Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Lady Of Shalott - Work In Progress

It seems like such a long time since I started this doll that it seems strange now that she's almost done.
I wanted to make The Lady of Shalott as I'm very fond of the John Waterhouse painting and was very lucky to find this little wooden boat at a flea market. It was exactly the right size so I started to make her the very same day. the only problem being is that when you look very closely at the painting you can see the tremendous amount of detail needed to make things just right.
In the front of the boat you can see a three arm candelabra with only one of the candles lit (not sure how to do that yet :S). And just from the side view if you look very close is a crucifix laying in the prow. I'm just waiting on a lantern to hang from the front of the boat and a few other bits and bobs and my Lady will be all finished.
I decided to give my lady the darker red hair preferred by the Pre-Raphaelite artists rather than the lighter auburn she has in the painting. It was a hard decision to make, but the blond and orange mix of feathers to maker the right colour were very bright and harsh next to the rich colours inside the boat. It's just not a colour I can get in marabou, so I went with the richer red, somewhere in between Jane Morris and Lizzie Siddal. As you can see I trilled her Ivory silk medieval style gown with gold lace and built up layers of beads to create the necklace that you can only just see in the portrait.
In the bottom of the boat is a pale peach pink throw trimmed with a  richly embroidered hem of small scene portraits, gold, blue and red. I found this wonderful trim on Etsy that's just the right style to suit the composition and decided to use this instead of trying to recreate the original in embroidery on such a small scale. There are also a pair of decorated pillow for her to recline on.
She's almost done. So close that it seems odd that she's not actually ready. But I know she needs just those final pieces to be finished, and she'll be worth the wait :)


  1. Oh my gosh! You made her necklace with the graduated beads! She really has had the most careful attention to detail and I'm just in awe of the work you've put into this, especially as you've been lying down (pretty much like the Lady of Shalott) while doing it.

  2. Questo progetto è semplicemente stupendo! Mi piace ogni dettaglio!!!