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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Wine and Art going together

Dress up your Wine Bottles

What can you do with Wine bottles.  I love to create new wicked labels for my old wine bottles, Make weird and fun bottle holders and wine toppers for them.  Here is a look as to what I love doing with wine bottles. 

 I have 20 Wine bottle holders ready to be painted.  Often I don't take pictures of my work pre-painted but I am going to try and do better.  I have designed and sewn up 20 holders and hand sewn applying different eerie eyes, human, reptile and cat eyes to the holders. 

The Zippers are Heavy duty zippers designed for Jeans.  As you can see the holders are sewn by machine and all the seams have been fortified with a top stitch (zig-zag)
After all the machine work is done the selected eyes are incapsiled in fabric forming the upper and lower lid.  Then the partial frame of the face is sculpted and applied to the holder.

     The final work begins.  I turn all the bottles inside out and gesso the inside of the holders allow them to dry, then sand them.  Turning them right side out the outside is gessoed, sanded painted with a base coat, sanded and dry brushed with about 3 to 4 different colors in paint.  In this sample you see the colors chosen are rust green, sand and gold.

Now every holder comes with a bottle sporting a nifty label.

The gesso and many layers of paint make it water resistant.  The holders look and feel like leather.

I also make cool bottle toppers sculpted with epoxy sculpt.  This is a hard drying epoxy which can withstand just about anything you can throw at it. Including throwing it.  It is a 2 part epoxy that must be mixed.  The epoxy gives you about 3 hours sculpting time before it is so hard you can no longer work the clay.  

This bottle sits in a candle holder with the corks slipped into the tapered candle holders that surrounds the wine bottle.

The shrunken heads are only one of many heads I make along with trolls, Krampus, and other things that go bump in the knight.  

I am thinking of doing some that are a bit more merry and a little less scary but I have to have the inspiration hit me first.  

Dr. Louis Crusius and Paper Arts

I didn't think I could do it but I won 

Best of Show at the Ohio State Fair -  Arts and Crafts - Paper Arts

 Okay Paper Arts are not my forte.  But with good teachers, proper instruction and a theme you can do pretty good.  I have long admired the Art work of Dr. Louis Crusius.  When I was told that Peggy and Patti were to teach a Paper Art project in my art group....well I was skeptical how I would do.  I decided right off I would do something Halloween!  With a theme now I had to gather the paper to go with it.  I immediately thought of Dr. Crusius and began gathering pictures of his work. 

Collecting items and paper that would go with the theme proved to be time consuming but fun. 

This is a Cardboard book that closes.Different size boxes were glued on both sides of the inter book box and the top and bottom boxes had to match up exactly when closed.  It was challenging to say the least.

As you can see that there is flat space filled with pictures and other spaces that fill the small boxes. 

I enjoyed the challenge and was able to make the box work.  I included a Skeleton bride, pictures of eerie children dressed in early 1900's costumes.


I made a accordion card file of his work.  Of course I would never sell this reproduction of someone elses work dead or alive, it is for my pleasure only

There is also a fold out  on the back of the box book that explains who Dr Louis Crusius was for those that have a curiosity for such knowledge

Creating Art from Muslin and Paint

Fabric Sculpting and Art Go Together

Alien KIng.  This was created around an antler
People ask me things like, “What are your dreams like?”  “How do you come up with this stuff?” Honestly, I don’t know.  Sometimes I make things from my sketches, but more times than not I just start.  I have taken many clay sculpting classes over the years. It helps me to think like a clay sculptress when I am working with fabric.  It also has taught me to love sculpting in clay as well. I hope you enjoy this display of work in fabric here today. 

Alien Queen - also created around a deer antler
When making a creature or person it takes a course of several weeks, sometimes months.  I make a body or head and just follow where it takes me.  Building on the base of the head or body on the fabric as you would with clay.  Instead of shaping the clay and applying it  I make my fabric shape and then apply it to the head or body.  I love working this way.  It is a technique I have used as a self taught method I call "Face and Body Building" .  Half way through I’m pretty sure what it is to become.  It is just more satisfying to me as an artist to allow the piece to inspire me and not for me to inspire the art.
Back side of the Alien Queen

Beyond the Stars

     I love to hand sewing which has allowed me to construct more complex figures.  Combine with machine sewing, sculpting, adding sculpted cloth shapes, needle art techniques and different skills to create my figures I’m able to create unique and interesting art. When I am finished the sculpting process I gesso the artwork, sand it and a base coat of paint, sand it again, paint it then detail the figure.  It is a lot of work but it looks like clay and feels like leather.  

