Alabama Babies by Deanna Hogan

July 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm (Tutorials and how-tos) (, , )

Something about ODACA artist Deanna Hogan’s work reminds me of the nostalgic South. She lives in the northwest, so maybe it’s just the power of suggestion, since she has made several dolls based on the antique Alabama Baby, but to me her chubby play dolls and nostalgic adult figures are reminiscent of folk music and rural life.

Although her dolls are technically cloth dolls, many of them have fabric faces glued over polymer clay masks. Pictured above on the left is one of her Alabama Baby-inspired dolls, Viola Ruth. Viola Ruth has a polymer clay mask and cranium joined by paperclay over a cloth stump. Then Hogan glues cloth over the whole unit, gessos and sands it and paints it with oil paints. She has a tutorial for her process on her Picturetrail account.

Although she isn’t preoccupied by fairies and wizards like so many of us, Hogan’s work is fantastical in its own way, reminding one of childhood toys and fairytales. The seated doll above is from a pattern she sells called Averill, and includes bead-joined knees and elbows and button-jointed limbs. I wonder how many of her patterns are purchased by grandmas to make for their lucky little granddaughters.

Some of Hogan’s adult dolls are just a little bit bluesy, as exemplified by her Bob Dylan portrait above, and Delta Dawn, who was inspired by a song about a woman who was left at the altar. As you can see, they’re full to the brim of character, and I just love her choice of fabrics for Dawn’s dress. Check out Hogan’s blog and her website for more pictures of her work.

Have a great weekend. I spent all week trying to move this blog over. Yikes, what a chore!

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