We did some sight seeing in southern New Mexico last week and happened to walk into a history museum in Lincoln, NM. The Apache Medicine Bag, pictured above, caught my eye immediately from across the gallery because I thought it might be a doll. It wasn't, but it could have been... with the addition of a head and maybe some arms. We were in a small art gallery a few days later where I saw what I think was a figurative sculpture hanging on the wall. It interested me because a tube of clay had been used to represent the outstretched arms. This is not a new idea, but thinking back to the medicine bag something in my imagination clicked. I've been hoping to come up with a simple idea that would combine my interest in making a detailed head and a richly decorative garment. As soon as we got home I made the doll pictured below.
I made a polymer clay face and used a part of a fiber experiment I made some time ago to embellish the garment. She hangs on the wall. So simple! I could make lots of these. Right? I made a second 'bag' garment. I got so caught up in the quilting and bead work that I failed to notice that the whole thing was too wide and too short. This made the arms look too short and skinny.
And guess what. The head was too small. It is never as easy as it ought to be! I have revised all my patterns, and have 2 more heads ready to go. And I will eventually make a larger figure to wear this cute dress. I am pleased with the potential of this idea and hope to have other results to share soon.
This is a little project I made in the early weeks after our move. I can never resist the formed paper packaging materials, so when I noticed this one in the recycle pile I snagged it. I quickly realized that I would like it better with a frame. This one is made from a couple layers of cardboard and covered with a few layers of paper. I painted it, first with the primer I was using in the kitchen, and then with acrylics. The size is about 8" wide x 14" high.
I set it aside on the counter in my studio and as has happened so often, it started communicating with its neighbor!
The red piece on the right is a fabric chenille that I made earlier this year. I was disappointed with the project for a couple of reasons, but I realized that I would like it a lot better if I could add a shadow box style frame, and that the texture of the fabric chenille would be an interesting way to create a center. Anyway, I've whipped up a few more frames and experimented with some 6 inch square chenille centers. The only finished piece so far is pictured below.
I would like to spend some time developing this idea, so maybe by next week.....
September 1, 2019! Yes, I've been able to hold to my restART date! This weekend I've fiddled around with a bit with a new idea and hope to have something ready to share by next Friday. My work space is more or less set up, but not really. That will take awhile...
In the meantime I want to share these wonderful figures. We recently explored the Ernest Thompson Seaton Archive at the Academy for the Love of Learning near Santa Fe. These two guys are displayed on the cabinet there without any information about the maker or origin. I got the idea that they were one of many things of this type that Seaton brought into his campfire talks of the 1930's or earlier. They are about 3 feet tall and carved from wood. It looks like the arms were made separately and then added. Weathering adds to their charm.
If I could make these...I would. Maybe they will inspire something.