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Friday, February 22, 2013

Awesome Art Doll Fashion by Stephen Rausch

What Does 
Art Dolls, Tailoring, Patterning and Style 
have in common?

Stephen Rausch 
That's What!

What an interesting life Stephen has led.   Co-owner of Schenz Theatrical Supply Inc., he and his partner designed dance wear and theatrical costuming. Over the years the company grew, costumed universities, the community and high-school theaters.  In the mid-1980s he spent two seasons as head costume designer for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Venice, Florida His work has also included PBS specials for Orchestras, several museums displays.  The list is endless and it goes on to including the Cincinnati Symphony, Opera, and Ballet.

Stephen has a sheer talent when designing fashionable period attire. His extensive real life experience trained him to appreciate the human figure and can design for any body type.  He views his art work as a fiber sculpture.  When dressing his dolls he treats them like mannequins.  In doing such, he can make each outfit and exclusive, intended just for his “Art Doll”.

He has a true love for the late 18th and 19th centuries 
clothing lines and fashion.

Pattern drafting is something he simply loves to do and historical fashion requires a strong use of tailored structure.  For Stephen it is about the pose and the costume. The former complimenting the latter and combining to tell a story capture a snapshot in time or create an attitude. “Attitude” is the word most often used to describe his figures. He pays particular attention to recreating the period cut of the costume, including the appropriate underpinnings, to get an accurate representation of the garments.

After 30 years designing stage & character costumes for every type of production imaginable from opera & ballet to musical theater and yes even clown college, designing and creating Art Dolls seems to be a logical progression of artistic expression. Each figure is unique in both style and costume and, hopefully, will give the viewer as much enjoyment as I have had in the creation.

Stephen is repeating a class from 2011 because it was in such demand, “Designing and Patterning Period Clothing” this is a one day class.  He has also developed a new class that every designer would love to add to their list of techniques “Thoroughly Modern Millinery Period Hats and Head pieces”.  

You can read more about Stephen class. If you are ready for the next step in art doll clothing design, or recreate antique doll clothing this is defiantly a designer you can’t miss taking a class from. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Second time a Charm!

The Bledsoe Sisters
Pansy, Grace and Sue

Teacher Feature 

Lillian Alberti


The Bledsoe Sisters

I like to invite back a teachers from the previous convention. Every convention we have a few teachers from conventions past, mixed with instructors that have not had the chance to teach at AFICC and introduce new up and coming teachers giving new ideas and techniques to an old art form.  Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay welcomes back two teachers this year one of which is Lillian Alberti. It should be no wonder why we would want her back.  Not only is she a great artist, there seems to be no limit to her imagination and creative use of it.  

Lillian comes to us from a fashion design back ground.  She worked her dream job for a famous clothing design labels and as an illustrator.  After starting a family she desired a less hectic life style and devoted much of her time in raising her girls.  Now the little ones do not need her 24 – 7 she wanted to get back to art….but not back to the hectic corporate America. She chose wisely!  With her extensive fabric design back ground, drawing and painting she added a new element to her work and that was clays.  Paper clay at first and then began to mix and match up combinations of everything together.  

 I met up with Lillian in 2010.  She had taken her new found love and was trying to find a home for it.  Lillian wanted to be an instructor in the worst way.  She tackled the Art doll world with enthusiasm.   Her work was different, and I always have my eye out for different.. She had her own style and there was a complexity about her work.  Lillian had something new to say in her sculptures,  by using familiar faces and fairy tales expressing flamboyant features.  I am always looking to help introduce new talent into the art doll world and Lillian certainly had the talent and ability I love to see in an artist.

If you have not seen or heard of Lillian Alberti, then you have not been reading or checking out the hub-bub lately.  She has been a national sensation. I have seen profiles on her in, magazines, doll clubs, newsletters and blogs.She has a  listing of press releases on her web site you just must check out  Lillian has been popping up everywhere since she dove into the Art doll world head first.  She has lots of pictures and adventures on her own blog  

 Working in paper clay and coupling it using her sewing skills in cloth she fuses the two skills in her figures. The final work speaks volumes about her unlimited talent. Each sculpture depicts characters with defining features that make them endearing, fanciful and fun.

In Lillian's own words from her web site she states: 

Over the last few years I have seen my Art Dolls evolve quite dramatically. The array of new paper clays available to the contemporary doll maker has inspired me to push my imagination even further. In the past I focused on coarsely-textured facial surfaces and larger heads. My pieces now, while no less exaggerated in detail, have smoother surfaces, delicate hands and enormous feet. Throwing caution to the wind, I now favor richer, textured fabrics and layer sumptuous patterns with reckless abandon; the result is elegant opulence. The excitement in discovering a new medium, the thrill in creating, and the joy in sharing has made my doll making journey more fulfilling than ever!

One of her classes at AFICC is "The Heiress"  She is a women of means!  This art piece is to hang on 
the wall.  If you would like to see how you can take a workshop from Lillian Alberti at Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay go directly to her Profile page.  Click here