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!
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.
I have been on a quest lately to try out stronger, weatherproof materials that I will be able to handle without using special equipment. In this round, I have been playing with cement and mixing it in a metal pot. I put a thin coat over a clay figure that I created for the sake of experimenting. I like the rough texture of it, but I would like to be able to smooth it out a bit more than I already tried to do here. My next material will be stucco as I have been reading good things about it and how it’s a bit easier to work with.
I was off to what I thought would have been a slow time for me and I honestly was looking forward to taking a break, so I decided to stop applying to open calls and learn how to enjoy life and the fresh air. I Instead found myself juggling a Maker Faire workshop that I was asked to conduct at Barnes and Noble on the 7th of November, a group show at The House of Visual on the 13th, a commission that needs to be done by October 30th for a recording artist, an ongoing redesign project that I’m working on for the National Domestic Workers Organization and I still need to make my damn costume for Halloween! I’m very excited by all of this but this is ruining my plan to sleep more lol!
I was asked by the Community Business Manager of Barnes & Nobles who I met through a friend to participate in the mini Maker Faire workshop. I knew that he was a fan of my work but apparently his whole branch is as well, I’m looking forward to being at the event but I just wish I had more time to prepare for it. To make life a bit easier for myself, I’m going to rehash a workshop that I’ve done where I demonstrate how to start building a doll from scratch. I really need to finesse it since Margaret Honey who is the President of the NY Hall of Science is going to be there, so I better not screw it up!
The idea of the show at The House of Visual has been kicked around a few times by me, Cisco and Robert who are the founders of HOV previously, but we’ve yet to plan on a date. Since they are now mentoring a new artist who also makes dolls, it was the perfect time to have it. Thankfully with this show I will be able to bring work that I already have on hand and not create anything new.
The commission that I am working on is for an artist named Billy Black. He found me on Instagram through one of his friends and contacted me since he and his girlfriend loves dolls. I am currently making a doll of him so that he can present it on stage at his show on October 30th in Philly. I’m hoping on a bus to see the show and come back in the morning just in time for Halloween. Hopefully my costume will be past the initial sketch stage that I am in now… Can you tell who it is? I’m definitely an 80’s baby lol!
Well I have finally committed to adding new pieces to my Etsy shop each and every week. I have a good amount of work that is laying around for me to have a solo show and then some, it’s time for these babies to go! I now have 15 original one of a kind pieces up for grabs and more is on the way. Along with these new pieces, I have come up with a good way to create original stories for each one of them. I use a plot generator, all I need to do is pop in a few words to describe the characters and like magic, a wild and absurd story line is generated. I know it’s cheating, but I love seeing what this thing comes up with, the results are so crazy at times! Writing stories was another thing that held me back from listing my items, I wanted to hand craft each story to perfection which would result in me writing and editing drafts over and over again for each piece. As an extremely wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time fo that”!
Here’s a few pics from Me and Ignacio’s latest Installation “Melanchromatic”. It was part of boom! theater’s monthly salon show that showcased poets, comedians and boom!’s very first screening of Puzzle People which is a weekly series about two friends who love puzzles more than people. It was an amazing night!
I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store. I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!
I am still hastily preparing for the Bronx Little Italy Art Show. I want to try to focus on more affordable pieces so that everyone could have a little Melandolly of their own. It’s at that point where I’m beginning to feel the crunch, I have about 2 1/2 weeks to try and crank all these little ones out. Wish me luck!
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!