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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Natalie Hamade - The Art and the Deal

Four Season Challenge
Summer 1st place Butterfly Catcher
The Art

    I would like to introduce you to Natalie Hamade. She is full of life, talkative and ready to teach her secrets about doll making and painting. Yes I said painting. We have all stumbled into the art doll world from different back grounds quilting, sculpting, wood working. Natalie loves to paint and will paint on just about anything. She has an etsy shop where she sells her dolls, prints, pillows, wearable art pins and even drawer pulls. You see Natalie designs interiors in her day-to-day life so she cannot help but to create items for the home.

      I first met Natalie, by way of a contest she entered in Doll Crafter Costuming. The contest was The Four Seasons Challenge and I was the pattern designer for the magazine. The design was a simplistic pattern that could be adapted easily. Each season had a winner. Natalie won the “summer” Four Season Challenge. Her winning dolls appearing in the September issue of 2007 with the piece she named “Butterfly Catcher.” Right away I knew she was different, she had a face painting style all her own. The Butterfly Catcher had an artistic charm.

Adora Bella - AFIC workshop

  In order to keep Art Doll making interesting we need new things to learn. Natalie was an artist with her own voice. I contacted her right away for the 2009 convention. Natalie was not shy but she was hesitant to teach. She had small children and an interior decorating business to think about. I totally understood, but I never give up.

When I called for applications for 2011, I contacted her. This time she was ready to dive right in. Her children were older, she had taught several doll making classes, she had her own blog and etsy shop and now was ready to forge ahead and teach at a national convention.

Ostrich Show Girl

The Deal

I asked her to teach the Ostrich Show Girl along with the Wearable Art Design class she had submitted. She said no, she wanted to do something new. I told her my true desire was to have a challenging class, one that her students had to step outside of their comfort zone. I wanted her to design a workshop with in depth face painting of a different color and tones. For this I had to wait to see what she would come up with, it made me very nervous. I was not the least bit disappointed. For those that have been drawing and mastering face painting this is the next step. Her class will include new techniques in face painting but she will introduce you to a whole realm of materials to use while layering on color for richer looking face.

See Natilies Class offerings at AFIC click here.

Pillows, Prints, Paintings, Wearable Art and More


Wearable art Pin

To satisfy my own curiosity I ask Natalie what she was going to bring for the instructors Thursday night sale. You see I am saving my pennies up for that night. I really want some of her work. I inquired about some items I thought I would like to see in person, like prints, original mixed-media paintings, face pins, drawer pulls, aprons, wearable arts and pillows. She said yes all of that along with limited editions of various ATC's, and “stuff" fabric, trims, and beads. She also is considering giving out discount coupons for some of her on-line classes she will be offering next year. 

You can currently find many items for sale on Natalies etsy Shop Click here or join Natilies blog and keep up with what she is making and will be bringing to AFIC instructors sale.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of Desgin -Stephen Rausch

Industial Revolution

     What a charmed life it must be to work in a field that you love. Then retire and continue your life creating amazingly art in a new way and new format. This seems to be Stephens’s story and what a story it is.

     As a young man Stephen graduated with a BA in Spanish and Theater Arts. He moved to Cincinnati Ohio and a friend of his had a small dance wear business. After he joined him they added costumes. Soon the costuming out sold the dance wear. They built this small company into a business named Schenz Theatrical Supply Inc. one of the largest theatrical costume companies in that region.

     Over the years the company costumed universities, the community and high-school theaters. Their customs graced to likes of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, PBS specials for Orchestras, several museums displays. The list is endless and it goes on to including the Cincinnati Symphony, Opera, and Ballet.

     Stephen believes that a great influence in his life was J. Edgar Joseph, the head of wardrobe for New York City Opera. Meeting him early in his career he always looked upon him as a mentor. It was from him he learned two important lessons: attention to detail and costume design. He learned not only to pay attention to the cloths, but also the manners, and historical content of the period.

     Stephen designs and creates absolutely everything for his dolls. He designs the clothing sculpts the doll, makes the furniture and sets their seine. It is an overall theatrical look paying close attention to each and every detail Stephen produces a spectacular art doll in an environment fitted to the time period. Stephen gave us a little inside information on just how important designing is for the overall look of his dolls. See more of Stephen's work click here

"The Flirt - Lucille Adjusts Her Garter"
     If there was only one bit of information that I could pass on to present and future doll artists, it would be the importance of studying the cut of the period costumes and how that cut, in conjunction with the fabrics used, determines the drape of the garment. As an example, The Flirt-Lucille Adjusts Her Garter” is dressed in an afternoon visiting suit from about 1908. She is daintily lifting her skirt and petticoat to expose her garter stocking. The skirt cascades in a very fluid S-shape. This was achieved by cutting the skirt as it would have been cut in 1908. One could never achieve this look by simply taking a width of fabric and gathering or pleating it to fit the waist. It is all about the cut, the fabric, scale and proportion.

