Happy last rainy Friday in April everyone! Just posted this tutorial with Creative Paperclay to show you all how to make an umbrella with clay. The doll in the photo can be found in my etsy shop through the link in my bio. Enjoy your weekend and head on over to @creativepaperclay‘s blog to see how this umbrella was created at https://creativepaperclay.blogspot.com !
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.
A cement sculpture that I colored with red acrylic paint. I’ve read in places that there are pigment dyes to color cement with, but I found them to be a bit expensive. I’m not sure if the paint that I used will break down the structure of the cement down the line, but I know that it didn’t hinder the cement curing process. I later added a layer of Bondo car body filler to test out the texture and see how it would perform outdoors. Seems to be fine so far and I love how smooth this stuff sands down. I will be posting more photos of my research as I find out more information!
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.
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”!
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!
After about a year of planning, the Bronx Artist Documentary Project has finally made it’s debut at The Andrew Freedman Home this past Saturday September 13th. The project consisted of 30 photographers documenting 80 artists as they created artwork. I had the opportunity of being the only crossover artist to be on both sides of the lens. I was documented for a period of five sessions as I worked on various projects and I photographed three other artists while they worked in their studios. It was a great experience to meet other artists in the neighborhood and see how they began and ended their creative process. It was rather easy for me to document them, but I found it quite difficult for someone else to document me. I was very aware of the camera and tried to do everything in my power to make sure that my surroundings wouldn’t be as messy as they usually are. Overall, it was quite a bumpy ride but I think that we can all say that we’ve made a few new connections along the way 🙂
I had a wonderful time at my first Two-Person show in Soho! It was great to see my name in vinyl letters on the wall and I had plenty of friends show up to support me. I also got a chance to meet the wonderfully talented creator behind the whimsical AstoNuts stuffed creatures. His creations are massive and must be seen in person to fully appreciate them, I am a true fan! I hope to own on sometime soon! To see more of his work, head on over to his website: http://astronuts.exblog.jp/
I just came back from attending my first Niada conference. I have been checking out their work for few years, but I’ve never thought of actually going to a conference before. They are very particular with the kind of doll artists that they let join their group and since I like to work in a really unconventional style, I didn’t think that I would fit in. After working in the Bronx Artists Documentary Project, I actually met a member named Reina Mia Brill. She knew that I made dolls and she thought it would be a good idea if we both went down together. We had a blast! I really enjoyed myself because it was my first time being surrounded by so many doll artists and it was a great opportunity to actually see the work in person. The pieces were very impressive, it really inspired me to go home and start creating some new pieces. I have my hands tied at the moment and have to crank some work out for a different show. When I get done with my current pieces, I am going to have a field day!
This Saturday will be my first time showing at the Bronx Art Space which is located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. I dropped off a few pieces there yesterday and was able to get a peek at some of the other artwork that will be featured. It really blew my mind, there were so many wonderful and interesting pieces and most of them will be under $300. I am super excited to be a part of this show. I was surprised to see some of the names on the bill, I’m honored to be able to participate in the same show as them!