Sunday, 5 February 2012
A New Rag Doll Called Hyacinth
It'd been a while since I made a rag doll, and it's been really nice to work in all cloth and not have to wait while clay and paint dry for a change, although I know I'll always return to paperclay in the end. It's always fun to do things that I'm not used too.
I know she looks like some sort of strange alien now, but I promise she starts to look more normal in the photos below once she has hair. The pattern I use for my rag dolls is one I've worked out and refined myself over a few years. And I've pretty much got it the way I want it to be now. Made from two flat pattern pieces of strong calico with inserts added to the bottom of her feet to fatten them up, I sometimes make the legs separately like I have for Hyacinth to give them a better floppy feel.
Hyacinth has two black vintage button eyes attached to her flat head with a precious piece of the strong vintage linen thread that my Nanna gave me. And her hands have been sewn through to create her fingers. Her socks, shoes, facial features and tinting around her eyes are painted on with thinned acrylic, and I've stained the whole doll with a concocted mix of stuff to give her a more aged mottled look.
Hyacinth is to be a Regency Gothic lady with an empire line gown and pelisse or coat. Neiau Shie has asked me to make her in the image of the wonderful characters written by some of my favourite authors, Austen and Bronte etc., and showing the darker side of the lives these writings portrayed.
The wonderful Miss Elinor Dashwood of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is a perfect example of how her proper behaviour ensured her torment over the man she loved. She had to watch him be claimed by another while being helpless to do anything about it. Her behaviour was considered proper and correct, even though she was considered cold and passionless by her careless younger sister. Elinor had to carry her pain hidden to herself, watching silently as her love seemed to slip further and further away from her.
Making Hyacinth to fit with this image is making me think of wind-swept mores and rocky hillsides, driving rain and feelings poured into journals so the writer can manage to hold them in and carry on without showing them.
So far I've made Hyacinth her nightgown, but haven't trimmed it yet. And tonight I'll be adding a lace collar and ribbon trim to finish it off. Maybe a few buttons at the front too, before I go on to make her overcoat.
I can't wait to see Hyacinth all finished and ready for her quite walk through the dark night contemplating her own thoughts. I'm really enjoying making a doll from ideas that have been given to me to play with in my own way. I'm not too sure yet how I'll finish her off. At the moment I'm thinking of giving her a shawl to keep the night chill away, but we'll see what she decides when the time comes.