January 23, 2008

Rayssea in Art Doll Quarterly

YEP, you heard it first HERE!  My Rayssea doll will have her own Show and Tell page in a future issue of Art Doll Quarterly -- how exciting is that?!  Staci Dumoski, managing editor of the aforementioned magazine, approached to ask if she could borrow her for photography!  I'm beside myself with JOY.  I ran out to the parking lot to call Tien, but (dang it) his cell phone was off.

I went to Cloth Doll Heaven or, as they called it, a very special class named The Cosmic Queens Do Faces, with six of the very best doll makers sharing their know-how.  They each lectured for a bit, we had student show/tell, stopped for lunch, then broke into small groups for 30 precious mins with each teacher.  We left with instruction sheets and patterns from each teacher, plus new knowledge to take back to our studios.  Click on my photos to examine details.

elinor peace bailey (left) is Queen of All Dollmakers (to me) and absolutely one of my heroes.  Here she is with some of her dolls.  elinor is an opinionated feminist who asks deeply thoughtful questions and makes her students think too.  I just wanted to absorb her.  She gave me valuable advice on my work and secured it with a big loving hug that showed she meant it.  Barbara Chapman (right) is another hero of mine.  By taking her Fun Little Fairies class in Winter 2006 I was able to release unnecessary stitch-pickiness to allow creativity to flow more easily.  I couldn't believe my good luck to photo them side-by-side.  Aren't they fabulous?

This is a doll by Betts Vidal.  This was my first intro to her work and, wow, is she ever good.  She doesn't like stitching to show on the outside of her dolls, so everything is finished really well.

Betts's faces are exquisite and she shared her secrets with us.  The delicate eyelashes emphasize her feminine forms.  Look at those eyes and that gorgeous chin!

Barbara Willis is new to me too, although I'd heard of her and her famous stuffing fork (every cloth dollmaker has one of these).  Now I know what her dolls are like too -- just wonderful.

This is a soft portrait of a lady by Barbara.  I loved all the details:  buttons, beads, stamped image, hand-dyed ribbons and trim, machine stitching, lace and silk leaves.

Last but not least is a gathering of Patti Medaris Culea's dolls.  I have one of her excellent teaching guides, but there's nothing like having the master hold my hand through an exercise in drawing faces, because hers are superb.  I adore this lady - she's warm and lovely, and really cute to boot.

Li Hertzi and Sally Lampi were also there.  Sally taught me soft sculpture at New Pieces quilt shop in Berkeley about ten years ago, but arthritis has changed her path.  She shared mould-making from soft sculpture, as well as 3-dimensional paper dolls made of wire, white glue and newspaper - I gotta try it.  Incidentally, this woman is hilariously funny.

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