Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feb. 2012, part 3 - A Japanese gofun doll, new stuff, and fame.

We got to see two lovely old dolls at our February meeting!  The dolls' owner sent them to the club in order to find out more about them.  She was in great luck, as our resident museum curator Mary Jane just happened to be in attendance.
Two lovely old dolls
Both dolls are old enough to be considered 'vintage'.   The Mexican doll on the left was most likely made sometime in 1940's or 1950's, possibly for the tourist trade.  Check out the sequined eagle on her skirt above!
 vintage Mexican doll
The Mexican doll was lightweight and made of thin material.  Her painted face is still very sweet.

The next doll was amazing.  We would all have loved to take it home.  Mary Jane told us that it was a Japanese doll from the 1930's.  The doll is carved of wood with a cloth body, and the face and hands are covered in 'gofun', which is ground oyster shell that is mixed with glue.
Japanese gofun doll of the 1930s
I did some research, and found out later that it is a yamato-ningyo doll, which is a child spirit doll popular in Japan from the early 1900s.   The doll would have been sold unclothed, and the clothing made for it at home.  This doll's costume has been damaged, and the arms aren't attached, but the face is still beautiful.  My picture cannot capture the delicacy of the expression, or the purity of the oyster-shell finish.  The weight of the doll and the richness of the silk costume made this a very tactile doll, delightful to hold.

 I wonder if this child doll once wore sandals?

Here are two more links about the gofun process:
Shimakyu: The face made by Tohso-Gofun-Gihou
Nihonga Notes: Gofun (oyster shell white)

Some other great stuff from February's meeting:
Martha is one step closer to fame -- she brought a copy of her magazine cover debut.  Congratulations!  INto Art is a local Brown County, Indiana quarterly that covers fine arts and crafts.  Martha is an artist at a Nashville gallery.

New member Jenny E. brought an art pillow.  Jenny's style is a little different for our club, which is exciting; it will be fun for us all to work together and see what ideas we borrow from one another.
Finally, new member Rebecca fashioned a stylish chapeau with some of her finds from the 'studio overflow' that another member brought to share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feb. 2012, part 2 - Julie's doll

February's meeting continued...
The next item up for Show & Tell was Julie G.'s new friend.  Meet Rockin' Roxanne, who was given to Julie at Christmas of 2010, well-disguised as a pile of fabric and a pattern.
Roxanne pattern by Patti Culea
There's a lot to see in this doll, so we'll zoom in for a look at some details:
her face

her guitar

her funky boots

from the back

a close-up of the back of her vest

Congratulations to Julie G. for finishing such a great doll!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feb. 2012, part 1 - An original design and 4 beaded necklaces

This month's meeting was packed full of visual inspiration!  We had 18 people attending, including 2 new members and 2 first-time visitors.  We'll start show and tell with a set of brand-new original dolls.  This adorable design is a new creation from Leslie Wright.
Three of the 'Wazinkies' by Leslie Wright
Each doll has her own face and unique patterns, hand-drawn with gel pen and colored with pencils.
Back of a Wazinkie doll
Next Sandy showed us the little project she has been working on -- an outstanding collection of beaded necklaces.  Sandy is sending them all as a gift to her daughter, who is working overseas.

Purple and green beaded beads
You had to see them to believe them, but please click on the picture to see close-up just how many seed beads went into this awesome necklace!

Pink collar with green shell discs
This one is nicely musical when you run your fingers over the shells.
Wide band of grey and black stripes
All of the necklaces were very tactile, and we had a great time passing them around the table and trying them on.
Multi-color beaded fringe
This was probably our favorite one to wear.  The weight sat very comfortably on your collarbones, and the fringe was very soft and smooth.

Stay tuned for part two of the meeting...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A wide variety of show and tell

We had a visitor to our first meeting of the year -- Jenny works with Martha and, it turns out, she makes dolls too!  For show and tell, she brought a doll that she made in a class with Akira Blount, as well as decorative dolls she has made for sale.  Check out the delicate pencil-work used in her Akira doll's face.  We all hope we see Jenny again at future meetings!

Our next show and tell was a delightful Kewpie doll, all made of felt and currently in her 'all-together'.  Ann R. made her from a McCall's pattern (McCall's Craft 2995, available on ebay) which includes some adorable dresses, so I think we'll see her again, ready for company.
The next item up is not a doll at all, but a portable sewing kit.  It all fits into an eye-glass case, and was made by Andrea as a Christmas present her daughter.  This particular case is (just barely!) big enough to hold a pair of Fiskars 5" microtip scissors, which lay across the thread, the Altoids box holding buttons and snaps, and the pin cushion.
The last item started life as one of those crazy-cheap sinamay hats you can find for 29-cents at the craft store.  It has been used as a base for the lovely pink fabric that covers it.  The doll who wears it was a round-robin doll a few years ago, so I have no idea who created this accessory, but Leslie is the lucky owner now.
This picture is slightly larger than life-sized, so you can imagine how much care and skill went into those tiny, neat stitches.
Now we all have to work on our homework for the upcoming Leslie Molen class in early March!