    "Beyond the Stars" Was a evolving creation.  each prickly spine spike is wired, made and sewed on individually.  The head is as large as my hand and the entire piece is 4 foot tall.  even the telescope is made of fabric. 

    I like it when admires look at my work and ask if it is ceramic or clay? Neither, I say it is cloth and it will never break!

"Beyond the Stars"  close up of fabric sculpting work

 Weird is not the only thing I create.  I also like to have fun with my work. 

Play on words, like the Smoking Dragon or  Fun Figures with crazy creatures.

Smoking Dragon Muslin prior to painting
Smoking Dragon - after it was painted.

   I don't have many pictures if art work in the raw state, prior to the gesso, sanding and painting process.  I did find this picture of a Smoking Dragon that I took right before I painted it. 

  I almost didn't take a picture of it after it was painted,  I had just finished painting it before a art show, I thought I had priced it too high and it would never sell that weekend.  I was surprised it was going out the door a hour after the show opened. I ended up asking the patron if I could take a picture of it before she took it away.

The Traveler.
I hope you enjoy the items you see here today.  

"Very Merry" verses "Weird & Scary"

Poppet Ornaments

      Starting in 2003 through 2019 have promoted and ran Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay art convention. The convention and working a full time job, family time and creating art work for several shows a year was a challenge.  I finally decided to give somethings up.  I wanted to start a new chapter in my life.  2020 it is about family, friends and creating art, in that order!  I am leaving my job in July and am no longer running the convention. Giving the accounting job up is not as hard as giving up running an artist convention was difficult..  I made so many friends. The diversity in arts and teachers was inspiring.

      Ending 2019 I did the ChristmasFair in Columbus, Ohio.   I have two favorite artistic mind stations. "Very Merry" verses "Weird & Scary".  Right in the middle of trying to get ready for ChristmasFair " my creative mind dove right into "Weird & Scary"  The worst time right, It was not time for Weird but I could not get it off my mind.  I was making these fun Poppet ornaments for the Christmas tree when the devilish side just got into me.

      I was compelled to stop and created some new designs.  Justifying the switch to being okay as I had to present a class to my Art club. This would give the members a choice, an adorable elf or a cute devil.  I did finish the Christmas Poppets - Angels, Cats and Elves.  I am now working on a theme for Halloween ornaments.  I will bring more of them to life as I get them done.

The Poppet ornaments are designed to resemble the  European Poppets (puppets) child toys. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Teacher Feature - Kristin Morris

Kristin Morris Clay and Ceramic Artist

Teaching Tea Cup Creatures at:

 April 25-28, 2019 - Columbus Ohio

Kristin grew up in Springfield, Ohio to a mother who is a potter and a geologist father.  She has always loved art, especially painting and sculpture, and has worked with clay as far back as she can remember.  

Kristin graduated from the College Of Wooster with a major in Studio Art, and later attended The Columbus College Of Art And Design where I focused on 3D Illustration.  I have had jobs sculpting props and "corpses" for haunted houses and working on animals for a water park.   She also holds a Master's degree of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University.

 “Art it is my first love!” 
She is currently is working full time as an artist.  Creating art is her passion and she loves to tell stories with her work! 

Kristin loves Halloween
My dolls are usually on the more  "playfully macabre"

Kristin's works are often made from old recycled spindles or bits of wood and found objects; which she enjoys altering with Apoxie Sculpt and paint.  As a member of the Guilded Lilies Art Doll Club her dolls are usually on the more  "playfully macabre" end of the spectrum! 

         Tim Burton and his many eerie films, as well as Halloween, Jim Henson's characters, and pop surrealism are major influences for her.  More often than not Kristin is inspired by edgy, thought provoking or "dark" art that is bordering on creepy.  You can see it in everything she does. 

Kristin finds herself drawn to pieces that have their roots in carnivals, folk art, or Day of the Dead. 

          In the past she has sculpted for haunted houses, worked for a costume shop, and been employed by a studio making animals for an amusement park ride.  In the past summers she has  taken ceramic workshops and have fallen in love with hand building in ceramic clay!  

"I love the feel of the clay in my hands.”

More recently she has been working in ceramics. Below you can see a few of her art works from a recent Art Galley Show 

“By The Sea” 

If you would like to see more from this show and other art works visit her web site.




Kristin is teaching a 1 day classes this spring

"Tea Time in Wonderland"

She is open to your own interpretation of the Tea Time characters
 Here are two of her versions of the Cheshire Cat 

 Artistic freedom in Kristin's workshops is welcome.

