I have a new fascination with art dolls.
Especially the small dolls that can fit into the palm our your
hands. My first introduction to art dolls was in an art
trading group. We exchanged "Dottie Dolls". Since then I have
been reading art doll books trying to learn new techniques.
My friend Mary Jane Burton
emailed me and said that they could also be considered to be
"amulet" or "talisman" dolls. (If you Google amulet dolls or
talisman dolls you can see lots of examples) Mary Jane said, "In the
spirit of good will that the "pizzazz" group embodies, spirit dolls
fit right in with how we are bonding. "
Spirit doll I made in the workshop
Painting spirit doll made from a recycled
paint brush. She is all purple fabrics and fibers and is
beaded with sequins.
How to make spirit dolls
Some things to consider before making your
spirit doll. I like really textured looking dimensional dolls,
so I add lots of layers of fabrics, netting, fibers- but that's up
to you how you want your doll to look.
Do you want your doll to have a theme? Is she
all one color? Is she a scrap doll? Is she a woodland doll, mermaid
Looking to make a muse? Are you "stuck" in
your creative process. For example I want to do more fabric paining
so I made a doll who's body was a recycled paint brush and I wrote a
message that was wrapped around the dolls body before the padding
Did you finish a big quilt or project? Make a
doll from the scraps to go with the art quilt. This would be a
really cool package topper if the quilt is a gift. You could
put the doll attached to the quilt box.
Is your doll abstract or does it have a face?
Think about what is the "spirit" for your doll. This
doll I am making is a creative writing doll so her body is a
recycled mechanical pencil. You can use sticks from
your yard, skewers, recycled paint brushes. Anything
that is the length you want and is a sturdy base.
Step Two: How to make a
spirit doll body- Wrap the body with either strips of
leftover batting (if you have the fusible kind it's perfect,
just a little sticky) or fiber fill. Keep in mind
where the head or any other parts you might want to be
Step Three: Wrap the entire body
(you can see that the doll's hips are wider) and pin to hold
Step Four: wrap a fabric scrap
around the body. I like to use three thin strips so
you can see each fabric but it is totally up to you. I like
the textured look.
Step Five: Continue wrapping
strips until no more padding shows.
Step six: Doll completely wrapped
Step Seven: Once your doll is
wrapped with fabric strips, wrap the doll with a strand of
heavier textured yarn. If you want hair or a tail, be
sure to leave some yarn coming off one end.
Step Eight: Wrap the doll body
with a decorative strand of fiber or yarn for texture.
Step Nine: Wrap the dolls body
with netting. This doll was wrapped with light blue.
I was careful not to let my netting overlap too much, as I
wanted her to have a very translucent fluid look. Her
destiny is to be a water spirit doll.
Wrap the dolls body that is covered in
the netting with a pretty frilly or very textured fiber.
Wrap the dolls body with a sparkly or
eye-catching fiber. I wrap in different directions
with each fiber so they are not all built up in one
direction or place on the doll.
If you want extra fibers hanging of the
bottom or for hair- add the extra fibers now. I just
choose ones that I liked and tied them across the doll
making sure to catch the other fibers that were on the doll
already and tied in a knot.
Doll base is complete. Decide if you want
the doll to have hanging fibers or if the fibers will be the
hair. That will determine which end you want to add
the face. Now you can add embellishments or leave her
plain its all up to you!
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