I finally ran out of reasons to not try making my first doll! This is Pearl. Pearl came to life when an artist friend of mine announced a contest revolving around a drawing she'd done. The rules were simple: keep the original elements of the drawing and have fun! I couldn't resist the temptation. Twenty people entered and five prizes were awarded last night. The results, including all of the wonderful entries, can be found here. And the other entries are worth ogling. They are all fantastic!
I had little less than a month to come up with concept sketches and put her together. Originally she was suppose to be pulling a wagon with her two stuffed toys in it.
I wasn't able to finish the wagon in time for the contest deadline, but the most time consuming portion got done. Now I just need to paint the wheels and build the axle assemblies and handle.
Yes. I lost my mind and designed a wicker wagon! The wheels are O gauge circus wagon wheels. I thought they were pretty and just the right size. I haven't decided on the final paint colors yet, but that is a project for later next week.
Her plush toys are the original characters in the contest drawing and are entirely polymer clay. The stuffed kitty came out sort of teddy bear shaped, but that's ok. His eyes were sculpted to be buttons.
The sentient flying marshmallow character (yes, you did read that correctly) also has a button face. I wanted to emphasize the plushness of the wings to be like the wings on stuffed toys I had as a child.
The same marshmallow character is painted on the balloon. Since the original kitty in the drawing was holding the marshmallow on a string, the idea of the balloon was born.
The balloon was a bit of a challenge. If I had to change one thing about anything I did for this doll, it would be the balloon. It's solid clay, and therefore heavy. I should have made a ball of foil and covered it in clay instead. I do have some of that blue color left, so I may go back and remake it.
Now for details on Pearl! She's a little anthropomorphic kitty girl who is about 7 or 8 years old, based on her height. Her armature is pipe cleaner and she's padded in scraps of quilt batting. - Handy that I have that laying around! - Both of her hands wear sculpted to grip specific objects. Balloon in the left; wagon handle in the right.
Her body has been flocked (it's fuzzy) with flocking I cut myself from DMC Blanc embroidery floss.
She's sporting jaunty silk ribbons on her tail and behind her ear.
Her claws (sheathed) are "painted" to match her outfit. I used micro no-hole beads for the tips of her nails. Their color bled a bit in the oven, but I was able to hide that with flocking.
The details of her face were painted prior to adding her fur.
Her clothes are made from a current line of Moda quilt cotton and some blenders I found at the quilt shop. She's wearing pantaloons because, well, you know people always turn them upside down!
As for her name, I thought it was fitting to name her after my late friend, Pearl Jordan, who I had the pleasure of knowing through our miniature club but I didn't know long enough. She'd encouraged me to start trying dolls years ago after she saw some of my other clay minis. I wish she was here to see what I've come up with.