Monday, May 11, 2009

Artistic Figures in Cloth

Allison Marano, "Grapevine Girls"

I recently attended the Artistic Figures in Cloth doll conference in Columbus, Ohio. I haven't been to a lot of doll conferences, but this has to be one of the best ones. Cindy Sieving and her staff were so well organized about all parts of the conference -- workshops, exhibits, vendor's, opening banquet, hotel accommodations, etc. Even the food was delicious! -- lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, etc. It was great fun, and I took a wonderful workshop with Allison Marano of Faewyck Studios in Erie, PA. We learned how to make the tiniest, graceful fingers, and many other great techniques.

The opening banquet was a lot of fun (even tho' our table was the last to go up to the buffet, no chocolate dessert left!). We worked on round-robin doll pins for each person to wear during the conference, with only 7 minutes to add something to each doll as it moved around the table! There were some amazing hats worn, as the theme of the evening was "Hats & Heels." When I get the CD from the conference I will post a couple photos of the hats.

My roommates, Pat & Mary Ellen, were super. I was happy to learn that they weren't night owls, but I think we all had a little trouble sleeping because you get really excited and energized being surrounded by so much talent! We had little mini workshops in our room, Mary Ellen showed me how to make fabric beads, and Pat makes interesting cording out of artistic wire.

I brought some Pin Poppet kits to the conference. Wasn't sure any would sell, as the design is kind of traditional, and sweet, and contemporary doll makers are creating some pretty wild and innovative designs these days. But I did well and almost sold out of my kits and Pin Poppet patterns. I used to teach the design in workshops, and provided a kit for my students, but I am retiring the kits for good and will only make a few Pin Poppets to order or for guild raffles, etc.

This Navajo Pin Poppet was made for one of the raffle baskets at my sister's guild fashion show a couple years ago. And the one below was made for a friend's daughter's school raffle.

The little (3 1/2") pincushion doll has a needlecase inside, and the doll comes apart at the waist. A good place to store those precious, specialty needles.

Here I am painting the faces on almost sixty little doll heads. Phew!

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