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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lillian Alberti - AFIC Delightful Discovery

Princess and the Pea

I am constantly on the look out for Doll Artist that have something different to offer. As much as I would love to say I discovered Lillian, Lillian discovered me. She has stepped out of her great state of New York, she was ready to travel looking for work.  I was very interested in her work. It just happened that my doll club was also on the search for a spring teacher for 2010. I took her work to the club and The Guilded Lilies Doll Artist club gave me the okay to contact her for hire. We all gathered together and had a trunk show the night before the class. She sold several of the dolls and if it had not been the dreaded week of April 15, I believe she would have sold everything she brought. Her work has a unique look and fun play which makes it irresistible. Lillian plays off children’s stories then adds unexpected quirky surprises. Like this doll that sold - Princess and the Pea “Who could not believe that something so small could be so disturbing.”

Poppet Class

Lillian was not only a delightful teacher but she offers her knowledge freely and without hesitation. The Guilded Lilies had hired her to teach the Poppet class. I got to see her in action. She led us through the basics,  all the while incouraging you listen to your own creative voice. Each one of us made different characters.  They were uniquely our own. It was so much fun. I could not wait to add this class to Artistic Figures in Cloth. I got to know Lillian during her stay. I found out that she discovered doll making quite by accident. On her life’s journey she became a doll artist after she had already been a successful clothes designer and mother. Her life was already so wonderous and now she is on another path. I asked her to share a little of the story with you.

Awestruck Flora wonders about this mystereious crystal what secrets does it hold? 
See more of Lillian's dolls for sale click here

Lillian's Doll Making Journey
I stumbled onto doll making literally by accident as a fashion student in NYC. I was strolling along Fifth Avenue, looking for design inspiration in the store front windows, when I saw the art of doll maker Van Craig in Tiffany’s window display. I knew immediately that I had to try making dolls, too! I was happy with my first creation and continued to experiment. I made several, notable one-of-a-kind Art dolls that were shown and sold at Mann Gallery in Boston. I was thrilled!!! But working as a designer/illustrator and raising a family came first, so doll making became something I did in my spare time. I continued to “play with dolls,” developing my technique and honing my skills. After sixteen years in the fashion industry, I decided to stay at home to raise my two daughters. That was ten years ago; doll making is now a full time profession for me as I now teach workshops all over the country and I’m loving every minute of it! Over the years, my doll-making style and vision has evolved; sometimes whimsical, and, yes, sometimes grotesque. I’m inspired by children’s books, nursery rhymes and, at times, by tales my children make up. Doll making has been a joy in my life and as an Art doll artist/teacher, I am always looking to reach like-minded, creative souls who might allow me to share my years of doll making experience with them!

The Cloth Paper Doll

The Poppet class is only one of the two classes she is teaching at AFIC. Lillian has developed a very intriguing class. This doll is a mix between Paper dolls, Cloth and Peek-a-boo painting techniques. Lillian’s way of building paper clay on a paper doll has endless possibilities. I immediately thought of the advantage one would have using this technique in shadow boxes, collage work or simply building on flat objects and recycled art projects. How much fun would that be? I am sure you can think of a few more ways to incorporate this method into your art. This class should be loads of fun.  Along with learning out to make the Paper - Cloth doll you will be painting the peek-a-boo skirt.  Lillian will assist you will your choices. The more experiance you have with painting the more detail in the skirt design you will have.  Regaurdless, an elaborate landscape or a simple backdrop painting the process is fun and full of new techniques.

See details on the workshops that Lillian Alberti is offeringat AFIC click here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leslie Molen - Art and Origin

There is a long history of Santos Cage Dolls In Portugal and Spain, Santo(s) cage dolls were used in Catholic religious processions —frequently dressed in elaborate gowns and crowns. The cage body was traditionally used as a shrine with items displayed inside them such as photographs and flowers to represent celebrations. For centuries, Santos figures have been a symbolic bridge between earth and heaven. Leslie has taken artist fascination with dolls and caged skirts. She found a fantastic woodworker to make the wooden skirts for her, and the rest is history. Leslie will be teaching this spectacular new class at Artistic Figures in Cloth. AFIC-for a closer view at Leslie classes. To discover how Leslie design elements and textile choices made this Santo Cage doll and how she is going to teach others to make this cherished art piece, read on and get an insight into a fabulous workshop.

Leslie states, “I have always found a fascination with dolls and caged skirts...the skirt may be an old bird cage...something from metal... or maybe- wood, or a found object. They may vary from a simple Santos- style, to a Flemish dress form, to an altered piece with kitschy embellishments. Looking over my fabrics, I decided to use the burn-out velvet for the torso and upper arms or sleeves for this doll. I loved the vintage feel of this fabric and the subtle depths of the color- blue. In designing this doll, I chose to "joint" the arms- as in the antique Santos. For the skin tones, I used this beautiful pima knit. One of my favorite parts of the making of the doll is painting and coloring the face. It always amazes me how a little color can create such a distinct personality!"
"Details.. that is what sets your doll apart. Many of you know that I am a big fan of Japanese design. In that design things are kept clean and simple, but that simplicity is the complexity of balance. It is actually something that I strive for within my work- ask any of my students, the doll may look simple but there are very detailed techniques and thought that goes into each piece to make it beautifully balanced, clean and simple in design.

Leslie goes into a lot more depth on her blog.

I keep very close eye on the classes and how they are filling. AFIC web site open on September 1, 2010. I knew Leslie's class The Cage Skirt Santos Doll would fill up quickly. I did not know one week later that I would have more people sign up for the class than I had spaces. As of 9/8/10 there are still openings in Leslie's Madonna.

Leslie is an artist member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists –NIADA. She is a renowned sculptor and with her guidance you to can discover the wonder of sculpting a face that is beautiful. Do you want to improve sculpting skills or learn how to sculpt with precision? Madonna is believed to have held goodness in her life. This doll was created to share love and kindness and I think you will find that so does Leslie. Leslie has so much to offer; she is determine that all her students are nurtured and walks away with excellent sculpting skills.