Micaceous Rock and "Yellow Gold Glitter" Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Rock and

Micaceous Rock and “Yellow Gold Glitter” Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Appears more glittery and sparkly in person.

Micaceous rock from family land in South Dakota was crushed and added to “Yelllow Gold Glitter” Premo polymer clay — the stronger polymer clay by Sculpey that’s suitable for making thinner beads like this. (Always wear a mask if working with micaceous rock in this manner to avoid permanent lung disease.)

About 2″ long and 1/4 inch thick. Mica powder patterns, a sun or spirals, were stamped into the raw clay before curing. The sun and spiral symbolism can have significance. E.g. http://www.whats-your-sign.com/spiral-meaning.html. Small bead holes are added after curing (now shown), usually after jewelry design is complete. Design may determine hole placement and number.

The finished beads look very much like some of the micaceous earth in South Dakota. The particular rocks used in making this came from family land right by Medicine Mountain, which is sacred land. So these beads have personal significant meaning for me in at least four ways. They are my creative expression, the rock comes from family land, the rock comes from the vicinity of sacred land upon which I attended a ritual, the rock represents time spent with family, and the symbolism is well chosen, of course.

Medicine Mountain Background:www.flickr.com/photos/sari0009/19354330223/in/dateposted-... There are two Medicine Mountains and only one is in South Dakota. The history and backstory for this particular Medicine Mountain is hard to find, hence my link is offered here.

Interesting Factoid: In some areas of South Dakota, the ground glitters like gold due to the earth and rocks’ micaceous (mica-filled) nature and looks magical.

Hand Sculpted Voluptuous Ceramic Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield

Finally Glazed my First Ceramic Goddess Pendants!

Two of these darlings are in Red Roses Bead Haven, a local bead shop, to test the waters, as it were.

Pictures and a short video. These pendants  represent my first experience with teaching myself how to sculpt and work with ceramics. I previously worked with polymer clay. It’s taken me four months to get to this point because I don’t own my own glazes or kiln. I’m lucky enough that a local art gallery will fire them for me and will let me use donated glazes. However, it’s often three weeks or so between firings, more if the kiln breaks down as it did recently.

One is made of red micaceous (contains mica) clay and didn’t need to be glazed like the rest.

Hand Sculpted Voluptuous Ceramic Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield

Hand Sculpted Voluptuous Ceramic Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield

Ceramic Goddess Pendants by SE Wisconsin artist, Karen A. Scofield

Ceramic Goddess Pendants by SE Wisconsin artist, Karen A. Scofield

Ceramic Goddess Pendants by SE Wisconsin artist, Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Ceramic Goddess Pendants by SE Wisconsin artist, Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

My First Ceramic Bisque Fired Goddess Pendants

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Yes, another picture and video of my beads but these are my very first ceramic fired anything! It took several weeks for them to get fired (not my schedule, not my kiln), but here they are before an iron oxide wash that will give them an earthy iron color. Weeeeee! I have to grok at them some more because I DID THESE! Me! He he.

Taps all fingertips together at once … what else can I do with cermamic clay without a wheel?

Sculpted Goddess Pendant strung with wooden and ceramic beads, By Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Sculpted Goddess Pendant strung with wooden and ceramic beads, By Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

 

Karen A. Scofield Learning with Creager Studios Workshop DVD. Progress shot. KarenAScofield

WIP: Sculpting with Creager Studio Workshops Sculpting the Head Volume 1

2015_01_11and12_SculptingArtDollsAgain 001

Note: This page will show more as my work progresses.

The above shows my progress during the first two days. I have to add the lips, eyes, flesh it out more, shape it more, add details and then bake it.

Where to buy the Creager Workshop DVDs: http://www.creagers.com/. I have all three and they’re really helping me. I love them.

Rusty and a Beginner — I was a beginner when I started sculpting art dolls in 2005 but managed to get juried into an art gallery with assemblage type dolls. I’m diving in again after a years-long hiatus and this time, I want to do far more pure sculpting. I tried one head to toe body pure sculpt and then stopped. It’s been years since. I have hours and hours of practice ahead of me — I both look forward to it and dread the awkward stage. This time I hope to stick with it.

So … I cracked open my Creager DVD on sculpting heads and this time I’m going to keep on trying.

Right away, I came across numerous technical problems.

Clay — Ooops. I chose a clay blend because I was in love with it after some pretty decent results in one of the softest clay — Sculpey UltraLIght. Like straight Sculpey Ultralight, however, my Super Sculpey-Sculpey Ultralight clay mix doesn’t blend or smooth well. After this practice head, I’ll switch to working with more traditional art doll clays. They have varying degrees of softness and firmness but will blend and smooth well.

Unfortunate Combination of Store Practices and Super Sculpey Packaging  — Super Sculpey boxes aren’t sealed in a protective wrap, the boxes don’t close tightly, people often pinch off a piece or mar the clay, and stores invariably place Super Sculpey on bottom shelves where they’ll be exposed to the most dirt, dust, and lint. It’s not one of the more popular clays among hobbyists, so boxes often sit on the shelves longer than other clays, thus compounding the problem. Consequently the clay is often dirty before you even get it home and you can’t simply wash off the lint. I could shave off the sides and put them in a scrap clay container, I suppose.

