On inspiration, making stuff and labours of love

Su Leslie, choirboy doll. Polymer clay, wire, fabric, paint. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Choirboy doll. Polymer clay, wire, fabric, paint. Su Leslie, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Needing more physical projects in my largely online world, I’ve been pootling around making various things, indulging my enthusiasm for anything artistic or craft-based

The messenger bag I talked about a couple of weeks ago (here), worked well on its maiden trip to Wellington last weekend, and I’ve finally got around to photographing one of the dolls I made as a result of a workshop with my friend, artist Claire Delaney.

I love the doll-making process. Not only does it involve different techniques and processes (clay-sculpting, armature-making, fabric construction); it’s also wonderfully iterative. At each stage I’m surprised by something and often have to change direction in the project to accommodate what has evolved (especially at the clay-sculpting stage).

The boy-child claims I’ve used him as inspiration for my choirboy doll — but I can’t imagine what he means. Hehe.

The boy-child with a box of hand-painted eggs, ready for the annual Easter Egg roll on Mt Victoria, Devonport, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

The boy-child at 8; with a box of hand-painted eggs ready for our annual Easter Egg rolling. Angelic face, but a choirboy??? Image: Su Leslie, 2006

The boy-child, aged 11. Image: Su Leslie, 2009.

Well, maybe the hair? The boy-child at 11. Image, Su Leslie, 2009.

Claire is a talented artist, and a very good teacher. She began making dolls as an aid to illustrating the children’s book she has written and published.  Little Wing is a lovely story, beautifully illustrated. It is letterpress printed and hand-bound — a true labour of love.

Find out more about Claire’s art.

The making of Little Wing