Thursday, January 29, 2015

Karolina Doll

I was asked to design a doll for Karolina an Israeli singer, I have done some of those portrait dolls before, but each time it is a new challenge. 
Karolina has very familiar look with her afro haircut, I spent few hours to look for some curly wool, while I gave up finding something that looks like her hair I decided to crochet it, after few experiments , I found out that the best thread for it is an ordinary embroidery thread which I crocheted with thick hook (no. 7) It was her request to sew the dress out of speckled fabric.
Design the dress pattern was an issue as well; it was quite difficult to catch her unique style in such a small size, all the doll is 20 cm. 
It was Karolina request to have cherry earrings for the doll; those were fun to make just like creating the tiny ears. It was obvious that the doll need a little tiny felt guitar as well.
Face was definitely the most complicated part, at first I just draw the lines with the magic disappearing embroidery pen, but it changed a lot during the embroidery process, , and I embroidered the facial features few times till it was satisfying, since it was such a small piece of cloth I had to unpick the all piece and actually  created three different versions of the face.It was more than two weeks of work, it is always very intense and stressful to create that portrait dolls, and it is not simple to put a person, into less than 20 cm of cloth. 
But well here she is, soon after the doll was done we went to a tour around the neighborhood.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Overcoat turned into a Button, the story of Joseph

 During the past week I have been busy with this custom order of Joseph's Little Overcoat, which I created for a storytelling show at the Hiriya Ecological Park. It is based, of course, on the children's book Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, which was written by Simms Taback, and inspired by the Yiddish song I Had a Little Overcoat. It tells the story of Joseph the tailor, who turned his old overcoat into a...
And, finally, when even the kerchief became worn out, he made a button out of it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

During the last two weeks, I have been busy with moving to a new apartment and a new studio. It was all such a big mess, which is getting better by now. There is still some mess, but finally I am so glad to have my studio back.

Add caption

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Boy Crafts

One of the things I do for a living is conduct workshops for both adults and kids.
The adult audience is usually 95% female.
With kids, the situation is different. There have been many times I was invited to schools or event venues, where I worked with mixed gender groups. I am often asked in advanced if this kind of activity will suit boys too, and this question has been asked mostly when referring to the 10-12 age group.

From my experience, particularly with this age group, I have had great success with the boys. I'm not surprised by it, since I conducted so many workshops of this sort during the last few years, and I always get the same enthusiastic reactions from boys as well as from girls.

It seems that the boys are less bothered by the gender issue when creating those dolls; if they are, it is manifested in the design of masculine characters (one of the principles I maintain in my workshops is to encourage each participant to design and create their own characters).

Still, I am always faced with doubts regarding whether boys will enjoy doll making at this age, and they almost always come from adults – the educational staff or parents.

I assume that the opportunity to create characters, particularly masculine characters, using needlecraft techniques and textile materials, gives boys a unique opportunity to express the transformation from childhood into adulthood in a more complicated and complex way, which can express various layers of the personality, consciously and unconsciously, as well as emotions which can’t be expressed in other ways.
I have collected some creations made by boys from my workshops:

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Plastic Bags and Safety Belts

This is slightly different from the usual Doll Stories posts, but I recently find myself straying from my familiar surroundings – but not too far.
It is always very complicated for me to say what my occupation is and what I do for a living. My works not always exactly the same, but at the end of the day, they are all from the same area of art and crafts design, which is also close to ecology and education.
To make a long story short, the project I was busy with during the last few weeks was a customized order to design and create a bunch of messenger bags for the local ecological park education program, which will be used to hold assignment papers the kids receive when they visit the park.
Naturally, the brief clearly stated that they had to be made out of recycled or reused materials.
Here they are all together:

I chose to create them using a mixture of several materials. The back was made out of faux leather car upholstery, the front was made out of scraps of reused vinyl banners, and the flap, which was the most creative part, was made out of plastic bags fused together by ironing.

At first, I tried to make the flaps more efficiently by using an industrial iron press, but I made so many mistakes, including the use of a type of paper that stuck to the nylon, so I ended up relying on my household iron to make most of the flaps.

Another process I used was laser-cutting  (at the local fablab- Fablabil) the strap ring and buckle, based on my own design.

The straps are actually discarded bus safety belts I got from a specialist repair shop.

For the lining, I employed the type of plastic used for large roll-up banners.