Obligatory disclaimer: I’ve got an Etsy shop of my own, but half of the fun of Etsy is people promoting each other’s art, so here goes.
You may have seen my pumpkinhead pins in an earlier post. Well, recently I was perusing Etsy and noticed that I’m not the only one doing jack-o-lanterns this time of year. I was going to make an Etsy treasury, but they were all full, so I decided to post them here instead. I’m sure there are many more fabulous pumpkin sculptures on Etsy, but I only have room for these:
CLB Creations has added this goofy pumpkin to her lineup of silly dragons and humorous aliens. What character! He looks like he just swallowed his candle!
Just in time for Halloween, artTherapy has decided to break into the world of needle sculpting with a bushel of charming pumpkins of various sizes and colors. Very cute.
Moogancreations ‘s shop full of “craft related mishaps” is like a rogue’s gallery from another planet. She describes the process of creating this needlefelted pumpkin as “stabbing wool roving repeatedly with tiny sharp needles to create a mass of ghoulish delight.” You can almost hear the poor gourd screaming…
“Clyde the Pumpkin Boy” is a lively offering from faeryspellcreations. Her shop is filled with fairy-themed hats, dolls, bags and masks, but Clyde and his friends Mollie and Hattie are definitely my favorites.
Here are a couple more artists I saw at the Plaza Art Fair whose work is pertinent to dollmakers:
Anthony Pack gives personality to junk and vintage found objects and carves simplistic sculptures from wood. His little metal “robots” look like the Tin Woodsman’s offspring (perhaps appropriate, since his business card has a Kansas phone number on it) and his sometimes-naughty wooden sculptures fall somewhere between “primitive” and “post-modern.” Not pictured on his Flickr site are the hilarious little wall sculptures I saw in his booth, which were painted skin color and had little knobs and pegs in particular places. I’m a self-confessed prude, but they made me chuckle anyway. You can see a few more pictures of his work here.
Thomas Wargin is a sculptor, not a dollmaker. I find myself uncertain as to how I’m supposed to respond to his work, emotionally. At first glance, his figures are dark and mysterious, sometimes a little tortured-looking as they interact with or transform into mechanical parts. But on closer inspection, you find that many of them have whimsical elements like bunny ears. There’s probably some kind of statement about the deep meaning of life there, but I’m clearly not educated enough to read it properly. He has an extensive and very professionally-done web page.
Kina Crow is more my kind of artist. She loves caricatures and has a background in costume design, which makes her sound like a dollmaker, to me, but unlike most dollmakers, she works in earthen clays. Her whimsical characters illustrate abstract themes, sometimes bordering on visual puns. All of her work makes me smile, but I think her fairy with the flowers in her hair (seen here; I can’t grab the picture) is simply gorgeous. Her work is all over the internet, but check out her own site first, and then here and here.
Okay, this is not a doll artist. She doesn’t claim to be a doll artist and I don’t even claim she is one. But I just got home from the Kansas City Plaza Art Fair, and it was the first time I’d seen Karen Woodward’s work. I laughed out loud at the rollicking personalities exhibited by her little “effigy sculptures” made from “flameworked glass.” (I don’t know the difference between flamework and lampwork, but she seems to also work in argon lights, so maybe the process is similar to that. Maybe someone who reads this will post a comment and explain.) What really heats her work up, though, are the goofy expressions on her effigies and the hilarious titles some of them have, from “Cotton Candy Man” to “The Chicken Thief.”
Her artist statement says that when you view her pieces together, the relationships they seem to develop bring a deeper meaning than their simple entertainment value. This may be true, or it may be what she has to write to be accepted by the “fine art” crowd, which she obviously is, but either way, I wholeheartedly endorse her statement that, “art does not have to be serious to be meaningful.” I hope she’ll decide to exhibit at more Kansas City shows so I can visit her work more often! For now I’ll have to settle for her website at www.karenwoodwardstudios.com.
I’ve been searching for some artists doing cool Halloween stuff (as opposed to gory goth doll makeovers) and I’ve found one who may not know she’s a dollmaker. Lisa Nelson calls herself a “Halloween all year artist,” which is a good description of what she does, but a quick search doesn’t turn up any involvement with any doll organizations. In fact, as near as I can tell, you can only see her work in three places: her blog, her EBSQ gallery, and her eBay auctions. My first thought was that this lady needs to be on Deviantart! Then again, she claims customers from six different countries, so maybe she doesn’t need any more exposure than she’s already getting!
Her paintings are colorful and moody, but what I really dig are her sculptures. Nelson’s Halloween ornaments are equally colorful and full of personality. I’d like to know what kind of paints she uses on them, since her paintings seem to encompass every kind of media she can get her hands on. Check out her horrifyingly grotesque Goblin Witch above, which she explains isn’t really a witch but a goblin dressed for Halloween, and the one-eyed ogre, which is the worst kind, she warns, although I think he looks too cheerful to be all that horrible. Maybe he’s just had a good meal of Greek warrior.
Well, in anticipation of the Halloween Art Spooktacular show where my doll club will be exhibiting in October, I’ve been madly sculpting Halloween pins. I’m ultimately hoping to have a dozen of each of these varieties, which will earn us some much-needed cash, but I couldn’t resist posting some of them on my Etsy site. So here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to.