Jun 9, 2014

Art Doll classes & the 2014 UFDC Cloth & Clay Seminar.

An update:

I'm making dolls like crazy.  This is not new, but right now I have ten or fifteen of them going at the same time, in different levels of progress.  Lady dolls, gentlemen, elves, children; little people all over the place.  They are all cloth and clay, because my goal is to have enough dolls to make a decent showing at the UFDC convention's "Artist Showcase" and for my seminar presentation.  Which is now only FIVE WEEKS AWAY!  I'm a little freaked out.  

Heads!  So many dolls, so little time.

The other thing I've been working on dovetails with this: an art doll class.  I have taught one version of it to doll restorer friend who has working knowledge of doll details, painting and refinishing with apoxy clay and bondo.  But she'd never used paperclay or done any sculpting.

For her (we'll call her "DM") I combined two classes into one: she made a mask face doll AND an original sculpt, so it was fairly intensive teaching for the two days and she didn't get to finish either one.  But her experience in restoring takes care of the painting and finishing, and her doll wig supply is to be envied.  She did say she looks at faces differently now--the restore dolls, news anchor's, cashiers, etc.  Yes!  One side effect of sculpting!

DM's mask-face doll before her mask is on.  Not sure how that goofy face happened...

DM's sculpted doll, before the second layer of sculpting and sanding, but already looking wonderful!

Teaching a sculpting class is exhausting, and a lot more intensive than I'd realized.  So it will be an "advanced" level class to follow a beginner cloth and clay class if there is enough interest.

For now, I'll offer a two-day class of three or four studii (the first run at half price to compensate for it being a first run, with all the stops and starts that a first-run tends to have). The first one this summer is for local folks only, because San Antonio hotel prices skyrocket over the summer.  Future scheduling will take place the rest of the year, and frequency will depend on enrollment.  THIS is what I will offer during the cloth and clay seminar at UFDC.  See how it dovetails?

In the ten years since I left my job as an Air Force instructor, I had forgotten how much I loved to teach.  I can already see evidence of one forgotten truth: you never learn something better than when you teach it.  As I sculpt, I find myself thinking about the how and why of each step.

The UFDC seminar is knowledge-only.  Limited to three hours, it can only introduce the topic.  The hands-on class is exactly that: a two day "Make an Art Doll" class.  The student will make an art doll using paperclay over a pre-stuffed cloth form, with a presculpted mask face.  There will be good, messy lessons in the best techniques for working with paper clay, studies of head and face anatomy, an intro to sculpting with hair, and finally painting.  They'll have the fabric and pattern for the arms and legs to finish their doll at home, along with with a dress pattern and list of materials, tools, and further references if they like.

In the meantime, I've got to get this UFDC presentation from the planning stage to the presentation stage--AND FINISH THESE DOLLS!  I can do this.  I'm sure I can. 


  1. I KNOW you can!

    1. Thank you Mary Jo! Your encouragement helps. :~)

  2. You are really busy and have an exciting time ahead of you. I wish you great success and I hope a lot of enjoyment too. You will meet lots of new people who will very interested in what you are doing.

  3. Very impresive... your dolls put my little primitives to shame... oh well.


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