Introducing Tinkerbell

I’ve been holding onto my Peter Pan and Tinkerbell dolls for a while now, but I think it’s finally time to introduce them to the world! Making dolls inspired by Peter Pan has been a project that’s very close to my heart – I devoured this book almost weekly at a certain age – and one that I hadn’t wanted to undertake until I was sure that I could get them right. After many, many sketches, and a lot of practice with Paperclay, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were finally born.

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It was a girl called Tinkerbell, exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf…

Tinkerbell is made in the style of my jointed Paperclay miniature dolls, but at six inches tall is a little bit bigger. I wanted Tinkerbell to be pretty (she’s described as terribly vain!) while still retaining some of the rough, gnomish character of traditional English folktales about pixies and sprites. Tinkerbell is skinny with a pointed nose and chin, and her long feet and hands are proportionately very large for her body. She has windswept strawberry blonde mohair curls, and two large butterfly fairy wings.

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Tinkerbell wears an “exquisite” fairy gown of leaves and magic and mist. Fabric leaves cover a bodice and skirt of hand-dyed silk and sparkling tulle. Pearl seed bead “dew drops” form a line of tiny buttons on her bodice and are sprinkled over her skirt. A belt of golden thread and red berries pulls her dress together.

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Both Tinkerbell and Peter Pan will be available in my Etsy shop on Tuesday the 16th, but feel free to reach out with any questions about reserve, layaway, and pricing.

Magical Miniatures now in my Etsy Shop!

I’ve been playing with these little one inch scale fantasy miniatures for quite some time now, and have finally decided to list some of them in my shop! I can just imagine them as part of a wizard’s library or a witch’s secret cottage.

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Included in the set I’m selling are a magical mirror made from a hand mirror and a vintage unicorn brooch, a little gazing ball made from a clear glass marble and a gold button, two little weathered paper envelopes, one filled with glitter “fairy dust,” two glass vials, one containing “dreams” (white feathers) and the other “desire” (sparkling red thread), a tiny wishbone on red thread, and two miniature parchment maps painted with watercolors and gilt.

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glass vials
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tiny envelopes
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“A Map of the Outer Continents”
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“Greater Fairyland”

I had so much fun using my watercolors and pens to create the tiny paper objects and little tags and labels, and I’m really excited to finally share some of these! If you’re interested in taking them home, they are available in my Etsy shop here.

Flora and Fauna are Finished!

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Putting the final touches on Flora and Fauna

This past week I added the final touches to Flora and Fauna, my first all-Paperclay art dolls. These sisters were so much fun to make, and I learned a lot through sculpting them that will help me with future dolls!

Flora and Fauna are sisters born from the forest. Flora loves the forest best in the spring, when she can gather wildflowers and herbs beneath the green boughs, while Fauna haunts the misty winter paths, listening to the secrets of the trees and the hush of the snow.

Each doll is about 14 inches tall and jointed at the shoulders and hips. They both come with a removable cloak and a tiny basket of treasures.

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Flora

 

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Fauna

Flora has loose, wild brown curls and wears a miniature flower crown. Her Victorian-inspired dress is hand-stitched from materials including tea-stained linen, warm beige silk lace, green satin and velvet ribbon, and wooden buttons. Her removable plaid cloak is lined with moss green silk and hand-embroidered with tiny vines and purple flowers. The embroidery took me much longer than expected – it required several layers of thread for the vines and flowers to stand out from the plaid background. Flora also wears two tall leather boots, green wool socks, and a tiny key charm on a black ribbon.

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Flora in her flower crown
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Flora’s dress and shoes
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Flora’s hand-embroidered cloak
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Flora’s accessories

Flora carries her little wicker basket to store the items she collects from the forest floor. Inside are two miniature glass vials of moss and seeds, a bundle of herbs, moss, and a tiny hand-stitched napkin with a pattern of purple flowers.

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Flora’s miniature basket

Two little antlers, fuzzed with moss, peek from Fauna’s soft braids. Fauna’s dress was inspired by drawings of Rackham fairies, and is hand-stitched from moss green silk, green velvet ribbon, sparkling seed beads, and engraved metal buttons. Fauna’s warm woolen cloak has been tea stained to give it a weathered look, and is decorated with velvet ribbon and wooden toggle buttons. Underneath her thick gold underskirt, Fauna wears two tiny, pointed, high-heeled leather and fur boots. These were the first boots I’ve ever made with heels!

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Fauna’s antlers

 

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Fauna’s dress
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Fauna in her winter cloak

A partridge charm is wrapped around Fauna’s wrist on gold thread. Her tiny basket contains a miniature hand-stitched napkin patterned with dancing hedgehogs, moss, and two little sculpted and painted bread loaves to feed her hungry forest friends.

