While I was following my own foot steps around the block, I decided to revisit some very early doll making ideas. One of my early design favorites was the the "Stick-hanger" doll. These dolls had a swivel built into their heads so that they could turn easily, and their bodies and legs hung on the stick shoulder. This is probably the origin of the flat head style that I have continued to use. The ballerina dolls at the La Veta Gallery this summer were the last in the line - so far. I like the abstract aspect of these figures and the movement in the shoulders and legs.
I realized that this idea had more possibilities that could be explored, so I made the head you see above. Making the face is always fun for me and usually comes together rather quickly. I ran into problems with the body and legs. This is not intended to be a realistic figure, but the first body I made was just too small and the legs were just too short. There are a couple of other adjustments to be made when I get back to this project.
I had cut out and drilled 2 heads, so while I was working on the girl's head, I kept looking over at the second raw wood form. Primitive dolls have always appealed to me. You have to look no farther than to Range Walker Series to see that. So, with "primitive" in mind, I just dabbled. Look what happened! I am very excited to develop some variations on this idea. I have lots of treasured items to use, beads, seed pods and little rusted bits. Its a good thing that they survived my recent studio purge.
Several weeks ago I wrote about the head with 3 little heads poking out of the top. This is the finished piece. I realized that it didn't really show up very well hanging on the wall. That problem was solved by framing it in a small tray that I painted. The scraps of music in the sky make it clear that these guys are singing.
I liked the idea of developing a relationship between several characters, so I made these guys. The rounded piece of wood as a base takes the place of the head. The irregularity of the sticks tilts the heads in an interesting way, but I would like to suggest a body, not just a long neck.
I decided to try a cone of paper mache to suggest a body for each figure. Words cut from the comics suggest overheard snippets of conversation from these 3 little gossips. A small painted box used as a riser for both pieces helped set up the photo and suggested that each could benefit from and additional base piece.
These are some other small pieces that I have made in the past couple of years. The pair on the left were planned to be game pieces for a game board that hasn't been made, yet. In the center photo small heads decorate a pair of storage jar. The girl on the right is perched on a jewelry rack.
Gotta say, I'm kind of annoyed. Over the past couple of weeks I thought I was on the way to developing a new idea, but as it turns out, I'm just circling the block.