Brushes That Stain Clay — Jodi Creager said to use artist brushes…any small enough to smooth the clay. Not her fault, Murphy’s Law and all, but Daler Rowney Simply Brown Nylon Brushes leave their bristle color on my clay. Only the brown ones do that so far. I’ll look for other brushes, white and/or natural bristle ones. I guess I should test even brushes on polymer clay first. Test, test, test. Lots of testing with everything.

Lint — I’m wearing light colored cotton with a white lab coat over it. No dark fibrous sweaters or towels are allowed in the studio. Pets are not allowed either. I cleaned my station for two days with wet wipes and even rubbed my claying mat with a wad of clay to pick up the lint and I’m still finding dark fibers of several different colors in the once clean clay after working it yesterday and today. Argh!

Jan. 15, 2015

Learning to Pure Sculpt More with Creager Studio Workshops "Sculpting the  Head" Volme 1 DVD

Learning to Pure Sculpt More with Creager Studio Workshops “Sculpting the Head” Volme 1 DVD, third day…

Jan. 19, 2015

Learning to sculpt polymer clay art doll heads with a Creager Studios Workshop DVD

Learning to sculpt polymer clay art doll heads with a Creager Studios Workshop DVD

I’ve been making progress every day or other day, the latest involving fine-tuned shaping and texturing, but as soon as I added rudimentary ears and and started to correct the jaw, I saw a bunch of things I want to change. I need to add more to the top of the head, add more flesh to outer upper eyelid to reflect age, redo and lower ears, redo chin, add a bit to the upper lip right under the nose thus changing the bottom of the nostrils and nares slightly. For starters. Then I have to do the neck and continue with the rest of the body. I’ll probably have to do more texturing and even further fine-tuned shaping. Here’s a video that shows him from different angles at this stage, just in case WIPs (Works in Progress) interest you. For me, they’re a good record that I can organize into one ongoing post.

Progress Jan. 26, 2015.

Learning with Creager Studios Workshop DVD. Progress shot. KarenAScofield

Learning how to sculpt with more of an additive process with Creager Studio Worshops “Sculpting the Head” Volume 1. Progress Jan. 26, 2015.

I have to revisit the entire list of everything I’m working on because I didn’t make nearly the progress I wanted. Perhaps it’s better to make slow, small changes than to make such mistake that I don’t know how to save the work from that point.

Made Another Batch of Molded, Altered Sun and Moon Faces

Molded, altered, painted, some treated to artist grade gel pens. these are some of my latest kitchen magnets I made of polymer clay. Suns and moons. Dec. 2014. Karen A. Scofield.  My photos and blog entry are copyrighted, all rights reserved.

Molded, altered, painted, some treated to artist grade gel pens. these are some of my latest kitchen magnets I made of polymer clay. Suns and moons. Dec. 2014. Karen A. Scofield. My photos and blog entry are copyrighted, all rights reserved.

My thyroid’s decided to take me on a wild roller coaster lately and they’ve adjusted my thyroid meds multiple times. I think they’ll have to adjust my dose again. I feel like death warmed over so I start making these faces. It cheers me up while I’m doing it and for a little bit after.

Sometimes I pure sculpt, sometimes I use molds, altered the raw molded clay, and so on.

Half of the faces have become kitchen magnets, half will go in a large jar for later projects. Squee! (Sound of joygasm.)

Art Dolls

(URLs For Included Links Last Checked and Corrected: Jan. 6, 2015.)

What’s Your Reality Bubble?

Professionally speaking, Art Dolls are works of fine art that aren’t created to be played with and aren’t created by using commercial molds. They can take a day to a month or more and are sold for 100 US dollars, if the skill level is lacking, to 10,000 US dollars or more when made by highly skilled, better known artists.

Altering stuff made while using commercial molds means you used a commercial mold and therefore any work made with that isn’t an art doll in any professional sense. Those creations belong to different categories of doll. See the array of industry-recognized, doll categories and their titles covered on ODACA’s (Original Doll Artist Council of America) Standard Definitions Page.

My pinterest board on art dolls and spirit dolls shows some of the finer examples of art dolls.http://www.pinterest.com/sari0009/art-dolls-and-spirit-dolls/

Although some “art doll” artists who use commercial molds and commercially made doll parts may hold workshops and/or write books, they are usually not among those who are selling said “art dolls” professionally as active members in any of the better known art doll associations as professional art doll artists.

Why Differentiate?

Art is art, right? If it’s a doll, and it’s art, then it’s an art doll; case closed. Not so fast…

In the professional art doll world, many art doll artists can take weeks or months to create their art dolls and props. It’s a concern when doll crafters who use commercial molds or parts flood youtube and the marketplace and call their work “art dolls” or One of a Kind (OOAKs) Art Dolls. Differentiation using professional definitions protect the entire field of art dolls. 

