Monday, June 4, 2012

Raggedy Ann and Andy

About a year and a half ago I decided to make bigger figurines with the polymer clay.  I was inspired by papier mache folk art and vintage holiday pieces, but wanted to interpret them in my own whimsical way, in the medium that I love---polymer clay, of course!  I also wanted to go beyond just holiday decorations, and started compiling a list of suitable subjects.  One of the first things that came to mind was Raggedy Ann and Andy. 

These classic American rag dolls have been reinvented thousands of times, by thousands of artists.  Some rework the traditional form of the rag doll, while others, like me, take them in a new direction by sculpting them from clay.  I have done different versions of Raggedy Ann and Andy in my miniature style, but this newest incarnation of the dolls is my favorite.

I love polymer clay.  But I also have a severe addiction to paper and ribbon, and I enjoy adding some of these items to the dolls.  It's sort of like doing a 3-D mixed media project.  For these pieces, I made Raggedy Ann's skirt from blue gingham paper.  It was a real trick getting it to pleat just right and to fit around her chubby middle, but after several attempts, I finally got it to work.  The red gingham ribbon was the perfect finishing touch for her skirt.  I used the same paper to fold into a cute little sailor hat for Andy. 

Many of my pieces feature crepe paper collars. I like how it fancies them up a bit.  I love the little details in everything, and attaching Swarovski crystals to Ann's buttons added the perfect bit of sparkle.  A little satin bow on her head was the final touch.

These cute little dolls are probably one of my most viewed items in my etsy shop. I was also very pleased when they were featured on this blog last winter as part of a birthday party plan. I had never really thought of using them as cake toppers before, but why not? 

I am very inspired by storybook characters, and have plans in the works to bring lots of my favorites to life in polymer clay.  Who is your favorite character?  Who would you like to see me make?

Have a cheery day!

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