Tag: Art Dolls

Snowman with Playful Kittens

Just finished this cute snowman piece which I’m donating to a cat rescue group I work with called Andy’s Friends. They’ll be using it as a raffle item for an upcoming fundraiser.

Snowman with Playful Kittens

Snowman with Playful Kittens

How did I make this? I took three different sizes of Styrofoam balls and glued them together and to a cardboard spool that once had holiday ribbon. I applied strips of tissue paper with white glue to strengthen the piece and to provide a surface for my paint to stick to. I covered this with a layer of gesso. I used Liquitex White Opaque Flakes texture gel, which has a look like snowflakes, to the entire piece. I made the hat from paper, buttons from scrapbooking brads, and the sign from a scrapbooking wood embellishment. I bought the kittens on eBay and glued them on. I found the bottle brush trees at Michael’s and got them on sale after Christmas.

My Sorrowful Sister Doll Published in Art Doll Quarterly

I entered the “Mothers and Daughters” reader challenge held by Art Doll Quarterly and was happily surprised that my doll was chosen for publication. Shocked, really, because my doll isn’t exactly sweet or sentimental.

Below is the cover of the magazine: (love that pixie!)

Art Doll Quarterly Spring 2015

Art Doll Quarterly Spring 2015

Here is the doll:

Sorrowful Sister Art Doll by Karen Furst of Trilby Works

Sorrowful Sister Art Doll

Santos Cage Dolls

The first time I saw Santos Cage Dolls, I was not impressed! I thought they just looked freaky and odd with the blank-faced expressions and the empty, legless caged bases. Why not just create a complete doll? I just didn’t get it. But the more I saw of them, the more they grew on me. After a while, I thought I might try to make one of my own.

Santos Cage Doll

Santos Cage Doll

First I decided to find out a little more about them. I learned that Santos Cage Dolls are part of the Spanish tradition of Santo (Saint) art, carvings in ivory or wood of various and plentiful Catholic saints, angels, or the Virgin Mary. Rural villages without churches used the statues as replacement altars and in Catholic religious processions. Smaller statues were most likely made for private devotion. These icons were crucial to the Catholic church’s quest to Christianize not only the peoples of Europe, but especially the indigenous peoples of the newly colonized Americas.

The Santos artist is called a santero. He worked in the European tradition of polychrome (painted wooden) sculpture using locally available wood. In the Americas, that would be pine, cedar, mahogany and other soft woods. Crowns could be made from gold-plated aluminum tin, hammered brass, or gold, the last generally reserved for wealthy clients such as churches.

Art historians typically divide the Santo art into two types: the mannequin Bastidor style and the fully carved detallado style.

CAGE STYLE FULLY CARVED STYLE
also called Bastidor style, bastidor meaning “frame” or “framework”
called detallado which means “detailed”
often have removable arms, and movable limbs, sometimes caged into a frame to build shape fully painted, fully carved
often elaborately dressed needs no vestment dresses or robes

Some statues are dressed in ornate religious garb, often topped with golden crowns. Angels often have carved wings. The cage style statues wear expressions that are beatific and serene. The cage could also be used as a sort of prayer shrine with objects placed inside the cage.

The dolls have become popular collector items although originals are scarce and pricy. (See santosconnection.com for details about vintage and antique Santos doll prices). Hispanic-American artists are still making Santos art today. Contemporary copies made of resin or fiberglass are geared toward mass production while wooden versions can be found in upscale retail outlets like Pottery Barn and online through various shopping sites including Amazon.com.

My Santos Cage Doll

After learning so much, I decided to make one! It took several months to make it and I’ll chronicle my efforts in another blog post but for now, here is my finished doll:

Steampunk Santos Doll

Steampunk Santos Doll

See my Pinterest page here for more Santos dolls.

SOURCES:
A Closer Look at Santos

Santo Art (Wikipedia)

SantosCageDoll.com

SantosConnection.com, an online gallery of rare and collectible Spanish Colonial and Vintage santos.

What Is A Santos Cage Doll?

The First Sorrowful Sisters

I’ve just completed my first art dolls and I’m unveiling them here first! They are made from paperclay with styrofoam balls and wooden dowels as an armature. They have yarn hair and coffee filter skirts. The large empty hole in her middle of the first one is her barren womb. The second one is missing a breast. Yes, they are expressions of my own grieving for various issues. I call them my Sorrowful Sisters.

The First Sorrowful Sister

The First Sorrowful Sister

A Sorrowful Sister

A Sorrowful Sister

Sorrowful Sister

Sorrowful Sister

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