Wednesday, June 30, 2010

EHAG EMPORIUM June 30th Update

Welcome to the June 30th EHAG Emporium update. I have THREE items to offer for this month's websale.  Please scroll down to view all three and my previous blog entry describing the inspiration for these three creations. Items will be sold first come, first served. Please add $7.00 per piece for shipping/insurance. PAYPAL preferred (paypal id, some exceptions for payment may be made. If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, email me directly at (click here to email) Thank you for stopping in and having a look.......Best Wishes to You! 

Item One   "Cat Cry"
No amount of shaking that rattle seems to sooth this crying baby. So, what's a Mama Kitty to do? Ah well, might as well smile, smile, smile. Nothing seems to concern this Mama.

Dolls are in paper clay, dressed in calicoes and black ruffles, Mama features a sculpted poke bonnet, and they stand on a base created form a vintage "made in Japan"  bellow toy.
8.5" tall, overall.... Item Sold

Item Two   "Saucy Sorceress"
With the wave of her wand, all things witchy and magical will materialize. One never can be to sure what the Saucy Sorceress will conjure up, but in this instance I see she has called up the tiny spirit of Hallowe'en joy!

Not quite your typical  Hallowe'en hag, the Saucy Sorceress is in paperclay, dressed in calico and black ruffles. Her hair is in the style of an 1830's  "milliner doll," complete with a slightly eerie skull hair ornament. A tiny half moon is painted on her handmade wand. The base is decorated with newspaper from a 1918 Pittsburgh publication, dresden sun, and gold rick rack.
9.25 tall, overall.... Item Sold

Item Three   "Mad Millinery"
Could it be so close to that most anticipated time of year?! It must be, as the Mad Milliner is in a frenzy of creativity, making all sorts of Hallowe'en hats! He has his milliner mannequin to display his most expensive Bal Masque top hat and a multitude of small party hats in progress are on the work table.
He is quite MAD, you know, so there is a twist to this piece... the milliner's head is interchangeable with the mannequin's head!

The doll in this piece is paperclay, dressed in felt and cotton. The two heads are interchangeable. Note the milliner's tiny jol pincushion. The milliner and table are both free standing, to allow versatility in display. The table is wooden and decorated with various fringes, newspaper from a 1918 Pittsburgh publication, features miniscule handmade paper and crepe paper party hats, and a milliner's bust mannequin.
Doll is 8" tall.... Item Sold

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bonnet Heads and Milliner Models

In anticipation of the upcoming EHAG Emporium update on June 30th, here is a hint regarding my contributions. These are the dolls that inspired my forthcoming offerings... 

  One of the most appealing aspects of toys and dolls, both historically and in modern context, is the idea that they portray the ideal; the ideal conveyance, the ideal home, or the ideal fashion. In terms of fashion, our 19th century doll-making predecessors bequeathed a rich legacy of fanciful creations. These fancies are infinite, but in this installment I will focus on two categories, with three dolls as illustrations.

  To begin with, there are two "bonnet head" dolls. Bonnet head is a general term used to describe a doll in any medium that features a molded hat or bonnet. The two pictured are from the latter part of the 19th century and were  probably fairly inexpensive when new. The medium used in these examples is a course, untinted porcelain slip well suited for making modestly priced play-dolls. This type of porcelain is commonly referred to as "stone bisque." Though cheaply manufactured, these ladies have not skimped on their apparel. The larger doll has a magical butterfly bonnet perched atop her head. What could be more whimsical than donning a garden's most glamorous inhabitant? In the second photo, this little stone bisque doll  is perhaps a bit more sensible, but no less attractive. She sports a very jaunty millinery creation featuring delightful ruffle and ribbon details.
Stone bisque shoulderplate head in a magical butterfly bonnet

Stone bisque doll with sensible, yet stylish molded bonnet

  The second style of doll I wish to focus on is the "milliner model." Of course, we identify millinery with hat-making, but millinery can also include all the trappings of fashion. In the broad context of millinery, you will find ribbons, laces, fabrics, feathers, and so forth. The milliner model doll was made in Germany with a papier mache shoulderplate head mounted on a rigid leather body. Carved wooden lower arms and legs complete this style of doll. Early doll collectors created a myth that these little beauties illustrated fashions of the 1820's-1860's. Modern research tells a different story. These little remnants of the past were merely play-dolls. The fact that they were playthings does not diminish their charms at all. My particular favorites date to the 1830's. Fashion records tell us that the 1830's were a time of ladies' hairstyles that were nearly as outrageous as those hairstyles of the 18th century royal french court. My pictured example has a quirky combination of curls covering her skull. Not only do curls cluster about her ears, they project from the top of her head in a feat that seems to defy gravity!
1830's papier mache doll
Remember June 30th 9:oopm (est)!
Many EHAG artists (including me) will have new items for sale. My offerings will appear here, at this blog. To see other artists' work, click EHAG logo on right margin.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Little Christmas in June

A Little Off- Season or A Little Off-in-the-Head,
You Be the Judge...

During these hot and humid early days of Summer, I could use just a hint of the cool crispness of Winter. Since I'm not some kind of "weather-wizard," I had to settle with working on this piece, entitled "Contemplating Christmas." This is a re-order, smaller version of a creation from April. As you can see, Santa is taking a little breather. He's hopped up on his vintage papier mache "boot-throne" and is contemplating plans for the upcoming Yuletide Season. He is dressed in an art-deco inspired fabric. Santa's boot is decorated with scans of my old Christmas postcards and tinsel trims. No matter the time of year, it's always a pleasure to revisit the Santas of years past and gain inspiration for a new artwork!

Detail of Santa Claus for "Contemplating Christmas"