Friday, March 20, 2015

Recycling Doll Parts

After seeing a post about this artist: Tree Change Dolls, I got to thinking about all the doll parts I inherited from my sister, who worked in porcelain. I really like the idea of giving older dolls a new life, yet I had forgotten about the doll parts that never quite made it into whole dolls. While I have been working on prototypes that are all cloth, I have boxes and bins of heads, arms, legs, and other parts she made that can be used.

Since I do not work in fired clay and have no access to a kiln, I need to work out how to use the pieces. Some of them are fully fired. Some are only bisque fired, and some need repairs. It will probably take a while, but using them is a great way to re/upcycle the materials and pay tribute to my sister. It will also be a challenge, since they range in size from what she called "poppets," (about doll house size) to 20" or more.

I am considering different types of paints I might use, the addition of materials like cloth or Paperclay, or using some of them as molds. The possibilities seem exciting, and I am eager to dive into learning what is doable.

I would love to hear any suggestions you might have about how I can use them.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Artist's Voice

A couple of my friends recently moved, downsizing in the process, which reminded me of my need to declutter and reduce my possessions. My hope is that, when my husband retires, we will be able to downsize, too, but right now we have too much stuff for a smaller house. In light of that, I was intrigued by a method I saw demonstrated recently and the book written by its inventor: Marie Kondo: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While I don't agree with some of her recommendations, I do believe her method of sorting through one's possessions warrants a try. So, I borrowed her book from the library and plan to attempt the process. (Thankfully, she states that doing it "quickly means about half a year.")

As part of my work on getting ready to set up a shop, I have also been thinking about what success looks like to me. I finally came to the conclusion that it encompasses three things: creativity, a flexible schedule, and supplemental income. Since I have health issues that are exacerbated by stress, it is crucial that I maintain a calm atmosphere and not try to do too much. To that end, I realized that I need to limit my work on the business to part-time. While that means I cannot do as much, it also means I have time to explore other interests and be available to my family as needed. (For example, I am also doing research for a book I want to write.)

I also recently purchased a copy of The Worldwide History of Dress as a reference book for clothing styles throughout the world. While it does not have quite as many examples of contemporary clothing as I had hoped, it gives details about many cultures that I know little to nothing about. For that reason, it is probably even more critical to my work, since I want my artwork to incorporate a global vision. Incorporating that vision is part of my artistic voice. Leni Levinson Wiener had an insightful post on this week about the artist's voice and how to find it. Though I have been creating for a lot of years, I have only just begun that work. 

What I do know is that I want to highlight the similarities between people around the world and my belief that we need to think more about how our actions impact everything on this planet we call home. That is part of the reason I want to downsize. I believe we use more of the planet's resources than is healthy for the planet and that people in many other countries aren't able to use enough, both for their own comfort and the health of the planet. It is also part of the reason I am a proponent of simple living.

I am looking forward to enjoying the simple pleasures of spring.

I wish you simple pleasures.