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Fauna’s accessories 

Flora and Fauna are now available in my Etsy shop, here. Feel free to message me through WordPress or Etsy with any questions about price, availability, or layaway.

Progress on Flora and Fauna

This weekend I took advantage of the snowstorm we’ve had here in Brooklyn to make some progress on Flora and Fauna, my first fully sculpted art dolls.

I’ve sanded them down from the rough sculpts you can see here, and have moved on to painting and sealing! Painting is always my favorite part of doll making – it’s when the doll’s faces are complete that they really start to come alive for me.

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Flora and Fauna are painted in watercolors and then sealed to protect them. Once sanded and sealed, their light Paperclay bodies are surprisingly strong! For Flora, I went with peach and pink tones, while Fauna is painted in browns and yellows.

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Next I’ll move on to stringing them, and adding their wigs and clothing. Stay tuned for pictures of the finished dolls!

Flora and Fauna

I’ve been taking a short break from my Neverland project to work on something new – my first full-sized dolls made entirely of Paperclay! Though I’ve already been making Paperclay mini dolls and full-sized dolls with Paperclay heads and limbs, these are my first to have Paperclay bodies with jointed arm and leg sockets.

Flora and Fauna are sisters born from the forest. Flora, with her flower crown, is the happy summer child, while Fauna, with her antlers and heavy wool cloak, is a daughter of the winter.

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Flora and Fauna are still in that rough stage between sculpting and sanding, but I’m very pleased with how they’re turning out. Though I struggled at first with making their bodies and limbs thick enough to be proportionate, I’ve been building them up in layers and I think they’re finally fully filled out.

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After sanding and painting, I’ll work on stringing their bodies together. I’m still figuring out what I’m going to use to string them – for my mini dolls I use simple thread, but for these I’ll need something much stronger!

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When finished, each doll will wear tiny coordinating dresses, which I’ve been working on between sculpting while waiting for the Paperclay to dry, and will carry similar wicker baskets.

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Neverland Works in Progress – Captain Hook and Tinkerbell

“His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not, and of a profound melancholy, save when he was plunging his hook into you, at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly.”

Last month I blogged about my new project, a group of dolls based on Barrie’s characters from Peter Pan, and shared a first glimpse of my Peter doll. This month I want to show you some work in progress photos of my Tinkerbell and Hook!

WIP - Tinkerbell
WIP – Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell is “life size;” an all Paperclay doll just six inches high. Tinkerbell is described by Wendy as “lovely,” and yet I wanted to retain some of the rustic English impishness of the fairies and goblins of Victorian fairy tales. Tinkerbell has a sharp face, large feet, and knobby knees and elbows, but when she’s finished, she’ll also have beautiful butterfly wings and wear a long gossamer gown.

WIP - Jas. Hook
WIP – Jas. Hook

Hook was so much fun to design and sculpt! I’ve had an old vintage brass hook thrown in with my art supplies for a very long time, and when I decided to create characters based on Peter Pan, I knew I had finally found a use for it!

Hook’s head and hand are sculpted from Paperclay, and he has a handstitched jointed body. I wanted to give him a classic hooked nose and chin, leering smile, and hooded eyes, and had a lot of fun mixing the perfect shade of “forget-me-not blue” to paint his irises. Of course, I also couldn’t forget the red dot in each of his pupils!

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Hook’s hook

Hook looks quite a bit less dastardly before receiving his wig and mustache, which will be made from long black curls of mohair. When he’s finished, Hook will also wear a coat made of black velvet and red silk, and a large feathered hat.

Stay tuned for a first look at my Wendy doll, and to see all of the finished dolls!

A New Project: Neverland

All children, except one, grow up…

I’m very excited to announce that I have a new group of art dolls that I’m working on – the characters of Peter Pan! As I did with my Wonderland dolls, I’ll be photographing and releasing all of my Neverland dolls together, but couldn’t resist giving you a first peek at Peter!

WIP: Peter Pan
WIP: Peter Pan

This is a project that’s very close to my heart, and one that I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time. Along with Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan was one of the defining books of my childhood, one I still reread fairly often and which I can quote pieces of from memory. If I made a group of dolls from Neverland, I wanted to be sure I could do them right.

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Peter

Right now, I plan on making dolls for Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook, and Tinkerbell, though if I have time, I may make John, Micheal, and/or some lost boys as well. Each Neverland doll, like Peter, will have a head and possibly hands sculpted from Paperclay and a cloth body and limbs, except for tiny Tinkerbell, who will be all clay. I even have a tiny antique bronze hook that I can’t wait to use for Captain Hook!

Stay tuned for peeks at more dolls in progress, and for the final reveal!