Over the past year I've been dedicating more time to develop my art dolls. I started in 2012 with "Yooni". He was made with polymer clay, painted with acrylic paint and a hand sewn soft body made of faux fur and stuffed with polyfill.
I then experimented with sculptures made just with polymer clay and acrylic paint. I found the polymer clay fun but a bit frustrating to to work with. I invested in a decent and recommended toaster oven to bake the sculptures. The oven burned a few of my pieces. After spending hours on a piece, I don't want it to be burned! I was limited to creating pieces that would fit in the toaster oven. I also, don't care much for the plastic look of the polymer, for my creations.
During the polymer trials, I rediscovered needle felting . At first I was combining it with the polymer, using the clay for heads, hands and feet. The bodies and limbs being made with needle felting over a wire armature, to make them posable. I got really excited with how they were turning out and made my first batch available to the public at a small installation art show I displayed at The Loaded Brush in December of 2014.
I realized that I wanted these creatures to have a background and some sort of shelf to sit on or to be able to "fly" in front of. They would be like a doorway to the realm of my imagination. A portal to another dimension that a person could have in their home. I also discovered paper clay, an air drying clay that requires no baking. I love the texture and finish of it. It's super easy to work with and more natural for me, as far as how it feels in my hands while smoothing and sculpting. It's super strong and takes paint really well.
Once I got my vision for these guys pretty well dialed in, I started working on making sure they are technically sound. Making sure hands and feet are firmly attached, paint doesn't scratch of, quality control type of stuff. These guys are quite the project from wire armature to finished creature all set up with it's own background scene. So, it may be a bit longer before they are ready for display but I do intend to create another installation where these guys can be viewed up close and personal. In the meantime, I'm also working on a handful of mini-creatures! They will be available in my Etsy shop for purchase soon!