Friday, March 2, 2012

Mary Margaret Fitzgerald with her opossum Percival are off to California

Mary Margaret is the first of a series of Victorian Gothic dolls that I have in the works.  She was created as a part of a fun group that I'm in at the Jane DesRosier's Cloth & Clay .ning site and is planned for Art Doll Quarterly's shelf-sitter challenge (okay, I know she's not actually sitting in this pic...but she's jointed and can do it).   In the past, I've generally done figurative sculpture that is more anatomically proportionate -- making careful measurements to make sure that hands, feet, limbs, and torso length/width are balanced in scale.  But, as a fan of the Tim Burton movies, I've always been drawn to the big head/big eyes on a skinny little torso (think Corpse Bride - love that one!).  SO, here she is...a complete departure.

Standing just a bit over 11" tall; Mary Margaret's head, shoulders, hands, and shoes are sculpted from Premix clay over a cloth body. Arms can be posed; legs are jointed at hip. Silk velvet overcoat with vintage tatting, trims, and mink. Her untamed, messy upsweep is of hand-dyed mohair. 

Ugh...the mohair.  I've dyed mohair, wool, and silk velvet before; but I guess I've never used the really BLACK black.  I had my latex gloves on through all the messy steps, but had taken them off after the mohair was rinsing clear.  I generally then shampoo the locks of mohair in order to replace the vinegar smell with something more fragrant.  Anyway, gloves now off, I went about shampooing and rinsing each lock of wavy mohair.  You might think that I would have noticed that my hands were turning purple earlier than I did...but no.  I think it was 3-4 days before my hands returned to normal color.  First day...sort of vivid purple.  Third day, health food store cashier thought I had circulatory problems.  Live and learn!