Thursday, September 27, 2012


Fabric is piled onto my work table where I sort/discard/keep various bits and pieces that would fit the themes I want to work.   One problem that I have - like a kid in a candy store - is that I am presented with so many choices, so many designs and patterns and colors that I quickly go into overload. 

After my first assemblage I Ieave these carefully crafted piles on the table and walk away  to return the next morning.  In the early morning - even before getting out of bed - I realize that in some cases I might have been swayed by the fabric itself and ignored the general, overall design of this series of dolls.

These dolls are meant to be 'whimsical',  'simple', 'humble' and somewhat 'vintage'.  I want them to speak for themselves.  As I look at some of the piles of fabric that I had laid out the day before I realized that some of my choices would present a 'mixed-message'.  Hmmm -- this is not something that had occurred to me before. 

Looking at other doll maker's dolls - I am drawn to the designers that are always 'true to their design'.  Dolls tell a story - they can't help it - and if I want to tell my story I must carefully practice continuity.  So - its back to the drawing board - or at least to the fabric stash - to look for the 'just right' pieces that will do the job, carefully keeping in mind my dream.

"Identity in the form of continuity of personality is an extremely important characteristic of the individual." - Kenneth L. Pike


  1. Good Post.
    Its easy to look at others work and admire it and even have it influence your own work..I wonder if that is good or bad. But for sure we are ever changing ourselves so should you strive for continuity, or perhaps your own story is evolving so you are seeing a "mixed message". In the past when I made dolls they took on a life of their own, but I think what I would make today would be far different than what I made then.

    I'd be interested to know what the mixed message was.

    Your dolls ARE simple yet complex, unique and definitely tell their story well.
    xx, Carol

  2. It's important to be true to your vision, so take your time...!

  3. This strikes me as a tactile form of any draft or preliminary sketching that a writer or painter might do, and just as important to the creative process. But it's easier for your preliminary ideas to be lost when you tidy away, whereas when I write, my initial drafts, fragments and ideas, once written, still exist physically and often I return to them, sometimes years later, when the idea is ready to take shape as something else. Perhaps you could record your ideas somehow, through scraps in a sketch book or photographically in case they are foreshadowing something in your creative future?

  4. I love the selection process too...

    ...the looking through the various drawers and piles of fabrics...

    ...or the playing with dyes to get exactly the right shade/colour.

    It IS part of the designing, but feels just like "fun" ! :-)))

    x C

  5. The longer comment above suggests something I know you already do, record everything! You are the most insightful artist I know. I tend to just go at it with very little thought, improvisationally. You are inspiring!



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