Friday, August 12, 2011


I have been working on two art dolls with polymer clay faces.  The first of these dolls that I have completed is titled, ‘ Strength.’  I tried to approach the theme on many levels.  Her torso is hand printed Kona cotton, from my gelatin printing session.  I have embroidered the rune, strength, on her abdomen and have sewn garnet and agate beads, historically aligned with physical strength along the base of the torso.  I speculate that garnet and agate were symbolic for physical strength based on their likeness to blood and bone.  Her limbs are created from a stick pruned from one of the trees here.  I used the tree to represent the rooted quality and flexibility of a tree despite strong winds and rains.  The stick also doubles for her backbone.  A strong backbone is crucial for any character of strength.  I used a beaded fringe around her lower leg with green hearts for growth, love and compassion; all additional ingredients for strength. 

The figure’s face and feet are sculpted of rose colored clay and painted with opaque and translucent acrylic paints.  Her eyes and lips were then painted with high gloss varnish.  I felt the feet were a very important feature, not only to serve as a base for the doll to stand by but also as an expression of strength.  Feet are muscular, they connect directly to the earth and move us through life.  Feet do a lot of work and so are very representational of strength to me.  Strength’s hair is handspun wool that I picked up in Virginia at a fiber shop that is sadly now out of business. 

I really enjoyed creating this figure.  She is much more abstract than most of my art dolls. 

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