About six months ago I was in NFLD on business. Trying to save money we stayed at a friend’s house. She had a vast collection of books in her book case so while having breakfast each morning I would peruse her bookcase for something to read. I came across “Creative Cloth Doll Faces” by Patti Medaris Culea. I found the dolls to be very intriguing. So magical and expressive. An art form I had never seen before. As soon as I arrived back home. I immediately went to the book store to find a copy of this book. These dolls are created with fabrics and fibres and their faces painted with watercolours. I knew nothing about painting faces or even drawing a face. So next I picked up a sketch pad and some sketching pencils and watercolours. Unfortunately Indigo was sold out of Patti’s books but they had another there “ Doll Fashionistas” by Ellen Lumpkin Brown that looked pretty good and actually a little more simple than Patti’s creations. So I bought the book thinking it would be a good place to start.
I studied the book, cover to cover and began drawing faces. I felt I needed to be comfortable with that before ever attempting a doll. But I was completely sucked in and wanted to learn.
3 months, 2 full sketch pads and 2 dolls later I am ready to tackle a Patti Culea doll. I have managed to get a copy of that first book that got me hooked. My first doll turned pretty good I think. I named her Gwendolyn. You can tell I am a beginner at this but overall she turned out pretty good. Of course my 9 yr old wanted one too, so I made 2 at the same time. I thought why not, it will give me more practice. Sadly, I did not put as much care into little g’s doll as I did Gwendolyn. I learned a lot form making the first 2 dolls, hopefully that will be reflected in the quality of my next one. The pattern I used is much larger and rounder features. I plan to stick to the patterns for the first few but with time, I see myself finding my own style.
I started my 3rd doll on Dec 27th. So far I have logged 10 hrs, sewn all the body parts together, stuffed the body and half of one leg, ran out of stuffing and realized I need to get me some proper doll making tools. If it wasn’t for that storm outside ( it has shut everything down), I would’ve made a trip into Michael's and WalMart so I could keep working on her. Tomorrow, as soon as church is done, I heading into the city for supplies. I am excited to see her come to life.