Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nana's Red Hat Society Doll - Repost from Old Blog

The Red Hat Society is an international community of women which supports fun, friendship, and freedom. A little research revealed that the "Red Hats" as they call themselves wear purple clothing and red hats if they are over the age of 50. If they are under the age of 50, women involved in this group may wear lavender clothing and pink hats. So I incorporated the over 50 colors into Rosie Lavender.

Now here's the thing. My Nana is not a member of the "Red Hats." But for some reason, she felt that my dolls would be perfect for the Red Hat Society. In fact, she phoned my mother the other day at 7am, explaining that she needed one of my dolls for this society. She wanted Sophia Maria, but as she is my first doll in this style, I couldn't part with her. So I started sculpting Rosie Lavender almost immediately.

My thoughts on Nana and the Red Hats:  I think she just wanted me to make her a doll and figured she needed a crafty way to ask for one. Or perhaps she needed a crafty way to get into the "Red Hats." Whatever the case, Rosie Lavender now belongs to my Nana. I finished her this evening and gave her to Nana shortly after. Her journey will continue I am sure as Nana is an interesting woman to say the very least. I will try to keep you posted as I learn more of Rosie Lavender and Nana's travels.

Rosie Lavender is 11 inches long and 5 inches wide from elbow to elbow. She is hand-sculpted with Creative Paper Clay over a 12 gauge wire armature and a 1.5 inch styrofoam ball for her head. Her arms and legs are sculpted over 18 gauge, twisted wire. The arms and leg armature wire is attached to the body through loops inserted and secured into the clay. To expedite the drying process, I baked the sculpted pieces in the oven for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees. This is a process in itself which I will explain at a later time.

I decided to forgo gesso-ing Rosie Lavender. Instead, I painted her with two coats coral acrylic paint (Folk Art.) I then painted her facial features with paint pens and CraftSmart acrylic paints. I also painted on some undergarments as I always do. I think it's just right to give my dolls some dignity. They are very fashionable, high society ladies!

Once these coats and features dried, I finished her with satin interior varnish (Delta Ceramcoat). I found that the paint seals her just fine and the extra step is not necessary.

Next I was able to design her dress and accessories. I decided on a purple dress and red hat for Rosie Lavender. After all, she is a "Red Hat." Her top is a fabric scrap that I wrapped around her tiny body and stitched into place. Her skirt is a simple triangle pattern, hand-stitched and attached to the top. I made her a little red belt embellished with glass beads. A heart-shaped purse and matching hat complete her look.

A Note on My Doll's Accessories: My doll's accessories are secured to their dresses. They may have a free arm or two, they may not. It all depends on what happens in the creative process. Rosie Lavender's purse is secured to her in a hand-bag fashion.

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