WIP Cloth art doll

Hi ho friends.

As mentioned in the last post, I wanted to make a cloth doll.  I flipped through my copy of Jan Horrox’ “Making Fantasy Cloth Dolls,” book recently and dug into my fabric stash to make the elfin fairy doll, sans wings.

Overall impression. I enjoyed making this doll.  The pattern and instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Most of the work was easy enough, except turning the fingers. I had all the tools except the tiny turners for the fingers, but I made it work…eventually. It took the Purple Thang, a chop stick, and probably about 30 minutes of pushing and prodding to turn the hands.

The face. This face is lightly needle sculpted. The mermaid doll pattern has additional needle-sculpting along the bridge.  I will make make the mermaid next. Oddly enough, I’m following the directions and projects in the book in sequence. Wacky!

Overall, I’m happy with her face. I didn’t quite get the sculpting I wanted for the end of her nose.  I’m sure it will just take a little practice to shift the stuffing around while needle sculpting.

For her face, I used Prisma pencils, black XS Pitt Pen, Big Brush Pitt Pens, and white Posca pen.

General impression of the project.  The finished doll is about 18″ tall.  She sits nicely.  I stuffed her arms and legs a bit too firmly so they don’t bend very much. However, I’m pretty happy with this gal.  I like her costume and jewelry (strategically placed to hide her wrist joints).

I think the dolls in this book are a good start for someone who has not made cloth art doll previously. If you are already an artsy/craftsy person, you will probably have most of the supplies on hand.

I’m looking forward to making the other three dolls in the book.

Happy creating!

Dolls, Mixed Media

WIP: Clay art dolls

Hi ho friends.  I have a few more clay art dolls in progress. They were created for the various stages of shooting the art doll tutorial series. The two dolls in the foreground are ready to fix cracks and add clay to the bottom. The doll in the center has been sanded and is ready for shooting the next stage.  The red head at the back is featured in the face-up video, which is shot but not yet edited. Last but not least, Isabella is on the back right.

The red head’s dress needs a little work, but I am out of that particular fabric so she is on hold until I find or buy more fabric.


The rest of the shooting is on a short hiatus.  I got sidetracked with making cloth dolls, but that’s another post. My knee surgery is coming up soon, so I don’t know when I will be able to get to finish the clay doll video tutorials.  I hope soon.

Happy creating!


Art Dolls & So Long 2016

Hi ho lovelies.

Can you believe 2016 is nearly over?  I feel a mix of relief and disbelief at the past 12 months.

It’s been a pretty good year here at Tenukihandcrafts: my first gallery show was a success; I added prints to my shop; my work was published in a book about women artists around the world.  I owe it all to you, my friends.

I had planned to make art tutorials this year, but in the end, I made a couple art journal flip throughs and a couple planner tutorials.  One of my goals for 2017 is to make offer more tutorials.  What to learn more about making art dolls?

My last post for 2016 is a look at my recent obsession: art dolls.  Making art dolls has been on my list for a very long time. This year, I took 2 classes for inspiration and instruction: Tamara Laporte’s Art Doll Angel and Adele Po’s Create Your Own Doll.  I really enjoyed both classes tremendously.

In Tam’s class, we made stump dolls using Creative Paperclay and some sort of base – either a skinny glass jar or wadded and taped magazine pages.  It took me several tries before I made the doll I’m most happy with to date, although you might be a tad concerned looking at the initial stage of development.

I made the base of the head and torso from the pages of a Vogue magazine.  I wadded the pages into rough shapes then roughly sculpted and taped the shapes.  I taped the head and torso together with more wadded magazine pages for a neck. I covered the entire figure with the paper clay and let it cure for several days.  I sculpted the features and let this layer dry. Creative Paperclay is considerably easier to sculpt than Sargent’s Sculp-it clay.




I painted the gal with a layer of flesh color Deco Arts acrylic paint, followed by a layer of gloss varnish. I let those layers completely dry then paint the features on with Pitt Brush pens, which is a technique I learned from Christy Tomlinson in Effy Wild’s Radiant Faces class. I added highlights with a white Posca marker and outlines with a black Pitt Pen.

Once her face was complete, I added a fake fur wig, attached with heavy gel medium. After letting the wig dry completely, the real fun begins!


I crafted a dress from scraps of fabric and lace and sewed it on her.  I made her necklace from glass beads, silver beads and 26 gauge silver wire. I added a couple of birth marks.

I picked up some La Doll porcelain clay for a full art doll project (you can see the body in the background of the first photo of this post). La Doll is even dreamier to work with than Creative Paperclay. But that’s a post for another day.

What was the best thing that happened for you in 2016?  Drop a comment below.  I’d love to hear about it.

Well, my lovelies, that’s all from Tenukihandcrafts in 2016.  Thank you all so much your comments, support, all-around wonderfulness, and coming along for the ride.  I wish you and yours glad tidings in 2017.


classes, Dolls

Art Doll 

Hi ho friends.

After enjoying the art doll mini class with Tam, I went in search of a new class for sculpting the entire figure and found Art Dolls with Adele Po. 

This figure has been a work in progress for at least a month. Air dry clays take 24 hours to dry, so there are a lot of breaks between stages. I made a second head after the first was too large for the body and made new arms in order to securely attach them to the body. I still have to glue the doll to the base, but I think that will be easier after I finish painting.

The figure stands about 11.5 inches tall. The scale overall is too small for me but that’s just the way this one worked out. I plan to make more of the art dolls, and have a mermaid in progress, so stay tuned for more art  dolls.

Today, I assembled her and applied the final coat of gesso. Once dry, I will get to work on painting and outfit making.

Adele suggested having a character in mind, but I prefer to work without a plan and see who emerges. One if my classmates commented that the doll knows stuff she doesn’t, so I will create a sage of some kind. Time for research!

Without further ado, here is the As Yet Unnamed Wise Woman art doll.

What’s new in your art world? I’d love to hear about your latest project.

Happy creating! 🎨