Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Send in the Clowns"

For some reason I always have ‘trouble’ at the end of a project. I’m not sure what happens to me – but all the doubts (is it good enough – will it work – should have’s and could have’s) come barreling at me. I’m sure some of it relates to the fact that so often I’m doing something I’ve never done before so I’m not even sure if it will work when I start out. Another possibility is that, after spending so many hours working on a piece I begin to wonder if what I’m doing will actually become what I had imagined it to be way back when I started.

My current art doll, “Send in the Clowns” is no different – as I got closer and closer to the finish line several barriers cropped up. Having a mind-picture and creating a new-to-me design can sometimes become a challenge. Creating a hat was one of the last things to do – which I had thought I could do all by hand, as I had done with the rest of the doll. That didn’t work at all – and my sewing machine was dusted off and put to work (albeit short work since this hat is really small). And the first one I made was too big – now big is probably not the correct word to use as we’re talking fraction, smidgen, trifle – but it did mean that it was back to the drawing board and another hat was made.

Next problem to encounter – I had designed this doll with her head cocked to the side – it seemed to fit her mood. So of course the hat was cocked to the side too. My whole plan as a setting for the doll was to hang her inside an open box - but with a cocked head, if I strung the hanging loop from the top of the hat she would be hanging cockeyed. If I strung the loop so that she hung straight – the loop would be out of the side of the hat. Oh my, what to do?

That question still isn’t quite solved – but here she is – all put together but still waiting for a display. From now on, when I have a design problem – or those last minute jitters I’ll just say “Send in the Clowns”.

“Isn’t it rich
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground.
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn’t it bliss
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.
Don’t you love farce
My fault I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick send in the clowns.
Don’t bother they’re here.

Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year."
Steven Sondheim


  1. I have loved this doll from the starting post about it -- especially love the way the head is cocked to the side, noticed that first off. Of course, you know I love the face too. I don't have the sure-fire answer for displaying it inside a box, but I wonder if you could somehow anchor it about mid-height (around the clown's mid-back) to the back of the box. Love the beaded hat and heart too.

  2. Saw you passed by my path today so thought I'd drop in to say hi. I adore your clown...beautiful detail work! and the most yummy color, like crushed raspberries. Enjoyed reading what happens with problem solving - something that comes up for all of us - makes the learning more intriguing, I think :>]]

  3. Crushed raspberries is a perfect description of this color -- I loved working with it.



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