Monday, July 26, 2010

Primitive Dolls

Have you ever made something and wondered why you did? But felt like it would lead you somewhere in the future. Most times I know where I am going at the time. But a couple of weeks ago I had some left over clay and was inspired to make a couple of primitive, doll-like figures. At the time I wasn't sure what I would do with them, but decided to let myself go with the feeling.

The figures turned out very primitive to say the least. I thought about crumpling them, but once I made them I decided to let them live. In the back of my mind I had a feeling there was a reason I made the dolls, but wasn't sure why. I looked at the dolls a couple of times and thought I could perhaps improve their look if I knew more about sculpting the human face and figure. I thought about adding some fabric after they were fired. Somehow I felt the reason I made the dolls would be revealed to me.

Yesterday I saw an ad for a daybed with a trundle on Craigslist. I wanted to have a place for relatives and guests to sleep when they come to visit. I emailed about the bed. It was still available and I made arrangements to go see it this morning. Of course Gary was saying we don't really need it right now; gee do we have to go. I said yes, if we like it, we'll both have to lift it in the car.

We arrived there and as we walked in the house I was immediately struck by a fabric collage on the wall the woman, Darlene, had done and remarked about it. Next we went into the room with the daybed (example posted is not the daybed) and there were several fabric collages on the wall and each one called to me. I kept asking questions about Darlene's work and the next thing you know Darlene was explaining all about her art and how and why she had constructed each piece.

Gary and Darlene's husband, Bob, went in the other room and sat down because they could see it would be some time before we even got around to looking at the daybed.

Then Darlene took me around her home showing me her art, fabric and mixed media pieces; each one so unique and wonderful. She had made several dolls, I will call them dolls, but they were much more than that. I was amazed at Darlene's creative use of unique materials and the dolls each had their own personality. I mentioned to Darlene about having made a couple of primitive figures in clay and how I was inexperienced with human sculpture and wished I knew more.

A long story short, and it was a long story, because we spent more than an hour talking before I even saw the daybed. Darlene invited me to a group she teaches on making dolls and also invited me to join a mixed media group. I realize now I was meant to meet Darlene. On the way home I was so excited thinking about Darlene, the groups I'll be joining, and the (much improved, I hope) primitive dolls I'll be making in the future.


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  3. Linda- just meant to be!
    I wonder where this will lead you!

  4. Love your little figures. The meeting was meant to be but did you get the bed?

  5. Hi Meredith, thanks, yes wondering where it will lead me, I have so many paths I am having a hard time keeping up with them all. Ha.

    Hi Patricia, thanks, yes another discovery and so happy I'll be meeting some more folks who love art as much as me.

    Hi Patti, thanks, kind of amazing, like the twilight zone, yes I did get the bed, I guess I was so excited about telling of meeting Darlene; I forgot about mentioning that I did get the bed.

  6. crazy how these things happen... did you get the daybed?

  7. Hi Jim, thanks, yes I got the daybed. Ha, how could I not.

  8. the dolls are great... i like how the larger one appears to be jointed. are you going to glaze them?

  9. I love it when the Universe shows us the way to another great idea. When my ex, the potter, first became interested in clay it was because of Navajo mud toys we found in a small shop/cafe in Bluff, Utah. Fuuny how one thing leads to another and life just keeps spinning away into infinite goodness. Love your idea of primitive dolls.

  10. I love the primatives you created and am so glad you did not destroy them...

  11. I agree with Teresa! Life has mysterious ways doesn't it?
    We just need to pay attention to those little inspirational moments, eventhough we don't always know what it may lead to.
    Go with the flow Linda! :-)

    By the way, you have inspired me to make a pedestal bowl! I'll take pictures soon.

    and I'm also very glad we met through the blogs!

    Monique/Nu Kua

    ( I know, it;s confusing, hehe. My name is Monique, my blogs name is Nu Kua, she was a goddess in chinese mythology who created men from.....clay!)

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  13. Hi Michele, thanks, the larger one I made the appendages and attached them with kanthal wire in a U shape so they appear jointed. I might make some more with wire between more joints. I have been reading on how to sculp heads, torsos, arms, legs, fingers, toes and I am learning a tremendous amount. glazing these? like I said I was going to throw them away, we shall see. I see spirit dolls in my clay future - glazed or not.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, it truly is amazing how events in life turn us in a certain direction; I believe that is the direction we should indeed go in. Infinite goodness - I like that thought very much, thanks.

    Hi Darlene, thanks, I appreciate your input even though these are quite archiac. Hopefully I can learn the basics then return to the archiac with artistic license, isn't that the way it goes?

    Hi Monique, thanks, isn't this so much fun meeting and being inspired by one another, I can't wait to see your pedastal bowl. That form is so intriguing to me. At once a vessel for serving and also a homage to the gods if you will.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment