Monday, September 28, 2015

My Bonnets and Beaus: A Regency Doll Project Online Class at Artful Gatherning Taught by Hall Levesque

I finally finished the Regency Era  paperclay and painted faces dolls that I was making based upon the Bonnets and Beaus: A Regency Doll Project online class that I've been taking during the first session of Artful Gathering.

The online class was taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist, photographer and a bit of a history buff. Not only are her video's easy to follow and beautifully taught but they are sprinkled with historical tidbits of life with Jane Austen - which I loved.   Now why would that be? Hmmm.... History tidbits for a history buff....... Hmmm....

Since I never do anything in moderation I, of course, couldn't just make one doll. I had to make two.

I was looking forward to taking this class as it would be the first time I would be sculpting the dolls faces, hands, and feet out of paperclay and then painting them with acrylic paints. Acrylic painting of any sort is not my strongest skill - so I knew this would be very challenging. At the very least it was going to be interesting if not comical.

I had no problem with the costumes and cloth body. Sculpting the heads and legs was a bit of a challenge but I finally got the knack of it after experimenting a few times. Sculpting the fingers was much harder than I had anticipated and I ended up not liking mine. They looked like Frankenstein hands so I changed them into more of a solid hand.

Painting the faces was a real challenge. I just couldn't get them the way I would have liked them to be. Suffice to say, acrylic painting of doll faces is still not by strongest suit.

They say practice makes perfect so, who knows. Perhaps it's a skill I can master over time. Right now I wouldn't hold my breath.

Instead of using mohair for their hair I decided to use my sister's alpaca fiber from her Rock Garden Alpacas Farm. I used Zinnia's beautiful fiber for the doll in the white outfit and Ivy's fiber for the doll in the dark brown and black outfit. If you'd like to check out my sister's Rock Garden Alpaca Fiber Etsy store here. I LOVE working with the alpaca fiber. It makes fantastic doll hair.

I loved this class and would recommend it for anyone interested in making dolls or, specifically, historical period dolls.

All in all I was satisfied with the way my dolls came out and decided to name them Emily and Esther. Emily is the doll in the white outfit and Esther is the doll in the dark brown and black outfit. Here's their stories:

Emily and Esther are not only best friends, but are sisters of the heart. They're not blood relatives, but have grown up together and act like sisters in every conceivable way. Where you find Emily you also find Esther. They dress alike, act alike, and finish each others sentences. They laugh at the same jokes, wear the same perfume, have the same tastes and opinions on just about every subject, and have the same dispositions.

So, of course, when it came to beau's they both fell in love with the same man, Augustus. He, of course, fell in love with both of them - they were so much alike. Both beautiful and both the essence of femininity. How could he not love both of them?

But, Augustus knew that he couldn't court both of them at the same time. That would just be wrong and totally scandalous. He loved both of them but couldn't very well marry both of them. What could he do? What should he do?

Emily and Esther knew that Augustus loved both of them, but knew he couldn't court both of them or marry both of them. If either one of them wanted to marry him he would have to choose between them or they would have to decide this for him. Should they choose for him?

What a dilemma. What should they do?  Should Emily marry Augustus or should Esther marry Augustus? And, how were they to choose.

Or, should they both walk away from the only man each has ever loved?

Should one be happy or should both be miserable? What a dilemma? What should they do?

Hmmm...... What do you think they'll do?

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