The Turtle Rider

Like magic, The Turtle Rider is ready.  I took her out into the backyard for some pictures.  She probably deserves a better pedestal but she seemed content.   The green and red boot on her leg is a turtle-shell patterned brace.  I think she’s heading to Harper’s Playground.

Thanks to my friend Lynne for the great fabric!

I signed it on the bottom, which I’ve painted in a mixture of brown and copper, so I wasn’t able to photograph it very well, but you get the idea:

The Turtle Rider will be auctioned off at the Harper’s Playground Art Auction on Friday, September 30th at Disjecta studio.  You can read more about it here on an earlier post.

Well, now that The Turtle Rider has appeared like magic, I wonder if the studio will clean itself up like magic?

My studio exploded!

Art Doll / Wallhanging

I finished my new fabric art piece today — a sort of combination doll, quilt and wallhanging.   I often see a figure in the pattern of a fabric — in this case a kind of blurred birch bark print — I don’t really know why.  I also often “see” patterns of color when I look at people.  When I was younger, I had epilepsy and used to think I had second sight and could see people’s auras.  Now I just think I have a visual blip that’s kind of cool.  You should see the characters in my dreams.

I’ve made a series of pieces where figures emerge out of the fabric.   They are very hard to photograph, but I hope you can see this one well enough.  This one is called “Not Out of the Woods Yet.”

We’re often in situations where we’ve struggled to recreate or recover some aspect of ourselves.  We struggle with our health.  We struggle with our relationships.  This piece speaks to that urge to move forward, even when we are still intimately tied to our situations.  When I first envisioned this piece, I thought I would embellish it with lots of floral embroidery and beading — vines, leaves, and lots of representation of the forest.  Instead, as I created it, I settled for more subtle stitches with perle cotton embroidery thread.  I used painted fabric for the few leaves, embellished with gold gel ink.

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I love the way the fabric flutes around the figure.  I originally mounted it on a piece of foam board but it looked too flat for me.  I think leaving it to hang “naturally” makes it more inviting to the touch, too.  What do you think?

This unique work is for sale in Etsy shop for $200.  Click here for a link:


Recovery Doll

Art Doll Detail
Art Doll Detail
Recovery Hand and Heart

I got to deliver my latest commission to my friend Mary yesterday.  She liked the pose of the Survivor Doll, but she wanted something more in line with her own story, a story of recovery — so this is Recovery.  Mary is a skilled needleworker.  I imagined her covering herself, protecting herself with her own craft.  Arts and crafts are a major part of how we save ourselves and how we recreate ourselves.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to make this doll and think about how hard it is to re-invent ourselves.  But in that struggle, there is so much beauty.

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She is a cloth doll over a wire armature.  Her hair is made from lamb and alpaca wool and silver thread.  Her dress is hand knitted from a linen, silk and rayon blend yarn.

The object in her hand is a symbol of the vision it takes to imagine a better life for oneself. I was lucky to find a silver origami crane charm as a focal point for her.  Her heart is symbolized by a smooth red glass fragment secured with silver wire and a locked locket.  She protects her heart and moves forward.

If you are interested in commissioning an art or medicine doll, please contact me.

New Doll — Birdie

I just put this doll up for sale on my Etsy shop for $35.  I wanted to make something simple after the last one.

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Birdie is a 21″ companion or bed-doll. I was inspired by some of the sweet elder women I see walking through parks, feeding birds and enjoying life. She just beams with happiness and is happy to take a minute to listen.

She’s hand-stitched from cotton fabric with acrylic yarn. Her body is a bit abstract, but I wanted her to have a bird spirit and found this little piece of bird fabric that suited her perfectly. She is partly stuffed with rice to help her sit, but she still needs a little back support. I love the sort of goofy, languid look the extra long arms give her. They are loosely stuffed with thick yarn and are very limber. (She’s been doing her yoga!)

Her face is needle-sculpted and hand painted. She wears hummingbird earrings bought at a hummingbird festival in Mississippi.