I went to a SOFA exhibition (Sculptural Objects, Functional Art, and Design) around the year 2006 or so and wondered why there weren’t a bunch of art dolls there. Many people think art dolls are just for old broads over 50, or some such nonsense. Because “dolls.” The morass of what people try to pass as art dolls creates problems for the art doll field too. This is why some art doll artists make sure to classify their work as “figurative” or “fine art.” E.g., Hidden Hollow’s description of “Original One of a Kind Figurative Clay Sculptures & Other Works of Art,” by Dianne Mayne. Another example comes from Anna Klocko’s webpage, “My dolls, which I call Figurative Sculpture, are the culmination of many aspects of my artistic life.”

Pure Sculpts: I prefer to pure sculpt art dolls in clay, though the trunk of a doll may sometimes be stuffed fabric. When I say “pure sculpt,” it means the artist takes raw clay and sculpts it with their own hands (or feet if they don’t have working hands) or sculpting tools, as opposed to using commercial molds in any manner. Pure sculpt art dolls can reach the heights I want to as an artist, capture a precise moment or an expression, and can artistically push the envelope in some way. They are created as pieces of fine art. This is why if I altered a molded item, I’ll say that’s what it is, and if I make a pure sculpt, I’ll call it a pure sculpt.

Note: The following definition is based on various official and standardized definitions and additionally addresses OOAK clay art dolls, specifically, as opposed to all professional art dolls.

Pure Sculpt OOAK Art Doll Definition (My Definition) — An original one-of-a-kind (OOAK) doll made by the artist using no one else’s patterns or molds. The doll is made of any medium or combination thereof and is the artist’s original work and design — no class dolls, no reborns, no repaints, no commercial molds and no recycled or mass produced doll parts. A pure sculpt, the doll is sculpted completely by the artist’s own hands to fulfill their vision and is created as a work of fine art. Art Dolls go for fine art prices and collectors ask for them the world over.

Again, an art doll is original one-of-a-kind doll made by the artist, using no one else’s patterns or molds, made of any medium or combination thereof and is the artist’s original work and design — no class dolls, no reborns, no repaints, no commercial molds and no recycled or mass produced doll parts. Art Dolls go for fine art prices, collectors ask for them the world over.

Art Dolls (Fine Art) vs. Crafting: It’s generally understood, in professional art doll circles, that if you use commercial molds, then you’re crafting and you’re not creating an art doll. More on the different terms you might hear on ODACA’s (Original Doll Artist Council of America) Standard Definitions Page.

Professional, Standard Definitions

The Standard Definition for OOAKs: “When the original or first doll is sculpted, assembled, costumed and finished by the artist and this doll is never made again, it is called a one-of-a-kind doll. One-of-a-kind dolls are almost always entirely designed and handcrafted by the creating artist.”

ODACA (Original Doll Artist Council of America) Excludes the Use of Commercial Molds: “All work made from commercially available molds, even if significantly changed by the hobbyist, should carry original marks followed by “reproduced by . (craftsman’s name or initials).” To do otherwise can constitute infringement of creator copyright. Makers who sell works made from other’s molds as their own originals may also be subject to charges of fraud.” In case it’s not clear that commercial molds shouldn’t be used for art dolls, this is the standard definition for an art doll artist: “One who takes an idea and transforms it into a three-dimensional doll form by using his or her hands to sculpt or re-arrange raw materials.”

Wikipedia’s Definition of Art Dolls: “Art dolls are objects of art, rather than children’s toys, created in a wide variety of styles and media, and may include both pre-manufactured parts or wholly original works.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_doll

Etsy’s Word on Art Dolls: “There’s no hard and fast definition to be found for an art doll. They can be made out of almost any medium or several different media. They come in various shapes, sizes, styles, and designs. They can be very realistic or abstract with barely anything recognizable on them. They can be human, humanoid, anthropomorphic, alien, fantasy, sci-fi, or just about anything in between. You can read more here.”

NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists) Doesn’t Allow the Use of Commercial Molds and Parts: “A NIADA artist who uses molds in his/her dollmaking is expected to produce such molds, or have them produced by a mold-maker from a sculpture made by the artist. No commercial or “repro” molds may be used.” See NIADA Artist Handbook.

International Art Doll Registry’s Say on Art Dolls:We accept figurative Art Dolls made from polymer clay, cloth dolls with original sculpted components, air dry type clays such as Paper Clay and also figures made from Epoxy Sculpt or Aves. We do not register works that are pre-manufactured dolls such as reborns or fashion doll repaints.  We do not register animal or other non-human sculpts other than fantasy (fairies, mermaids, centaurs, etc) and anthropomorphic dolls.” In case that isn’t clear for the crafters, “original sculpted components” means don’t use commercial molds and call your doll an art doll, specifically. http://www.international-art-doll-registry.com/join 

For More…

See “The One of a Kind Debate” at http://www.dollmakersdream.com/one-of-a-kind-debate.html.

More about OOAKs at http://www.niada.org/fundraiserdolls/DollSaleLI.html.

Also see the NIADA site. http://www.niada.org/about.html.

ODACA (Original Doll Artist Council of America) — http://www.odaca.org/index.html.

And then there are Spirit Dolls