What a Doll-Part 2

laurahere.jpgThis is a continuation of the doll project. In this post I’ll finish showing you the creation of the head. We left off with the head and neck being coated with stiffener…

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After the stiffener dries, a coat of glue is applied to the face and neck. A layer of dyed gauze, (this is black walnut) is smoothed on, and worked into all the contours. The gauze smoothes everything out and hides the seam of the first layer, which runs vertically down the face.

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(At this point, I'd just laid the gauze over the face and still have to work it into all the contours.)

Akira uses colored pencils to add additional coloring to the face, but I wanted more pigment, so I used pastels. I worked over the face with 4 different colors of pastels and “scrubbed” them into the gauze with a dry brush. The eyes are painted acrylics. I did use colored pencils for the lips, and around the eyes.

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(OK, this is a pretty big leap in the step-by-step, but I was so into what I was doing I forgot to take photos.)

I bought some lovely mohair roving to use for hair from Earth Guild when we were in Asheville NC. I have very little experience dyeing roving, and despite my careful efforts, I ended up with a messy snarl after dyeing the roving with black walnuts. I was able to comb it out, but the fibers are too short to use like I wanted to. Hmmm, I happened to have a skein of wool from a yarn mill I piacked up on my last visit to PA. (I visited the mill’s shop and dug through their seconds bin to get bargains for Katie.) I divided it into 3 small skeins and dyed them with black walnuts. I didn’t use any mordant since walnut hulls are substantive, (they have their own natural tannins which act as a mordant) and I was in a hurry to get some hair on this chick. I pulled out the skeins at different times and got a nice range of browns so she will have highlights. I love the way her hair looks like dreadlocks. I wanted to create an earth mama, and although the dreads were my second attempt at hair, they are such a great happy accident!

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Her eyelids are separate pieces of gauze, glued on after the eyes were painted. I set out to have her gazing down to draw the viewer into the bundle that will eventually be in her arms. Well, I am happy with how her head has turned out, I've been putting off getting to work on her arms and hands, afraid I’ll mess her up. However, she isn’t going to be shown like this so I better get cracking!

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