library before you can adopt them? I love the gentleness in her doll’s faces and the delicacy of their wings. (Okay, and envy it too. Those wings, *sigh*) She’s done some wonderful character adaptations.


One funny thing, I hadn’t thought about it until I was typing this up, both Cynthia and Rhissana have done variants on Alice in Wonderland. Both adorable and such different takes. So here’s Tea Party Alice and Miss R. White and her Alice Doll! For another set of contrasts The Little Prince has been ‘translated’ by both Cynthia and Deri. So it seems like I’ve a bit of a theme of artists who like to play with cultural touchstones! 


Chris is a polymer clay artist with an ancient (scavenger’s) soul…. Her works have the most amazing textures I’ve seen in clay-you want to pet them through the screen. And I love how she uses upcycled elements and turns them into treasures. It’ll make you want to run to the craft store and clear out the shelves. Her work has such a natural growth feel that makes it look so easy. If only!


Filed under Crafts

Happy 90th anniversary King Tut! (sort of)

A fabulous dollmaker’s adorable take on a tiny King Tut.

On November 26, 1922 Howard Carter became the first person to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb in over 3000 years. It is still the only mostly intact tomb discovered in the Valley of the Kings, the place where the rulers and nobles of Egypt’s New Kingdom were buried.


After five years of methodical searching Howard Carter found steps cut into the rock of the valley under accumulated debris. Luck was on his side-it was the last season that his patron (George Herbert, Lord Carnarvon, the poor guy whose death by blood poisoning started whispers of a curse) was funding.

Howard Carter


Tutankhamun’s father was Akhenaten, the pharaoh who banished the traditional multitude of Egyptian gods for a sun god called the Aten. He closed the old temples and created a new capital city to center on the worship if the new god.


Tutankhamun reversed his father’s religious upheaval and brought back the old gods. (He became king when he was only 9 years old and was dead by 19, so it’s hard to know how much of his reign was his and how much that of his advisors.)


There are a lot of theories that Tutankhamun was murdered, but most scientists agree that his death was accidental. X-rays of his mummy show a badly broken leg that had become infected. He also had malaria, and possibly some congenital defects (genetic study suggests that his parents were siblings, not an uncommon pairing in Egyptian rulers). The infection plus any of that could have been enough to kill him.


When he died he was embalmed and buried in his famous mask and sarcophagus in an unfinished tomb. With him were items to serve in the afterlife-everyday things like food and clothing and sandals as well as weapons, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments, model boats and statues of himself and of the gods. Also with him were the mummies of his two stillborn daughters and a lock of his grandmother’s hair.


Why was such a minor ruler buried with such treasure? Does this mean that the tombs of the truly great and long lived would have been that much more lavish? We don’t know.


The closest tomb in matters of treasure is that of Pasebakhaenniut, who lived 300 years later and wasn’t buried in the Valley of the Kings, so there isn’t enough data to work with. (He also lived in a chaotic transitory time, though he held on for much longer…)


I remember one of my professors saying that he suspected part of the reason Tutankhamun was buried with such an array of grave goods was because it was probably a good way to seal up the last of Akhenaten’s influence.


Though towing the old religion’s line, a lot of the art in the tomb still shows some of the same styling that Akhenaten used in the worship of the Aten. My professor’s view was that it was partly a matter of veneration of the dead and partly a matter of out of sight out of mind!


The political squabbling and backstabbing after Tutankhamun’s death (widow courts foreign prince, prince dies in transit, general seizes widow, general becomes pharaoh and ends up warring with father of foreign prince, widow vanishes, pharaoh dies childless…then another one…) eventually led to the start of a new dynasty- the famous Ramessides.


Perhaps the most profound effect of Tutankhamun’s life was his death, and the series of events that turned his tomb into a time capsule for us to see more clearly into his time.statue of tut


(Sorry, I realized that I’m pretty much incapable of keeping anything about ancient Egypt short. Trust me, this is much shorter than I’d like. It’s all fascinating in my book. And long, they’ve a lot of history to cover!)


Filed under Historical Facts and Trivia

Through the Looking Glass Invite

I’ve had my dolls in the Wesleyan Potters annual juried show for the past few years, but this is the first that some of my jewelry will be joining them at the exhibit and sale. I’m really excited. (And perhaps a little terrified, I hope it goes well and they make a good impression!)

It opens this Friday. To my great regret I will not be able to attend their little mid-morning champagne to-do, but consider yourselves invited if anyone is in the area!

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Filed under Crafts

Killer Legs (of Secretary Birds)

Along with getting to see the La Brea Tar Pits, seeing these gorgeous birds at the San Diego Zoo became one of the highlights of my visit to California. I’d never seen one in real life before.

If pressed on what one looked like, my mental image would actually be the secretary bird that officiates in the Disney Movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Not the most flattering portrayal to have stuck in one’s head!

So I wasn’t expecting something so elegant or graceful. (Or with a whimsical looking crown of feathers that reminded me of Fawkes the phoenix in the Harry Potter movies!)

I didn’t stop to think that it clearly had the beak of a bird of prey. It’s a terrestrial predator. Those elegant long legs are weapons for stalking through the grasses and for killing prey. They can’t hold their prey with those deadly toes though, so they have to eat it there or carry it in their beak.

None of my photos really turned out so I wasn’t sure I was going to mention them on here, but then Jelka, a doll maker on deviantart, posted a gorgeous posable soft sculpture Secretary bird the other day, and I had to share it. She makes the dolls by hand and her sister does the painting, it’s a great collaboration! If you want a better look you can get the full 360 view on youtube.


Filed under Crafts, Natural Science