Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great weekend! This week’s post for Creative Paperclay’s blog tutorial series was inspired by the upcoming election. I wanted to create something that would hopefully inspire people to go out and vote instead of get ready for Thanksgiving dinner. The piece that I made is a combination of a donkey and an elephant to represent both the Democratic and Republican parties. See how I made this creature here! Hope you all go out and vote this upcoming election day Tuesday November 6th!
I have been pretty busy with summer and squeezing some projects in between. Here is my latest tutorial that I put together on Creative Paperclay®’s site on how to create a paperweight. I hope it inspires you to make your own, if so, please email me your creations if you would like for me to feature them here!
Hello everyone! Here is the second in the series of my monthly blog tutorials! Head on over to Creative Paperclay®’s blog to see how this piece was made, or click here for the direct link to the tutorial!
I am now part of the design team for Creative Paperclay®, so I will be posting tutorials on their blog on the 4th Friday of each month! My first post for their blog series demonstrates how I created this Art doll in a frame. Head on over to their blog to see how it was all put together!
This piece is something that has been on my list to create for a while, but I finally decided to put it in motion when I saw the open call for the “Where We Are” show at the Puffin Foundation in Teaneck NJ. I’ve been wanting to submit some work to them, but I haven’t had anything on topic with their shows since they are usually very political in nature. This piece called “Career Goals” is about the glass ceiling that women of color encounter when trying to advance in their careers. Working in the corporate sector, I’ve had the pleasure of picking up more job responsibilities without the proper title or a pay increase, and years after leaving a position, I learned that I was making $6,000 less annually than my male counterpart in the same title as me. This piece hits home in so many ways for me and I’m glad that I was able to figure out how to put it together. The busts and the men are made out of paper clay, and lambswool was used for the hair. With the men on top of the “glass”, there is a smaller one facing the opposite direction of the group, he represents the few minority males who get to climb the corporate ladder, but often work in isolation. I plan to make more pieces that explore these type of topics that affect people of color.
So here’s an update on this piece. He was originally going to be a commission for another artist, but that fell through by the time I was just about done with him. I decided to finish working on this piece since I don’t have too many male dolls under my belt. The biggest challenge for me with working on guy dolls is the styling, there’s very little room to hide imperfections. The clothing such as pants and shirts have to be pretty much tailored to fit, unlike a dress that can be loosely wrapped around and sewn in place. Another thing that I don’t bother too much with is the ears or the head shape. Most of the time I just put hair on my pieces, so getting the shape of the back of the head to be perfect and creating ears isn’t usually a concern for me. I am also terrible at sewing, so I find the notion of making pants extremely intimidating. With this piece I had to just face my fears, whip out the sewing machine, figure out how to thread it without help from mom, put my big girl pants on and get the job done. I must say that I love the way he came out, I need to get more practice in with creating more MALEndollies!
For those who haven’t seen this piece named “Women’s Troubles” in its entirety on Facebook, Instagram etc., here it is completed. As I may have mentioned before, this piece explores the problems that women face in the workplace and at home. At work, women face issues such as being overlooked for promotions, unequal pay and sexual harassment, while at home they are to assumed to take on all of the domestic duties. Our roles have changed drastically but society still views us as being less than that of our male counterparts, making it very difficult for us to succeed in the workplace.
With this last piece that I’ve worked on for Innuendos, I found myself sculpting a couple of things for the first time. The most challenging out of them all were the eight arms hands down (no pun intended!), but the most unusual out of my first time items were the feet. I never bother too much with sculpting feet on my dolls because I am very anxious to get to all of the other mundane tasks of doll making such as sanding, picking out fabric, the dreadful sewing, hair gluing, etc. I usually just paint some simple shoes on like a ballerina slipper or a sock and get on with it. It came natural to me to create them, I just found it unnecessary to focus on them for my characters, just like ears. (There’s only one Melandolly that I’ve created with ears lol!). This time I felt the need to have actual feet. I wanted to have one foot bare with toes and everything and the other in a high heel. The bare foot is on the domestic housewife side of the piece while the heel is on the career woman half of it. I wanted to play up the “barefoot in the kitchen” phrase and also create the ideal vision of a business woman in heels.
Want to see more? Come see the finished piece at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452 from March 6th through April 1st!
The opening is this Friday from 5:30-9:30pm, hope to see you there!
