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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Art Club Challenge

The last time my art club met I passed out these odd little plastic suction tips that I found in Ann Arbor the last time I went to the Scrap Box. I challenged everyone to make a doll using the triangle shaped piece of plastic as their doll base.

The Scrap Box is a fantastic find for artists. It is a recyclers dream, full of cast offs from automotive plants, manufacturing waste, and other items that are really cool to use as art materials. A lot of automotive manufacturing goes on around Michigan so there seems to be a lot of materials from that venue, and I think for that reason the plastic suction tips that I found were very heat resistant. I tried to solder some legs onto the bottom of one of the dolls that I made and the plastic was right up against the metal but it didn't melt. I was happy but surprised. I believe it didn't melt because it was made to withstand heat, like many auto parts are. So that is just one more benefit to picking up items from The Scrap Box.

My dolls are each very different, the first one was playful and fun. It has felted hair and arms, a skirt made of sheer organza and a fringe accent, along with a bead placed inside the neck area that reads Heart on the front and Want on the back. The head is stuffed fabric, with wiggle eyes.

My second doll was much more serious. At the last art club meeting we made polymer clay transferred images and I wasn't sure what to do with one that I made of a beautiful Japanese woman. So I decided to use this image as my head for the second doll I made. I rolled both sides of the image into the middle and glued it into the neck portion which looks like a tube. Then I wrapped a long strip of organza around the whole body several times to create a dress form. I glued metal leaves in place where arms and legs would naturally be, added ribbons to the back and an embroidered Dragon Fly to the front. I placed a crown on her head and a wooded stick up into the body. The whole doll was attached to a base and secured with wire to stabilize the up righted position. So this doll looks like it is standing up. Some embellishments were added to the bottom and another image of older ancestors was placed below a feather and an Elephant. Take a closer look at the pictures by clicking on them.

My last doll (I got carried away with this challenge) was the one that I soldered the legs onto an old key lock. So the lock is the base and because the base is nice and heavy it also stands up nicely. The solder wasn't so smooth, so in the end I covered it with handmade paper and gel medium. The head was made as a 3-D shaker box, and the eyes were just drawn on. The plastic suction tip is really visible with this doll as I only used stamped tissue paper and drawings to mask it. The inside portion of the plastic was stuffed with translucent polymer clay and baked in my oven with the keys in place. The brass filigree at the bottom was soldered to the base. The feather wings are glued to the back.

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