Saturday, July 25, 2009

Joyce Miko AADA

Here is an updated picture of my very very good artist friend Joyce Miko. She was also in attendance at John and Cile`s house for lunch. She and her sister founded AADA Academy of American Doll Artist. Sadly her sister has passed away. I know many of her fellow doll artist have asked me how Joyce is doing. She looks great , her health is great and she has asked my to say hello to all that know and love her.
Joyce and her sister were responsible for the next phase in my dollmaking journey. The OOAK (the one of a kind phase.) We had over the years many WOW(week of workshops). We gathered the best of the best teachers and students together and traveled to foreign lands. France , Italy and more. Oh what an exciting time in my life.
It was sad indeed when Joyce had to phase out AADA. But as we all know nothing stays the same. We can only savior the memories.
Joyce has moved out of the big Victorian house and into a small comfortable home in Goffstown NH . She is realizing her passion for quilts. She sells on ebay under the name of Quilt Divas. If you have any messages for our friend Joyce leave them on my comment page and I will see she gets them.
One last thing about the Burbridge Lunch post. I didn`t get the pictures in the order I wanted. I hope you will bear with me as I learn more about blogging.
Me and John Burbridge
The lady in the white dress. This is one of six new Ladies that John has created. She has no hair yet because i need to style the wig for all of them. My but he has been busy since the last time i saw him. I found it interesting that he has left room in the hat for her hair to be styled correctly.
This gold material is very interesting. Let me back up a bit here. All 55 ladies now reside at Ventfort Hall in the Berkshires in Ma.
Sarah Morgan sister of J.P. Morgan built this Mansion which is now a museum dedicated to the Gilded Age. Perfect place for the ladies to live. Sarah had bought this material to have a dress made for herself. She died before it was made. Sarah`s great great and maybe another great could be added here ,granddaughter asked John to create a dress for one of the ladies.
This picture of the dress John created with the gold material is not the best picture. I am in John`s studio and she along with a few other new ladies were on shelfs and the lighting was not the best. But believe me this dress is breathtaking as all of his works are.
The simplicity of this walking suit is elegant . Again she needs her hair done. I must get to their wigs very soon.
Oh I wish you all could see how lovely this ladies are . My pictures do not do them justice. If you ever want to give yourself a real treat buy John`s book .Les Petites Dames de Mode by John Burbridge isbn 1-9322485-06-6
After a wonderful lunch served in John`s perfectly manicured gardens we settled down to admire the antique clothes that Dawn brought for show and tell. In this picture John is showing us that while wearing this coat a women because of the way the coat is constructed ,was not able to raise her arms above her elbows height. Since all she had to do was to be able to pour tea. LOL
Dawn and John admire the inside of the Lace Tea Coat. Notice the pile of other antique clothes in front of John.
Cile models this wonderful antique Lace Tea Coat.
This car duster coat is in amazing condition . John thinks it dates around the late 1800`s
The inside of this mint antique car duster coat.
He uses this lager pleater but There were no examples handy to show you the results.
John shows Dawn my daughter how to use this kind of pleater
This picture shows the finished result of one of the pleaters that john uses.

Monday, July 13, 2009

John Burbridge

This pleater is interesting ,but difficult to see in the picture.
John is showing Dawn my daughter how he uses one of his pleaters.

I recently had lunch at John Burbridge`s house. His wife Cile, a world famous wedding cake artist, prepared a lovely lunch for us.It was served in their well manicured garden patio area. Dawn my daughter and long time friend Joyce Miko were in attendance.
After lunch we went to John`s well organized studio. there John shared some of the tools he works with.I was fascinated with the iron he uses. It was quite heavy and has a tank that set on the floor. A hose led from the tank to the iron to produce steam.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kinkie The Lion King

Today just for a giggle I thought I would humiliate my cat Kinkie. What do you think he is thinking?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kat , Lisa, and Me

Here we are at Lisa`s exhibit. Her website is a must see!!!!
During the holiday season of 2005-2006, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in Springfield, MA, exhibited the works of Lisa Lichtenfels. Featured were 12 new works, including two life-sized fabric sculptures. There was a large photographic exhibit on the walls with images spanning 20 years of the artist’s career. In-progress displays showed how these realistic figures in nylon fabric were created, including an ongoing video of hands-on instructions. Finally, a large diorama, “The Krazy Horse Saloon,” was reconstructed with 20 figures and a one-third life-sized bar and stage environment.

