I participated in an open studio tour a few weeks before we left Santa Fe. My work was completely unknown in this community, so my expectations were low. I was pleased to display new paintings and also dug out all my remaining doll inventory from past years. The dolls looked good, better than I had remembered, and attracted quite a bit of attention. It was so rewarding for me to share them with customers. Quite a few dolls sold on this weekend and I was excited to think maybe my doll making adventures were not over.
Following the open studio experience I decided to make some new Hoop Skirt dolls. This was one of my early doll ideas and I have created quite a few, but not several years. I kind of gave up after I developed a 100-step process to make one. Both new ideas are a variation on the Hoop Skirt Doll with a different twist on the idea of a "Story Teller'.
One this piece I added a 3 children clinging to the skirt, climbing up to the main figure to hear the story. This doll features the collage quilted skirt as did the early version of this style.
The skirt on this doll is made with many layers of paper collage on canvas in place of the quilted skirt. She is telling her story in a different way. There are bits of maps and music and lots of text. These clues suggest that she is a traveler and a musician, with so many conversations and ideas that most are only vaguely remembered.
Will I make another hoop skirt doll?
This is my current problem. Yes, I want to make beautifully designed dolls that I love. But, I want a quick, trouble-free process that comes together smoothly. I want no wasted materials and no wasted time or energy. I don't really want to buy more supplies. And no more sticky fingers!
Once in awhile a doll happens this way, but not very often!
I have worked steadily at doll making for about 12 years, usually with energy and enthusiasm. You'd think things would be getting easier by now, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It is still a struggle. There are a variety of excuses for this. I've made all the easy stuff I can think of. I thinned out my collection of found objects and supplies. My collection of fabric scraps is depleted. I am out of practice. It is cold in the workshop. And, so forth.
I need to get over it, and get busy!
So, these are my doll making strategies for the rest of the year.
Yes, I'll make more dolls!