People sometimes ask where my ideas come from. I usually can't verbalize the answer, but sometimes I have clues that I can identify. So often the creation of a new piece has to do with fitting together old ideas in a different way with updated skills and new materials. The determination to problem-solve along the way to a happy ending is key. The figure pictured below is one of my new "dolls". Let me trace through my thoughts as I figured her out.
The angel was one of my early doll designs. The body pattern is a very simple one that I had used often before. Now that my access to sticks and yucca seed pods is much more limited it is time to move on. I started to think about what I could substitute for legs. It seemed like a ladder would work. I have been delighted with the Native American Indian storyteller figures and thought for a while that it would be interesting to use this idea in a different type of doll. So, children climbing the ladder came to mind. You can see below how closely the little kids are related to the goofy "Twit Ornaments" I have made for several holiday seasons. After making 200+ of these guys, I realized I could modify that idea with different results. My first thought was to use sticks to make the ladder for a twiggy kind of look. No luck. If I didn't have sticks for legs, why would I have sticks for a ladder? I tried several other unsuccessful and frustrating ideas. In the end I used 1/4" square dowel with bamboo skewers for rungs. The decorative paper covering smooths over the rough ends of the rungs. The polymer clay face is similar to the Angel idea, but held in place with decorative pins instead of stitching. The hair was added after I snipped a hold in the head while trimming the end of the pin. Arms are wrapped wire with polymer hands. I had a hard time making the hands hold the ladder and will probably change this in another project.