She is also teaching the March Hare and the Dormouse
Check out her workshops at 
Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay

Kristin is excited her artistic journey!

check out her workshops:

Teacher Feature - Layl McDill

Presenting Layl McDill 

Polymer Clay Artist

Workshops coming to:

Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay April 25-28, 2019 Columbus Ohio

Curious Clouds Crept Above - sculpture by Layl McDill

Layl McDill grew up in Gillette, Wyoming where she began creating things at a very young age. Her first Story Boxes were dollhouses and even an entire Smurf Village in the basement

Crow with Keys Pitcher
2 day Clay Bird Vessel class
When Layl was 17 she saw modern art for the first time on a family trip to Washington DC and New York City. She was extremely excited about the endless possibilities of mixed media when she saw pop art that used everyday objects and oil painting and whatever else. Suddenly her creativity was unleashed, art was more than just painting and drawing. She could make ANYTHING! Her senior year of high school was spent making numerous sculptures that were both 3D and 2D at the same time- a lot like pop up sculptures that are always popped up.

Goddess with image Transfer - 1 day class
After a year of creating an attic full of sculptures she decided to be more practical and choose a major that had actual job prospects. She majored in illustration in art school at the Columbus College of Art and Design with plans to write and illustrate children’s books but the mixed media materials she used in the community outreach programs she taught continued to intrigue her. Layl did illustrate three books for a small publishing company in Columbus, Ohio but the restraints of working on a flat surface were too frustrating.
Polymer Clay Goddess with Image transfer- see more Click Here 
samples of 1 day workshop taught at AFICC

Polymer Clay Bird Vessels- see more Click Here
samples being taught at AFICC
When Layl found success selling her art at arts festivals even when she was still in art school she began to realize conventional illustration was not her real love. She found she could actually make a living making what she really loved to make. Layl made Story Boxes, Story Quilts, Story Scraps, and Story Vests made of fabric, found objects, and polymer clay. Over the years polymer clay has become her dominant medium. 

In the past few years she has worked primarily in clay creating series of work that tell stories about her life as a mother. She still uses mixed media objects as accents and enjoys working with kids using her collections of found materials. Even though she is not creating the work herself it’s exciting to see a pile of stuff transform into creatures, settings and to see the stories come to life.

To sign up for Layl's Classes at AFICC click here
Layl now lives and creates in Minneapolis with her two daughters and husband. In 1999 she and her husband, Josh Blanc, opened their studio and showroom, Clay Squared to Infinity, in North East Minneapolis. Here she sells her work and Josh makes and sells tiles. She still does many festivals throughout the year and teaches artist-in-residencies and after school programs. 

Contact me anytime for more information Cyndy Sieving 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

5 Featured Teachers 10 Workshops

Learn more about these Five artist and the 10 classes they are offering at AFICC convention.  Each artist has their own style.  With 10 cloth classes offered in both dolls twist and fabrics there is a lot to learn.  To see more pictures and additional information on each of the following classes, go to click on "WELCOME" 

 Christine Shively-Benjamin

     If you you take a class from Christine you will be able to draw faces for evermore.  She takes you through the art doll making process step by step.

Christine is not without whimsy!  
Her class; 
 Pull up a Fish and Sit Down is a playful chair.  Created from fabric, felt and different types of easy to obtain items from your local craft store. 

Adorable dolls by: Suellen Odell
From Left to Right Darling Dot, Sweet Bunny and Kitty Kat
Here is one example of the faces you will be learning to draw. To see more pictures of the faces and costuming each figure is taught as a one day.

Check each class out!


Dying it is a interesting and fun process.  It can be done on fabric for pennies Using what nature has to offer. 

Elf Queen or Fairy

If you enjoy that class you might want to consider her other one day class: Elf Queen or Fairy.

 It is all about taking existing fabrics you have dyed or purchased and altering the fabrics with different techniques.  Use those very fabrics to cover a pre-cut poster board paper doll.

The icing on the cake is the face.  Choose to do a face transfer of you or someone you love OR use one of Stephanie's Clay faces.

Barbara Schoenoff
Workshops in Fine Fabric Sculpting & Face Drawing

Take your time and look these work shops over. the faces are finely sculpted and techniques are used in attaching the limbs along with instruction on how to adorn the body in applied costuming.  These classes are for all levels.  Barbara's classes with close ups pictures and details can be found
at the web site. 

Marla Niederer

Three day workshop for intermediate to advanced students.  If you thought you have learned everything  about Fabric Figurative Art Sculpting then this is class is for you.  Fabric Art Sculpting with many extras.

 to see all these classes and more!

If you have questions contact me any time
Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay is a Production of:
Cyndy's Dolls, LLC