Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fish and Sticks : Art Dolls

This week I've been working on fish and sticks ....  The sticks are the message stick art dolls which were very popular, attracting some attention and a few orders at the Wise Women exhibition. Each of the message stick dolls are from the Wise Women series, each with her own personality and  message of wisdom, handwritten on a handmade timber tag. I gather the sticks during my walks around my neighbourhood and the tags are made from special bits of timber, some collected by me or  my husband or from off cuts gifted to us  from another doll making friend whose husband makes bagpipes. These dolls start off very simply with a wrap around a stick, in the general shape of a body.
'Naked" message stick dolls - strips of wadding wrapped around found sticks. 
 Then I usually wrap other layers of fabric, wool, and/or fibres, over which I do some simple embroidery. I sculpt  or mould small face masks for these dolls. I really like using "sari ribbon" as wrapping strips as these photos show, but I also use hand painted cotton, silk, cheesecloth,  free form machine embroidered and layered fabric, felted and embellished fabric, re- purposed knitting and crochet .... anything from my stash.
Smaller dolls with messages : The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate  (Oprah) 
and Those who lose dreaming are lost.  (Aboriginal  Proverb)  

Message : The best thing to hold onto in life is each other ( Audrey Hepburn) 

Message: Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is success. (Corinta Kent)  

Messages: Peace begins with a smile (Mother Teresa)
Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud ( Maya Angelou) 
The other project I've been working on are some little fish for a display by my doll making group, Hello Dollies. We will be showing our work , with a 'water" theme at the Dobell Art and Craft Festival at Rathmines on the first weekend in May. I've modelled my fish on a little fish pin doll made for me by a friend but  have adapted the size, shape and construction. So now I have made the prototype , I am hoping these will multiply quickly.    


  1. What brilliant dolls, I love them. You have got me thinking now, off to find my bits and bobs box! Xx

  2. Your fish and sticks are great! I have 3 pin dolls to do and must come up with a unusual idea with a sea theme.

  3. thanks for making the inspiring woman doll....cant wait to give it to yr blog, wilma!


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