September, my first Paperclay art doll, is really coming together!
September is the first Paperclay art doll that I’ve created, and I’ve learned so much throughout the process of making her. I had a lot of fun while sculpting and painting her, but it wasn’t until I put her together that she actually started to look like a doll to me.
September’s body is handstitched from heavy wool felt. I glued her Paperclay head and shoulders onto her body, and her Paperclay upper limbs are jointed to her body using buttons. The joints in her limbs are also jointed with buttons, and have elastic strung through them to allow them to move.
I learned how to make a doll wig just for September.
September’s hair is made from a mohair wig that I taught myself to create just for her. September is based on the main character of Cathrynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels, a stubborn little daydreamer from the 1930’s whose father is an army doctor and whose mother is an airplane mechanic, who stumbles into Fairyland with the help of the Green Wind. In Ana Jaun’s wonderful illustrations for the novels, September has lots of long, twining curls that have a mind of their own. To give my September this same effect, I didn’t comb out and process the mohair to the point I usually do for my other art dolls, leaving parts of it curly and tangled.
Taking pointers from some fellow dollmakers, I used the toe of a sock to create September’s wig cap, sewing the mohair to the sock (a much longer and more labor-intensive process than I expected), and then gluing it down afterwards to cover September’s whole head. It was my first time making a wig this way, and I love how realistic it looks! In Ana Jaun’s illustrations, September always has this one little ponytail sticking up from the top of her head, so I had to give my September a ribbon in front.
Next, I’ll be making September’s clothing.
So far, September’s only clothes are a pair of bloomers made from tea-stained linen. I love tea-staining fabric because of the wonderful smell it gives the fabric, and I think it matches the feeling of an antique doll that I wanted to give September. Eventually, September will wear a faint orange dress (orange is her favorite color), the Green Wind’s elaborate coat, and a pair of fairy boots. Keep an eye out for future posts when September is truly finished!