Friday, February 20th, 2015

Poke-poke-poke-poke-poke…

I’ve been wanting to design a small, relatively inexpensive, simple doll in the category of dolls that I’m interested in making (“Waldorf” or “Waldorf-inspired”), as I think that’s a relatively untapped market. I’ve been pretty lazy, what with Iris having a sinus infection then me having something resembling a cold. But today was the day. I was going to do it.

 

To prepare for doll-making, I need to clean the entire house, as Iris likes to take out all the batts of luscious fluffy wool and wrap herself up and roll in them: if there are any loose threads or gobs of dust, they get stuck in the wool. Then, as Iris anxiously waited for me to untie the wool bag, I did a bunch of geometry and came up with a simple pattern. And as Iris rolled herself in batts of wool and flopped around the living room, I tied a little woolen head, just the right size for my pattern.

 

Then I glanced at my newly-acquired felting needle. “Just a few pokes,” I said to myself. “I don’t have the correct size stockinette for such a small head, so I’ll just a do few pokes to firm up the wool.” Um. Well. I took a break after one hour of felting (lunch, nap, learn to use yet another new sewing machine, go for a walk) and resumed felting some time after five. Martin came home around six or so while Iris was on the toilet. I was sitting near her, poking away at the wool. Luckily there was plenty of left-over lasagna for dinner.

 

After about two hours (or so) of felting, the doll no longer fits into the category of “relatively inexpensive, simple doll.” I really have no idea where I am going with this. Although it is so tempting to attempt felt the entire doll body, I won’t. Not with this doll. Not yet. For this doll, I will just put some skin on the head, embroider the features, then design an appropriate body to go with it.

 

Here is the doll’s inner head, my second attempt at sculptural felting:

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5 Responses

  1. JJ says:

    Boy Jess, every time I drop by you are showing something different with your remarkable skills.

    I know of one woman who makes and sells handmade Waldorf dolls and gets $$$ for them. But your idea of needle sculpting brings it to another level of artistry.

    I am planning on making a Frida Kahlo doll and bought some fabric to make other doll clothes yesterday. I take forever to get projects going these days, so your inspiration is wonderful. I don’t have the patience for sculpting dolls so paint their faces–you are amazing.

    • Jessica says:

      Hey! Thanks for dropping by!!!

      I’d love to claim the idea of needle sculpting, but it’s not mine. It’s all the rage among a certain subset of doll-makers these days. I’d never have thought of it myself because I’ve never needle felted before.

      I would love to see your Frida Kahlo doll when it’s done. She sounds like a good excuse to do a lot of embroidery.

  2. Katie says:

    I can’t wait to see what your doll will look like when it is finished. It is already beautiful!

  3. Rico says:

    Jess

    What a treat it was to receive your email, and remind me of your websit. Oh Jenn H makes quilted animals, and even keeps her own cats’ fur in the freezer to mix with the wool. Weird, yeah, next to the veggies.

    Your work is beautiful! And the photo of the doll head just eerie enough. I still have the doll you made for me the all those years ago. she sits with Murry, a rabbit.

    Solid.

    • Jessica says:

      I want to see Jenn’s animals! I want to see Jenn’s animals!
      But I don’t remember which doll it was I made for you all those years ago. Sigh…

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