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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Christine Shively - Benjamin - Teacher Feature

Marie Antoinette
Shively - Benjamin
A process of an extraordinary
Art Doll  Artist in her own Words.
 Exploring the possibilities of creating a character with fabric is an extension of a life time fascination with three dimensional forms. My characters emerge from familiar tales of childhood and from stories of the heart and soul. Fabric, color texture and pattern all play intricate parts in creating interesting figures that tell their own stories to the viewers who meet them.  
   Most recently creating figures with high fashion, high heel shoes, and the elements of Steampunk have been really fun to explore begin by drawing the body shape and structure I wish to use for my fabric figures. Basically I transfer the drawing into a 3 dimensional form.
  I use a template to create the basic silhouette of the drawings. The shape is transferred to the fabric. Sewing on the line gives a great deal of control over the shape I am envisioning. Some of the body shapes are an abstraction or somewhat stylized. Most of my figures have an economy of line, a simplified structure.
 The costuming and embellishment are the key elements. I use paint, pigma pen and colored pencil to create the faces on the cloth figures. An extreme light and dark technique is employed to give the illusion of depth in the face. An example of using the inspiration of period clothing of Marie Antoinette and then changing the color and proportion on the clothing adding the gears, zippers to the edge of the skirt the look was completely changed to Steampunk

     I purchased a very small antique lamb made from cotton fleece and wood for one of my sisters.  It just screamed to be a pull toy.   I made a platform for the lamb, since then I  have been making animals sitting on wheeled platform.  It is easy to see how I translated the Whimsical Birds and put them on platforms and also create pull toys out of them.
    I have been creating my Whimsical Birds using floral oasis, tissue paper, glue, kabob skewers, file folders, and paint.  This is a great example of how everyday items can be turned into something fun and whimsical.
   See more on Christine's Classes Coming to Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay this April 25-28, 2013 - Click Here.
Manipulating basic shapes in new and different ways plays an important role in the creation of my characters. This doll uses my basic Dress Rehearsal pattern. I have added a jacket, skirt, sleeves and narrowed the pants of the basic pattern and a new character emerges.

Here is an example of looking at one thing…..the baby shoe….but seeing something else. Like the corset for a Steampunk character.


An  Idea  is a point of departure  and no more.

    As soon as you elaborate it,  it becomes transformed by thought.”


The high heel shoes are an example of the Picasso quote above. When I began embarking on the high heel I was in a Home Depot store.  I saw a wire door stop that had a tapered end. It reminded me of a high heel. Since I lived in Kansas for many years, I also thought it would be cool to have a tornado reference. The construction dilemma was the mechanism to create the heel. My long time doll friend Brenda Gehl created a darling fairy years ago that had a dressmakers pin for the heel. I asked her about using the basic mechanism that was her brain child, and building upon that. She was curious about what I could come up with using her basic idea. She was very pleased with my adaptation. I do believe that you can begin with a basic idea…….but you have to elaborate on it and transform it with your thought….as Picasso advise

An ancient connection to doll making and storytelling is ever present in my work. Experimenting with new techniques in drawing, painting, bead work, embroidery, problem solving structural and aesthetic  problems, and educating myself on historical and cultural heritages, contributes to the continual growth and change in my figures.
See more about Christine's workshops on:
Rainbow Chaos and Whimsical Birds

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jean Bernard - Artist Extraordinaire

Artist Jean Bernard combines 
an artistic flair
 and a unique look to 
Art Dolls.

Creating has been a part of Jean’s life as far back as she can remember. Art is a passion she has explored in great depth, reading anything that peaked her interest.  

She has dove into techniques which has brought her to a three dimensional art form which is uniquely her own.  Her work is a calibration of many mediums and techniques.  As a result Jean’s work is always a collage of interesting elements, forms and ideas.  Please take a few minutes to enjoy yer web site.

 Jean has adapted techniques and the leaned the use of materials such as clays, plasters, paints and art mediums to create a few of her master pieces.  Her work is a collage of her combine experiences.  She says “I consider myself a mixed media artist exploring new techniques and products. Forever pushing the envelope”  

Join Jean on a journey; explore your untold stories through mixed media art.  Follow her lead or venture off into your own direction to create this 14 inch fantasy figure.  Jean encourages self expression so “Unleash Your Muse”  and step outside of the box.  Explore all the possibilities that are waiting to come out of you.

This workshop is overflowing with ideas, techniques and the use of simple products.  Jean promises the techniques learned from this class will be incorporated into your future projects. You will build an elaborate base and torso from scratch, coated with various plaster techniques.  The plaster is a great alternative to other popular compounds that dry hard and fast. So much to learn so little time. 

At Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay Jean Bernard is teaching this dramatic art sculpture using compounds and techniques guaranteed to make the artist in you stretch your creative soul, and embrace new you a new  journey.  

To review more of this class click here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Collection of Designers 2013

Asking for your Help!  I would like to share one of my projects and hope you can help get the word out to Art doll Artist.  Past this blog site on to the designers you think would love to be a part of this assemblage.  The time for this book to be completed is closing fast and I would love for everyone to have a chance to be apart of this fun project.  This booklet will never be sold and never be assembled again!

One page pattern by:
Susan Barmore
Collection of Designers 2013

Artistic Figures In Cloth Presents:  A Collection of Designers 2013.
I am really excited about this collection.  Here is what we did in 2011 and it was a hit!  My hope is you or you know of someone that wants to be part of the 2013 collection. In 2011 I was able to collect 30 designers.  I bound all the artist one page patterns into one Booklet. Everyone  received one in the Gift bags. 
The deadline March 15, 2013 
and here is how it works.
This booklet consists of single page patterns or tutorials. Single page can mean both sides of the one page.  On each pattern the designers are able to advertise their own web site, blog or shop. This is incredibly inexpensive way of advertising, plus as a designer you can get your on-line information in the hands of the people who really want to get to know you. The perk to the AFICC attendees is an exclusive insight to designers and their webs sites. Pincushions, or ornaments, book marks, doll pins and small dolls are some suggestions.   

How many copies and who gets the booklets?
I am binding 180 booklets.  Every register student and staff of AFICC gets a copy.  Plus the first 30 doll artist  that drive in to the convention to see the exhibit hall get a copy of the book.  Yes I said the first 30 people that just come to the convention to just enjoy the day with us.

One page Pincushion by
Cyndy Sieving
Collection of Designers 2013
Is there a Cost?
Option 1 - $4.00 -Do it yourself total control
  1. Send all 180 pattern/advertisement copies by mailing them to my home address on regular 8 ½ x 11 plus $4.00 to help cover book binding cost. This can be one side or both sides of the paper. This does give you the option to print in color.
Option 2 - $22.00 or $40.00 - Have me make your copies for you.  It cost me 10 cents per copy plus the $4.00
Send one page pattern or two pages (front and back) to me. I will make the copies for you.  Payment for one sided Pattern $22.00 is only 12 cents per person * Payment for double sided $40.00 is only 22 cents per person. 
  1. You can mail a physical copy to Cyndy Sieving, P.O. Box 44244, Columbus, OH 43204  or email in tiff or jpg format
  2. Make payment by mailing Check or PayPal 
Contact me and let me know you are working on the one page pattern and when to expect it.  We will be happy to add you to the Collection.

One Page doll by
Leslie Molen
Collection of Designers 2013
Some of the Designers already submitted
Kathryn Walmsley
Leslie Molen -  http:/ 
Christine Shively-Benjamin - http:/
Edwina Sutherland - http:/ 
Barbara Schoenoff and more on the way ...