Along with the fungi doll in progress, I have the early stages of a new threadbare doll developing. I am using avocado dyed fabric & coffee dyed thread and will be incorporating dried flowers, moss, and whatever other little dried bits from outdoors that I can get my fingers on.
As I was sculpting the ragbot, I was also working on this fungi inspired piece. I still have a bit of detailing work on the stem, face, and oysters... oh, she's going to need a neck as well.
Well, I managed to have two consecutive days of completing a writing prompt/exercise before I neglected it. In all fairness to myself, life has been rather rushed the last week or so.
If you are itching to read something (which I am sure you are not), I have a short piece of fiction published in the latest issue of Thrice Fiction Magazine. While there is a print copy available for sale, the entire magazine is also available via a free PDF.
The main reason I have not worked on any writing (or updating this blog) is I have been, for lack of a better phrase, hauling ass trying to finish my piece for an upcoming traveling group show (which I do believe I have mentioned in a prior post). The show features 3D interpretations of the robots created in the amazing illustrations by Ezerd. I am consistent in greatly underestimating how long a project will take and how much work it will be, and this doll is no exception. She is completely hand sculpted and everything is hand stitched & embroidered. All of the fabric and thread has been dyed with either avocado (it dyes pink, go figure!) or cranberries. I wasn't feeling all that well today, so I was only able to snap a few pictures. I'll post her in her entirety tomorrow. The show will have three locations, the third's opening date is still TBA. The first two openings will be:
Prompt: What is your shrink really thinking when you tell him about your day, your life, your hopes, your fears?
I can feel my panties burrowing deep as I keep my eyes plastered on the increasing numbers next to the elevator door. It makes me silently giggle and shift my weight from right to left. I can feel my face flush when I remember the man standing behind me. His presence makes my shoulders hunch, slightly. Ever so slightly. Why am I holding my breath? Why is the floor to the therapist’s office so far away?
When I hear a ding and the doors open, I give a polite smile as I step off. The man only has a view of my back. Why did I smile? The sound of my stiletto heels on the marble floor makes me shudder, slightly. Ever so slightly. I am not accustomed to wearing shoes, let alone these six inch monstrosities. Why did I wear these? Why did I purchase these specifically for tonight? The hallway is endless and the lights are so bright. My eyes tear with feeling so exposed. Passing doors to the right and left, their numbers blur together. My destination being the door at the end of the hall. A red door. A numberless door.
I ignore the buzzer on my right side, just for a moment. The palm of my hand, fingers spread open, glides up the length of the door, slightly. Ever so slightly. The side of my face presses against it, breathing paused as I try to pick up anything audible on the other side. Silence. Comforting silence. Exhale. Eyes close, mouth parting, neck twisting as my whole body gently pushes up against the door. Inhaling and holding it, my breast feels tight against a preposterously short black dress. As consciousness begins to slip, I stumble backwards and into reality again. In embarrassment I quickly press the buzzer with my head hanging, slightly. Ever so slightly. With a click the knob turns. With a minor groan the door gently opens.
The lighting is dim inside, for which I am eternally grateful. The carpet plush on my hobbled feet. A single pane of glass encompasses the entire wall on the far side. It is night. Did I know it was already nightfall? A sea of city lights gaze up below me. The expansive room is empty save for two low-backed armchairs in a dueling position, a standing lamp between them. Why have I come here? Should I turn and run? Should I throw myself from this colossal window to the illuminated maze below?
My body has tripled in weight as I make my way towards the chair on the right. Does it matter which chair I take as mine? As the backs of my legs make an awful sticking sound to the leather chair I can feel my palms begin to sweat, slightly. Ever so slightly. Am I having a heart attack? Will I urinate on myself? Or worse, on this chair? I don’t see a clock, but I can hear the relentless ticking.
The slightly shivering shadow, uncomfortable in stiletto shoes and a tight black dress, sitting across from me utters a sound
Where shall we begin?
I mumble, slightly. Ever so slightly
You tell me.
First, an update that I have neglected to post about for the last couple of weeks. My husband and I collaborated on another comic for the current issue of Magic Bullet.It's a free newspaper, so if you're in the Washington DC metro area be sure to stop by your local comic shop or independent book store and pick one up. Our contribution is called Threadbare and the character design pulls heavily from my last doll. Our comic, Concurrent, from the last issue is now posted in it's entirety under the writings section of my website.