Stephen will be teaching Designing and Patterning Period Clothing at Artistic Figures in Cloth.   We have anticipated a demand for his classes.  Stephen will be teaching the same one day class for three days straight. It is a good thing we signed him on for all three days, his class has been popular.  It is rare that you are able to bring on a Art Doll Designer that has the in depth knowledge about period costuming and understands how to scale the pattern down to fit a small figure such as a doll.
Description and information on the class below "Designing and Patterning Period Clothing click here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

In the Beginning there was Gloria Winer

AFIC Class
High Priestess Drawing Down the Moon
Gloria was not the only cloth doll maker blazing trails but it sure did seem like it to me. I didn't meet Gloria until 2009 but I had known of her long before that  In 1997 I decided to see if anyone out in the world had the same desire to make cloth art dolls besides me.  Thanks to the Internet, one lone voice was calling out to me,  it was Gloria Winer.  She seemed to know everything about art doll making across the United States. Years would pass before I took my journey and developed Artistic Figures in Cloth Convention, but can you imagine how excited I was when Gloria submitted a teaching proposal for the 2009 workshops.  Now she is returning to AFIC 2011.  Gloria has come up with a mind blowing 3 day class called “High Priestess Drawing Down the Moon”   If you wish to see Addition pictures & infor. on class Click Here

I ask Gloria to share with us her memories of dollmaking. Gloria told me she made her first doll in 1982 a pattern by Ester Lee Foster. Then she learned to sculpt a form and drape it to create a pattern from Lenore Davis.  This is where her journey began. I am sure at that time she had know idea she was about to start down a road of no return.  Gloria became one of strongest voices in Cloth Art Doll making and here is how it all began.

A Story told by Gloria “MiMi” Winer
Barbara Willis and I were thinking back about Judy Waters.  I mentioned to Barbara that Judy started dollmaker seminars way back in 1989. The first one was named "Dreams Do Come True", after that they were called Doll U.   Barb said no, it was not Judy who began the cloth doll symposium; she reminded me that I had the first one in Chino, California back in 1987.  I had forgotten about that one. Here is how it all began;

I wanted to study with artists whose work I admired but could not afford private classes.  In 1985 I called Lisa and asked if she would teach a class on how she made her heads. I asked the duration and the cost. She said $100 per day for five days. I quickly asked "per student right". She thought about that for a second and said yes, of course...So I invited three friends, none of whom I had ever met but we were phone and pen palls. They were Sandra Blake from South Carolina, Marcela Welch from Ohio and Judy Mahlstadt from North Dakota. Those five days were amazing. We didn't even finish a head but the class turned into a group encounter. We all know far too much about each other to ever not be friends.

I began to invite many artists to teach at my home for 10 or 12 students. I did this for about ten years. I had recently had Lisa Lichtenfels followed a few months later with Noni Cely teaching four and five day classes at my home. When I learned that neither of them could afford to attend NIADA in Anaheim California that year I was worried. At that time there was no other venue for selling art dolls in their price range. The collectors every year gathered in one location for NIADA, ODACA and UFDC convention.  There dolls could only be seen at the NIADA salesroom.

I called a friend in Chino California and asked her to help. In exchange for free classes with either Lisa or Noni, she offered to put up Lisa, Noni and myself at her home. She found a studio nearby we could hold classes. I got in touch with a motel near the studio and next door to a Denny's restaurant. I made arrangements with the hotel and the restaurant for rooms and meals, rented the two classrooms at the studio. I put a little notice in Cloth Doll Magazine, the only one we had at that time. Both classes filled quickly with waiting lists.

While I was registering folks, I noticed that there were several driving the 400 miles or so from the Bay area. I gave each of them the other numbers so they could arrange to share rides. They filled several vans and caravan down to Chino. That was the beginning of several long time friendships and a couple of doll clubs that are still going strong.

Lisa and Noni had their transportation paid to LA, earned more than enough teaching; enjoy visiting the Malibu area for a couple of days and to attend the NIADA convention after classes ended. They both sold dolls as well.  To save on hotel bills Lisa Noni and I shared a room and at the last minute elinor peace bailey joined us. You can imagine all four of us with all the dolls and luggage in the same room. It was a bit crowded but lots of fun. I introduced elinor to Susi Oroyan who was president that year and within an hour elinor was giving a speech to the entire convention and throwing dolls into the audience. The rest is history....

"Needle Model a Prett Face"
2 disc DVD set 4 hr. 48 min.

Gloria’s most recent trail blazing release is her DVD “Needle Model a Pretty Face”.  (Click here to read more about the DVD).  Gloria will be doing an on hands demo of face sculpting free to the public on April 30, 2011. The demo will run from 4:30pm – 6:00pm. If you can’t make it to the convention as a student, pack up a gang of doll makers and make it to the hotel as a visitor. See Gloria’s demo and a chance to meet her in person.  She is a wealth of information. There will be lots of activities that Saturday at Artistic Figures in Cloth,  including other demos, exhibits, vendors, and artist.