Monday, March 22, 2010

Wow it worked!

I'm so excited to show how the antlers have progressed. They look exactly like they looked in my head. That doesn't happen often, so I'm over the moon with joy.

Front View
Side ViewBack View

It's hard to see in the pictures but the texture of the antlers is really nice, all rough and organic feeling. I know I have some more work to do when I get the wax castings back but I'm just so happy with how they are coming along. I'll keep you posted.

And if you are asking yourself how are these antler going to stay on the doll's head? This is a question I have grappled with also. In the sketches you see that one drawing shows a head band with what appears to be the antlers broken off. That is going to be a structural head band that the antlers attach and unattach to. Cool ha! Here's my first run at the head band, in copper.

I like the shape so I'm going to move onto building it in silver. For all kinds of reasons the copper snapped when I tried to bend it to fit on the head model, but that was all user error, so I feel confident to move onto silver.

And if that's not enough, I was busy all weekend at an amazing jewelry workshop with a fabulous teacher. I'll tell you all about it later this week. I made the funnest "Alice in Wonderland-ish" pendant. So stop back later in the the week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is with me?

I'm usually the kind of person that has serious tunnel vision. I get an idea in my head and I can't do anything until I complete it. Because of this, I have a little guilt that I haven't progressed on my Elf Queen project very much. But I have been designing, designing, designing. It's so strange for me. The minute I get the idea on paper, I have another idea I need to get on paper. So here's what I've been up to...

I designed about 10 pairs of shoes and I seriously could have done 10 more. Shoes are super fun to design. But I really like this one, it's clean and looks good both embellished and not embellished, so that makes me happy. I didn't want to create a shoe that would only look nice half covered by ribbons, tassels, and beads.

The crown can be either pearls or gems and I haven't decided which I like better. The pearls and gems are both very pricey so that's a factor. I could do pearls and Swarovski Crystals and that would look beautiful and keep the price reasonable. But I can wait to make up my mind until I have all the metal work done. So no pressure there. I really love the look.

And the necklace is very simple by comparison but I think it will look fantastic with the crown. It will be solid silver with a pearl or gem that matches the crown. It's kind of a cuff necklace. It will be form fitting and rest around the shoulders. Very cool.

I also got some great pictures back from one of my fantastic models Iðunn. She's a modeling sterling silver, rose quartz and freshwater pearl choker. It fits just where I had hoped, so I'm really really happy. And I love her in this blushing pink color. She is so beautiful any color would look good, but I think the pink really enhances her blond coloring. I sent some earrings as a thank you giftie but Iðunn doesn't have the kind of pierced ears that can wear french hooks. Boo Paige. But I really love this picture so I wanted to share it.Well I'm back to the drawing board, literally, for more design work. Seriously what is with me these days? What ever it is, I'm going with it. And I have permission from my good friend and amazing artist M, to just let it happen. So I'm pushing back the guilt and enjoying the design time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And I'm off

Because "why not take off running the second you learn to stand?", I have started working on a Warrior Woodland Elf Queen set. Why? Because I want my doll, when I get her, to be a Warrior Woodland Elf Queen of course. So she has to have horns/ antlers and a staff. So I've done some sketching and I created my first ever wire armature.
I'm so thrilled with how they turned out. Now full disclosure, the antler armature came before the sketch, because I couldn't sketch them until I had them in front of me 3D. I'm just not that good of a sketcher. But I'm glad I've been sketching the rest.

And I've set a goal for myself to spend a lot more time in the paper design phase from now on. With all the issues of size and scale, not to mention just working smaller than I'm used to, I feel like I need to be more disciplined if I want to continue on this path. And I really want to continue on this path. So from now on you'll see sketches, sketches, and more sketches.

And then............

as if to confirm that I'm going to be fine, I had two more big wins this morning. First we have Arya with a swirl necklace that I just love. I made the earrings also. They have the cutest little ear wires.
I love it so much. I'm so happy the size issues are worked out on this design. The necklace is Sterling silver hammered and shaped by hand with a tourmaline and Swarovski crystal dangle.

Then if that weren't enough Nayana arrived wearing this little crown. Sterling silver and Amazonite. I'm so happy with this crown. The thing I'm most excited about is, I can get away with using a much larger stone in the next design. These dolls are so exquisite that you can really push the design elements without over powering them. I love it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Put one in the win column!

Actually make that two, and they both fit. Yaaaa!!!

The first is modeled by the beautiful Amalie and is 2 2mm opal Swarovski's, 4mm Garnet and Sterling silver chain and hook clasp.

The second necklace is modeled by Firenze and is 3mm picture jasper, Freshwater pearl, and Sterling Silver chain and clasp. This necklace is the test piece for a roaring twenties look I'm currently dreaming about.
In order to put this information to the best use I created a new bust, sense I don't own one of these lovely dolls, to check size and fit in the future. The bust is aluminum foil packed and shaped to 3mm-5mm under the dolls measurements. Then I rolled out polymer clay to a thickness of 2 playing cards and covered the foil structure. Double checked the measurements and baked. So far it works great.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The learning curve.

The problem with the learning curve is... well, it's a curve. So you can't see how much is left in front of you as you travel this necessary, humbling, and sometimes frustrating path. So here's a little more of my journey on the curve.

If your a smart person you make one thing send it off and wait. See the results and make the next piece. Well I'm not a smart person, or at least not a patient person. So I made a batch of things and sent them off and can imagine....

Now all the smart/ patient people saw it coming, the same results as last weeks post. Proportion is great, I'm really happy with that, but size is magically off by around the same amount on all of them. How did that happen? Patient people around the blogosphere are shaking their heads and saying "you should have waited". Well I didn't and I have all these great pictures to share on my blog...taadaaaa lemonade!

But as if like a little miracle from down under. It's true things work differently in Australia.

Crowns and earrings aren't necklaces. Who knew? And with this new boost of confidence and all the knowledge I should have waited patiently for but couldn't, I made my second batch and sent them off to these beautiful women in Sweden, Belgium, France, Australia, and Kalamazoo. Yes I said batch. What can I say I'm not smart. I'm impatient and I'll grab the donuts every time. If you don't get that last one, trust me it won't help if I explain.

So that's been my journey so far. Hopefully I've reach the top of the curve, but it's a curve, so you just can't tell.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I've gone to the dolls

I've been working on something a little different, emphasis on little. I've been making doll jewelry. And I'm afraid I'm hooked. It's so little and delicate. I even did a little enameling and I mean little. But I have one problem, I don't have an Enchanted Doll of my own. Enter a generous group of doll owners from the Enchanted Forum. And I've been sending my creations around the world for fittings. I've sent to Belgium, France, Sweden, Australia and Kalamazoo. No really Kalamazoo MI, how fun is that? The first fitting is in and...

I think I just need to add one jump ring. But I also think I can make my hooks a little bigger. They are so small right now, that you almost need a tweezers to hook the necklace. But given this picture the hook could be bigger, making it easier to hook the necklace.

But I did get proportion right. So I'm very happy about that.

The necklace really suits the delicate style of the doll. And that's what I'm shooting for. This and all the jewelry I sent off in this first round of fitting has been very simple and all about size and proportion. But once all the info is in, from these first proto types, I have some really ambitious designs in mind. Think, Crowns and Pendents and Horns, Oh My. I can't wait.