A few months ago I purchased a book with 642 writing prompts. Initially my idea was to write a quick flash fiction using one of the prompts as a starting point once a day. Well, needless to say, the book has been collecting dust on my desk all this time.I kicked myself today, opened the book and picked a prompt at random. We shall see how many consecutive days I am capable of keeping this up.
I will post all of the pieces here on the blog - the tag 642 will be added to these posts.
Prompt : The talk-show host
Languishing in this rotting chair, my aggravation releasing in the form of sweat beading in my inner thighs. Self-loathing causing my skin to itch, burn. The television is deafening. Awful, coma inducing daytime programming. A woman on the screen bleats like a goat. Pulled, tucked, smothered by make-up and a dress two sizes too small. I chew my lip with the excitement of potentially witnessing her absurd stilettos causing her ankle to snap. The oversized fake eyelash desperately clinging on to her wrinkled left eyelid, flailing about as she incessantly blinks. Unnaturally bright teeth cause my stomach to churn. All of this effort gone to waste. These days with our high definition, there is no hiding that she is a withered shrew desperate to pass for thirty years younger. Her audience smacking their hands together like a group of dumb, blind seals makes me loathe her. I feel utterly assaulted by her.
But the remote… it’s out of my reach. And I just don’t care enough to move.
Progress on the 'Ragbot' inspired by one of the incredible robot illustrations by Ezerd for her upcoming travelling show.
I'm hoping to have majority of the sculpting finished by the end of today with just some minor touch-ups to do tomorrow. I still need to do a bit of sewing for the limbs and then tackle a headdress. I'm still turning it over in my head how I'm going to accomplish it and not make it too top heavy and throwing to balance off.
I have a few new pieces that I have been slaving away on this past month. They're a bit different and I am elated that I am experimenting. I've had a wealth of ideas over my period of repose that I am finally able to bring out into the tangible world.
I have been quite taken with unusual natural forms as of late. This current obsession caused me to purchase a most incredible fungi reference book. Slowly a doll heavily influenced by this fascinating kingdom has begun to emerge. She is still very much a work in progress, but her basic form has been fleshed out.
I am a little amazed that it has been so long since I posted last. I could have sworn it had only been a week or two. It is absolutely terrifying how time can get away from us.
Since my last post I have finished a new doll, my first doll that is not a resin cast since early 2013. It feels good to step away from the mimics for a bit.
After I finished the last touches today, I tried to take advantage of the perfect cloud covered day for photographs. Unfortunately it started to rain a bit after only a few minutes of me stepping outside. I was able to take a few shots before I had to retreat back inside. So, this will just have to be a sneak peek.
This has been such a refreshing week. To begin with, I had a lovely Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my daughter and husband picking buttercups at the Blandy Experimental Farm / Arboretum. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, offering a grand view of Virginia. My only regret is that I was so taken up in my surroundings that I forgot to take photographs. I am especially kicking myself for not capturing the walking path lined with dogwood trees. It was magic, pure magic. Luckily my husband snapped a few shots when we stopped to play in one of the fields.
As for the rest of my week, all of the sprouting tuber mimics have been finished, photographed, posted for sale and the sold ones are all packed up and ready for a trip to the post tomorrow morning. There is a certain lightness I feel after completely finishing a doll/dolls. A chapter has been closed and I have the excitement of beginning something fresh. I have started a new project this week and I am so looking forward to see how it progresses.
I have come to the conclusion that sculpting during the week is just not feasible for me at this time. My daughter is a spitfire and I have to be able to toss down whatever I am working on with a seconds notice to scoop her up before she wreaks complete havoc. The clay I use is messy and dries relatively quickly, making it not at all conducive to constant stepping away, occasionally for long periods of time. While I am itching to start sculpting, it will have to wait until the weekend when I have another pair of hands around to help stop my pretty little tornado.
Sewing work, on the other hand, is ideal for me to be working on during the week. And so I have started crafting something that has been whirling around my head for quite some time: a large(ish) scale cloth and clay doll. I made the pattern for the lower body and have almost finished the embroidery work on the two sides. I am using muslin stained with an avocado pit & skin (it rendered a pale pink color that I unfortunately couldn’t capture in the photographs) and coffee stained thread. It’s been tedious (however enjoyable!) work and I am pretty sure I will cry if this doesn’t come together how I want it to.
This doll will tie into another project that I will just touch on briefly. My husband and I recently worked on a small 12 panel comic for a local publication and we had such an enjoyable experience finally creating something together that we want to do more. I have written a few more short stories to be made into comics, one of which will feature the cloth and clay doll. Our hope is to spend the summer creating enough comic shorts to compile into a self-published book.