Allison by Lisa Lichtenfels

This wonderful creation is owned by Kat Bunker. Kat is a very good friend, artist, and traveling companion of mine. She live with Allison the next town over.

The Ticket Taker by Lisa Lichtenfels

I love love this sculpture. Her art pieces range from 5 inch to 5 feet. This one is life size.

Angel of Death by Lisa Lichtenfels

The print is to small to read from the picture . Here is what Lisa said about this sculpture.
Lichtenfels fell on the ice last winter and severely damaged one leg.Stuck in bed for a month,in excruciating pain, she had an image of the the Angel of Death. She though. "What would you like to have take you into the next world?" The result is a compassionate otherwordly angel, robed in billowing Chinese silk, the little girl at her side will be enfolded in dark mysterious fabric. I plan to keep this one. "Lisa said It is my best piece to date."
This picture was in Doll Collector May 2001

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Artist Extraordinaire LISA LICHTENFELS

Before I leave the soft sculpture phase of my dollmaking journey. I would like to share a link to an artist that is an absolute GENIUS!!! . Give yourself a treat and read everything that is available on Lisa`s website. In my vast collections of books, her book "Figures in Fabric" is by far one of my all time favorites.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Lisa at her studio several times and I also went to a gallery in Springfield Ma that had thirty five of Lisa`s figurative sculptures on exhibit . When I look at her art I am awe struck. Each piece has the ability to hold you captive. You would swear you can see them breathing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Beauty Shop

In the background of the above two pictures you can see where these dolls were created. I owned and operated a beauty shop. I always wanted to keep busy doing something creative. So in my down time I started to make a whole bunch of these fun character. I didn`t need a studio like I have today. My studio today is overflowing with every sculpting tool made by man, pressure pots, vacuum chambers, materials, laces and on and on. If you create you get the picture. All I needed for my baby steps into the wonderful world of dollmaking was a needle and thread. Fiberfill, nylon stocking and a strong desire to create.
As it worked out my customers absolutely loved these little guys. I could not make them fast enough. They sold immediately. My weekly customers looked forward to seeing new dolls and were disappointed if there were none. After a while I decided not to sell them any more. I put shelves up around the shop and the collection grow and grow until there were fifty or more of these dolls. There were joggers ,farmers, nurses, nuns , priest. and of course many witches.You name it I probably made it.

More Soft Sculptures

the Newly Wed

A Ribbon Peddler
Mr and Mistress

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Me And ET

Here is a picture of me and ET. I always hated having my picture taken. But 27 years later. I kinda like this one now. I only have one chin!!!! How great is that.


This is one of my favorite dolls. I wanted to see if I could get a likeness and also see how many wrinkles I could make. I made a bunch of him. I still have a head that I made of him. I went a little nuts with him. I put a light in his finger and over his heart.
My sister was a school teacher at the time and she persuaded me to bring him to school so her 3rd graders could meet him. They were overwhelmed with him . There were twenty pairs of little hands touching him all over. He did survive the love he got but he also suffered a bit too. After all he was just nylon stockings.

Two Irish Guys

This is to funny. The guy on the right looks like my X.

A Few More Needle Sculptured Dolls

A lady in lavender and Nursey

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Lovely In Pink"

I think she is pretty. Well maybe not LOL. I am trying to send some really funny needle sculptured dolls made in the early 80s. But I am having a bit of a hard time getting them on the blog.

