art dolls

Maureen Carlson’s Polymer Clay Characters

Posted in art dolls, Characters, polymer clay on January 13th, 2010 by Alice – 7 Comments

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Story Box #15

When I first started getting interested in polymer clay, it was because I wanted very badly to sculpt! Faces! There were a few artists that had been working in polymer for years and had published a few books. Maureen Carlson was one of them. I bought her book, Family and Friends in Polymer Clay, I loved this book.   Maureen is, and I believe always will be, a storyteller. Her newest work above is a tribute to her fabulous imagination and ability to engage you, the viewer, with the tapestry of her stories. Couple this with the color and texture of the clay and you have delightful, entertaining story to read in 3D. This Storybox might be my favorite work of hers to date.

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Wee Folk

Maureen’s designs are about imagination and whimsy and the joy of recognizing a glint of understanding in the eyes of a wee clay creature. Wee Folk Creations is a company that specializes in designs, artwork and stories created by Maureen.

Wall Doll

Wall Doll

In 1999, Maureen and her husband Dan opened Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts, in Jordan, Minnesota, just 35 miles southwest of Minneapolis.  In this small town setting, perched on the edge of a small meandering creek, students and retreat participants have opportunities to learn, to share and to explore their creative interests.

All My Life's A Circle

All My Life's A Circle

On her website, Maureen has many galleries full of work from the beginning to today. The theme of her newest work is faces, which is why I am continually drawn to Maureen and her characters. I just love this “Circle” girl. She tells the story of herself, on herself as we all do if one looks close enough.

Be Still

Be Still

In keeping with a story telling, on her website she shares this about her sculpture, Be Still.

“My sculptures usually come from words and phrases that pair themselves with images. Such is the case with this piece.  I heard once that there is great value in being still, that action is not the only choice.  In fact, there might be great harm in doing something just to do it, or in being busy just to prove one’s worth. I paired that thought with these words that a student posted on the quotation wall at my retreat center: You can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but you don’t have to let them nest in your hair.”  You can read the rest of Maureen’s thoughts about Be Still here.

Talking Stick

Talking Stick

I asked Maureen if she had anything that she would like my readers to know. She answered, ”One of the things that I know about my work is that I still love my little whimsical wee folk at the same time that I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of making the newer pieces that tell stories and ask questions.  Haven’t gotten bored yet!”

“It’s been 30 years now that I’ve been making and marketing my characters and I’m still learning new things. So many things yet that I want to explore.”

Maureen continues to produce books and many other products to educate those of us who want to learn more about polymer clay. You can access all of Maureen’s products and information on her website, Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts.

Popularity: 93% [?]

The Characters of Bill Nelson

Posted in art dolls, Illustration, Puppets, Ventriloquist figure on November 24th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments

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Bill Nelson is a Facebook friend of mine. He’s always posting something wonderful to look at. He is an illustrator, a sculptor and a ventriloquist figure maker. His work makes me laugh and wish I had just a tiny bit of his talent.

Some of Bill Nelson’s figures have found homes with people we’ve heard of before, Demi Moore, Whoopie Goldberg, David Copperfield and the list goes on.

Santa

HIs illustrations have won over 900 awards. You might have seen Bill’s work on the covers for CQ Weekly, The Atlantic Monthly, or Lands’ End.

Bill is listed in Who’s Who in America and created a series of Big Band Illustrations for the Untied States Postal Service stamps.

7519_136276183138_817063138_2511600_771867_n.jpgHe told me that Super Sculpey was his favorite material to use to sculpt his characters.

I wanted to know what he enjoyed most about creating his people. He said, “Bringing the face to life by tinting and coloring, that’s my favorite part. Wigging is almost as much fun because they both bring the character to life.”

I mean, look at these faces……….

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Bill said that he doesn’t have any kind of regular schedule for creating his characters unless he has a commission.

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He spends part of his time teaching an entire curriculum on the art of dollmaking online at That Creative Place. He also teaches workshops in his home in North Carolina.

Not only will you learn from a master, I think Bill is the kind of guy that will make your learning experience extremely entertaining.

There is more to learn about this amazing artist, so you might want to visit his website, which by the way is one of the coolest I’ve seen.  You’ll be entertained by his work for sure.

I’m leaving you with this one, it makes me laugh out loud. It’s “Boris Karloff between takes”, but all I see is Frank kickin’ back. I’m laughing now.

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Popularity: 100% [?]

The Art Dolls of DABIDA

Posted in art dolls, Fabric, mixed media on September 12th, 2009 by Alice – 3 Comments
Gelske Koopmans - Artist

Gelske Koopmans - Artist

Gelske Koopmans, a doll artist and member of DABIDA sent me a message pointing me to The Dutch and Belgian Institute of Doll Artists‘ website. I have been familiar with the work of some of the members of this group and was delighted to feature the Institute and show photos of some of the amazing work.

DABIDA was founded in 2006 by a small group of Dutch Doll Artists, who now make up the DABIDA board.

My only regret is that I just can’t post a picture from each artists, or speak about the ones I do feature. The good news is, all the DABIDA members have a page on the DABIDA website and many of them have a link to their personal sites. You can spend hours viewing each artist’s work.

Gelske Koopmans creates her dolls directly into porcelain- or stoneware clay. She says, “The beauty of making dolls is that it enables you to try out various creative skills”

Gelske Koopmans Artist

Gelske Koopmans Artist

She hand builds the head of the doll, arms and legs and sometimes the entire body. She can experiment with various kinds of glazes, for example in painting the face or the entire doll.

Geksje goes on the say, “I have to make clothes for the doll, sometimes of cloth and other times of clay. After all these years I am still excited about making dolls, because I am more and more able to make the image I have in mind.”

I’m so  impressed with the lace work on some of her figures and the beautiful faces that she creates.

The follow are just a few of the marvelous art dolls created by the members of DABIDA.

Artist - Ankie Daanen

Artist - Ankie Daanen

Artists - Bets & Amy van Boxel

Artists - Bets & Amy van Boxel

Artist - Gerda Schaarman - Rijsdijk

Artist - Gerda Schaarman - Rijsdijk


Artist - Hannie Sarris - Hulstein

Artist - Hannie Sarris - Hulstein

Artist- Marlaine Verhelst

Artist- Marlaine Verhelst

Artist- Tine Kamerbeek

Artist- Tine Kamerbeek

Artist- Yvonne Flipse

Artist- Yvonne Flipse

I want to thank Gelske Koopmans for contacting me and all the other artists for allowing me to feature them here. Again I regret not having room to feature them all. I hope you take the time to visit them on the DABIDA website in the members section.

Popularity: 85% [?]