I have to say that the Northside Festival was my most challenging event by far! The Artist Chain Reaction at The Andrew Freedman home was pretty tough being that it was my first time creating a sculpture of almost 4 feet tall, but this time I had to create a few more in less than three weeks for an outdoor event.
One of my biggest challenges was to figure out the best way to build a standing base for my work that was able to withstand wind and the crowds. I’ve never built anything to handle being outside in the elements, so this would be another first for me. I originally thought that wood would work but I needed it to be heavy so that the sculptures wouldn’t tip over from heavy wind or people interacting with them. I immediately thought I should use wooden pallets but realized that they wouldn’t be practical since I didn’t have a car to transport them. I took a few trips to Home Depot to see what I could find instead. I was lucky enough to find 2’x2′ flat wood panels that had the right amount of weight and was easy to load onto a small hand truck. I also found wooden posts there to drill into the panels to create a standing base.
The other thing that I had to worry about was the weather, it rained everyday that week and being that it was a rain or shine event, I still had to deliver. I struggled with the idea of what to do if it rained. I brought some Rain Guard protective coating to water proof the pieces but that wouldn’t do anything to protect the clothing and the hair that I use on my work. I wasn’t sure if there would be a reaction with the coating and the clay that I use so I decided to go without it. I brought clear recycling bags and hoped that I didn’t have to tacky up my work and use them.
The day of the Northside Festival turned out to be just beautiful! It was the first nice, sunny and warm day that we had in over a week and everyone was out to enjoy it. All of the things that I worried about like the base, if I was going to finish my pieces in time, and the weather panned out just fine. None of my pieces fell over and everyone seemed to be enjoying and interacting with my work. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside that day!
The Artist Chain Reaction competition was an event where two artists who never worked together before were paired up to create an installation over the course of 5 days. It took place at the lovely Andrew Freedman Home on the Grand Councorse in the Bronx during Armory Week.
I initially saw the open call for this competition about a few weeks beforehand and thought to myself that I would be in over my head if I participated in it. At the time I was working in small scale roughly under 18 inches, so I couldn’t even begin to imagine how my work would translate into anything larger. After reading the open call, I immediately closed the web page and looked for another call that I would be better suited for. A few days later a funny thing happened, I received the open call in my inbox from Jeanine Alferi. At this point I figured this was a sign that I should at least submit my work, so I grabbed the biggest piece that I had at the time, took some great shots of it and wished for the best. About a few days later I received an email from Jeanine notifying me that I was chosen to participate. I thought “Wow, how awesome is this, I’m so excited. … wait how the hell am I going to pull this off?”
I panicked but quickly began to strategize and it immediately came to me that I needed to use chicken wire and paper mache. I worked with chicken wire for a whole semester in college building project after project with it because of its strength and flexibility. The idea of using paper mache to bulk up the frame was great because it cuts down on the amount of clay that I’d have to use, making it a quicker drying, lightweight and cost efficient sculpture.
After I figured out how to handle creating the body I had to tackle the one thing that I have been avoiding all my life, the sewing machine. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my on going battle that I’ve had with using a sewing machine. I can’t thread them for my life, I usually get my mom to do it for me but she was in the far away land called Brooklyn. I’ve had a few lucky tries in the past where I’d get a few pieces done only to see it snag the material of another piece. This time I was determined and I knew that I didn’t have time to play around, I had to get this done. After taking a good look at the machine to figure out my plan of attack it began to dawn on me. I needed to run the thread through the tension discs in order for the stitch to be tight. This was something I knew but never seemed to master. I went on to YouTube to see exactly how the thread should be ran through it and vuala, that solved everything. I called my mom to tell her I did it all by myself this time :).
After getting the outfit sewn, everything else began to fall into place. I put the hair on which was a wig that I had laying around and I was able to make her stand by manipulating the chicken wire underneath her dress. I made her into a half tree half person. The story behind it came from a recent experience that my partner in the competition had went through. She was recently evicted from her home in the Bronx and she had to move to Brooklyn with her family. She said that every thing that she ever knew and was familiar to her was in the Bronx. So I decided to represent her by making a tree with the roots exposed to show how she was uprooted from her home and surroundings.
Overall it was a wonderful experience and it challenged me to take my work to another level. I just wish that I had more space at home to continue working in this size:)