My First Doll

I thought I would give you a giggle or two. Here is my very first attempt at doll making. She was made in 1980 as a gift to my mother. Mom always liked me to make things for her instead of buying gifts. At the time kitchen witches that you hung over your sink for luck were popular.
Mom took one look at her and said "she is so ugly can`t you make her pretty". My mother was not being unkind she just always liked pretty dolls. I personally loved this little doll!! Little did I know at the tome she would be the beginning of my doll making journey.
She is a soft needle sculptured doll made from nylon stockings and stuffed with fiber fill. She sits 10 inches tall on her broom.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad Tempered Witch Class

Here is a picture of the happy faces in my Bad Tempered witch class at the recent Sturbridge show. Would you believe that I even saw a slight smile on all of the little witch`s faces as they were completed. It was a comfortable group of five ladies. Two of the ladies were repeat students and three were new . All were fun to be with for the seven hours we were together.
    Some of the reasons I  enjoy teaching classes is that I get to spend   quality time with other artisans . I also get to share some of the things I have learned through the years. And there is always something new for me to learn from them. It can be a new tool I have never seen, or a new technique that I can use. I never know what it will be and that is part of the fun for me.

PS I have two kits of this doll for sale. Price is $175  plus shipping $6.00. international shipping to be calculated.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A new goal for me.

My journey into miniature doll making has been long ,very long. I want to welcome the young and not so young newbies to the world of miniatures. You are in for an exciting ride of challenges, successes and yes some failures too. My journey continues as I set new goal to improve and meet new challengers . My newest challenge is to be able to create portrait dolls. This idea has been percolating in me for quite sometime. I think my sculpting skills have progressed to a point where I think I can archive this goal. Well we will see. And yes I bought yet another book on Portrait sculpting." Mastering Portraiture." Now I do not think for a minute I will "master" portrait sculpting ,but I sure am going to try.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here is a quick dollmaking aid for you to make. I use it all of the time.

A Simple Beanbag Can Be A Very Useful Tool.”

I use the bag to prop my doll as I create it.
I also use the bag when I do table top photography.
Instead of using a tripod I use one or more bags
It keeps my camera steady.

Beanbag tutorial

You will need
A sewing machine or you can sew by hand
White opaque tights
White uncooked beans from the grocery store

Cut the leg of the tights to the desired length.
Close one end by machine or by hand sewing.
Turn right side out.
Loosely fill with beans.
Close the open end by machine or by hand.
Nancy Cronin

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strubridge show and Bad Tempered Witch class

I am back from the show . I was pleasantly surprised at how well I did. Attendance at the preview seemed to be down a bit but the general admission folks were there and buying. Molly Cromwell puts on a lovely show.
As always with doll shows I met new and wonderful artisans. A new acquaintance was Sherrie Colvan she makes wonderful character dolls. Her costuming is extraordinary. We talked about reproducing some of the dolls in resin. I am looking forward to working with her.
Some of the things I bought for future dolls. From Dragonfly two pieces of the softest leather I have ever felt. I really did not need any more leather and I do not know what I will use it for, but I could not pass it up. Lordy Lordy but my stash just keeps on growing Also from Dragonfly I got a piece of red material with tiny tiny sequin. I do know where that will be used. Moonyeen is making a telephone scene for me. There will be a "lady"wearing a dress made of this flashy material. Another interesting thing I found was a 1/12th scale oxygen tank. Ya know the kind a person can push around. I will give you a hint of where I will be useing the tank. It will envolve an older lady turning 90, a birthday cake with candles and a cigerett .
I want to publically thank my talented artist daughter Dawn Campbell. With out her help I would not be able to doll shows.
I will tell you about my Bad Tempered Witch class later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hi and The Strubridge Show

Hi all, You would think I have nothing else to do but to start a blog four hours before I am going to leave for a doll show. But here I am getting side tracked as usual. When I return I will have a report on the show.
My class featuring the Bad Tempered Witch has filled up nicely. We have a comfortable eight out of ten seats filled in the class.
This post will be short. I need to finish packing for the show . Wish my luck.