Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jane, the Dreamer

This is Jane, the Dreamer. She can be purchased here. 

Jane doesn't sleep well at night. She has horrible nightmares of being alone in a white room and tied to a bed. Yet when she wakes up, she finds herself alone in a room with stone walls. She's not exactly sure where she is.

I wanted to tell you a little about this little girl and about how I made her. 

When I started, I knew right away that she was going to have big lips. I was inspired by a character on a show, and was intrigued by the idea of trying something a little different. Big eyes and lips were a must for her. I made the armature with foil, wrapped it in floral tape, and got to work, seeing what I could create. I was happy to find that she came together nicely and making her smooth wasn't the problem that it can be with some dolls. I suppose it's all in the armature and getting a little lucky there. 

After she was sculpted and baked, I knew I wanted to dye her clothes purple. Through trial and error, I had known from past dye jobs, that if you dye fabric with black dye, but use less and a shorter time, it comes out a beautiful marbledy purple. So, with that in mind, I added a little blue to my black and got to dying my favorite white stretch-cotton fabric. 

While the fabric was in the dye, I had an idea to wrap something around her waist. So, I found a leftover piece of some wide white lace I had used on my doll, Eliza, the Alchemist. I started stitching another white lace and some pink rick rack to the hem, and gathered up the top. Eventually the dye had done it's job, and the fabric had dried. I started sewing the dress, and when it was mostly complete, I put the lace skirt up to it, to see what it would look like. It just didn't seem perfect. I looked at my stash of thread, scissors, and other nick-knacks and found another failed skirt section I had intended for another doll. It was just the right color, and looked perfect. When choosing a lace for the hem of the dress I saw a long piece of lace I had tatted during a phase I was in when I tatted everywhere I went. It was the right choice, I thought.

I finished up the dress, painted the doll (with nervous fervor), and put the dress on her, sewing up the seem in the back. Then came the question of the hair. It's an interesting thing, hair. Sometimes I think I know what color it should be, but it almost never looks right when I put it up to the doll. So, one of my favorite pastimes ensued. I selected about four different color choices that seemed decent candidates, and I asked my husband which color he thought was best. The colors I had out were black with bleached tips, plain black, fire engine red, and green (which would have brought out the color of her eyes, beautifully). He chose the black with bleached tips. I always trust his opinion, since he's usually right. Sure enough, she came out lovely, with this lonely, listless inner craziness. That's when I knew she was a dreamer, lonely and confused.

This process I've just told you is much the way it goes when I make most of my dolls. I hope this little glimpse into my doll making world has given you some bit of pleasure. 

This is a doll I'm very smitten with, and I hope she finds a home with someone who can tell her where she belongs.

Lotus Asylum