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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I could tell you about Fran Parrigan Meehan


Fran Parrigan Meehan can show you the way

I could tell you that Fran has been published in magazines, Cloth Dolls & Animals, Doll Crafter, Doll Crafter & Costuming, and Dolls. I could tell you she was asked to send a doll to the museum: Janina Monkute-Marks museum in Lithuania.

I could tell you Fran has an Art Doll in Patti Medaris Culea fifth book Creative Cloth Explorations. I could tell you that she has taken college courses in fashion and pattern design.

I could tell you you lots of impressive facts about Fran, but nothing is more impressive than an artist work. Fran designs, creates dolls and other artsy in various art mediums. Experimenting with all kinds of products and new techniques, Fran has mastered the art and teaching of doll making in cloth, mixed mediums, collage, paper collage, wire, odds & ends stuff, clay and all other artsy mediums. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to creating artistic figures.

 I could tell you Fran submitted a large volume of work to be considered at AFIC. It is much easier to show you. I had to pick only two pieces from all the classes she offered. I am only showing the close up pictures of the faces here. I am sure you will recognize the attraction to her classes. Outstanding facial work! Are you a beginning doll maker? Are you a Doll Artist improving your detailing skills? Her workshops are geared for you. Fran’s AFIC workshops concentrate on sculpting, applied costuming and face painting with a critical eye for fine skill detailing that will make each one of there art works come alive.
I could tell you how Fran loves to manipulating ribbons, paper, wire mesh, beads, dried flowers, stems, feathers and anything else I can find. She has developed a way to preserve and use rose pedals on dolls. Yes I said delicate, thin rose pedals! How cool is that? Her class Flutter Rose is a study of face sculpting, painting and preservation of nature utilizing rose pedals. These pedals are a permanent feature on the body of the figure.

Flutter Rose AFIC Workshop

See the classes that were chosen for AFIC Click here

I could tell you what Fran told me about her classes.
"My classes would be good for the beginner and others. Especially if they want to learn how to draw and color the face, sew the body, attach the head, arms and legs to the body, use decorative fabric for arms & legs, make shoes and clothing, etc etc. Delphine Rose is a fun doll to make. She can have any costume the student wants her doll to have.  Flutter Rose would be good for the beginner also. Using my real rose technique for the body is really interesting and fun. Haven't seen it done before. I'll also show how to use other colors on the rose petal to make them various other colors."

 I could tell you you that there are many sides to Fran’s art, but seeing is believing. One of her passions is sculpting from clay. She sculpts a face or figure from the waist up from polymer clay. She then sends them off to a master mold maker, Jeff Goshon. Although Fran has taken mold making classes, she feels that her time is better spent on creating. Learning and mastering well made molds is an art of its own. I was so impressed with the quality of her molds I ask Fran if she would demonstrate her molds during the Ice Cream Social Saturday night. To my surprise she has just finished two brand new molds, Victoria and Le Pincushion Lady. She will also have many different face molds too. I was delighted that she chose AFIC to debut her new little darlings. Molds are easy to use. You can use clay, paper clay, pulp paper, air dry clay, bread dough clay

I could tell you you Fran has taken sculpting classes with Earlene Maple Bromer, Lewis Goldstien, Helidagrad Guzel, Sherry Goshon, Maryann Oldenburg, Marilynn Huston, Diane Keeler and Helidagrad Guzel

I could tell you so many things about Fran. But I believe she best says it best her self.   Quoting a phrase she coined in 1996

“Dolls Are My Canvas Within My Soul”

Visit Fran at AFIC or see her anytime at her blog:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cris Cross

Beyond the Troll: Basic Face Felting

Don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the best felting teachers. Artistic Figures In Cloth only allows teachers to teach two years in a row. Then they must take a year off. This helps me to rotate teachers and keep the convention fresh. This is Esther Bechler second year teaching at AFIC; she will have to take 2013 off, and can not be invited back until 2015. Her classes are packed full of little details and unique tricks of the trade.

Esther specializes in felting and applied felting. The detail she puts into all her figures is amazing giving them a life of their own. She can not resist adding those special little touches that makes her dolls and critters take on movement. She is always adding special touches. Self taught she has had no fear in creating out side of the box. Esther is obsessed with felting and has developed interesting and different classes with the ideal workshops so anyone can learn. She could care less if you are a first time or advanced felter. Esther can teach you to felting great faces. Her class this year is devoted to taking you Beyond the Troll face and right into needle felted faces.

I could not resist showing some of her critters, She taught a bear workshop in 2009.  She gave her students the freedom to create any type of bear they wanted,  it was so much fun. As you can see humanizing fruit and vegetables is not out of her realm either. She can create just about anything using a felting needle and some wool.

Cris Cross
Felting  skills can be used many different ways and Esther's puppets are leading the way!

Felting on a commercial purse
The other workshop she is instructing, Fellowship of the Sleeve,  may just seem juvenile at first but take a closer look!  This class has all the fabulous felting techniques and you can learn them in just one day.  This technique can be used to cross over to applied felting, purses, table runners – uses in dry felting faces, eyes, ears and wet felting for bags, felting fabric techniques. You truly get to experiment with all aspects of felting ins one day not to mention the adorable little creatures you end up with. “Fellowship of the Felted Sleeve” was chosen for artist that want to add three basic techniques to there fiber skill set. I believe that all artist are in search for something they can add to their skill set. Mix and Match or Criss Cross, find it here and take it to a new place.   This is what makes an artist work unique.

Fellowship of the Felted Sleeve has all the elements you need. Esther uses many of the techniques in this class to create other items and add to her existing dolls and bags, sweaters.

Fellowship of the Sleeve
A Class that leads the way teaching Wet felting, Dry Felting and applique techniques all in one day.

  There was one other aspect to choosing this class. We have so many Special Teachers, Professional Art Therapist that could use these very puppets created in class to help them in their chosen field. We also have Child Care givers which includes you Grandma and Mom. How fun can it be to learn these techniques to use on future projects and also take a gift back from AFIC and share it with someone you love?
To learn more about Fellowship of the Sleeve and Beyond the Troll: Basic Needle Felted Faces Click Here