Sunday, March 21, 2010

Purple Man progress

he is making headway but needs che zhoa (beaded moccasins) and his hat...looks like an old time res hat but I'll try to edge roll the brim (scalloped edge beading looks too delicate)...I love the shell pendant but it hangs too low for the chest rosette

Monday, March 15, 2010

Purple Man

started a new doll, originally intended to make a Caddo male for a friend back home but realized that since I don't really sew it would be too hard to make a cloth ribbon shirt and I can't find photos of Caddos in hide shirts. So instead I'm making one of my own dolls as inspired by aspects of Caddo culture; they like the colors purple & black and their men's regalia draws from Straight Dance so this little doll has black hide leggings with purple ribbon trim and I'll make Caddo moccs. His shirt is made from purple suede but beaded in a more northern style (southern Plains bead work is generally sparse). He will have braided cloth garters and shell jewelry in honor of the old Spiro culture. I'll wrap his braids in purple ribbon and may get a small black cowboy hat at Hobby Lobby; I can put edge roll bead work along the rim and a braided hatband (similar to the garters). I am finishing up the bead bands on the shirt and will do a small rosette for the chest. It will be pretty but a bit funky modern...still I think Tracy will like him and that's what really counts!

Tracy also sent me her grandmother's doll to see how they were made; its a sweet one with wonderful clothes and a lovely necklace. She also sent some very nice beads and feathers to help me put together a fan (I'm unsure on this project, hers are so amazingly fantastic) but I have some macaw feathers I'd like to use.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Beckie's doll revisited

think I have finally finished this doll although I could poke around on her for a bit longer (she should have more than 1 bag on her belt and some other necklaces) but I'll stop for now as other projects are needing time & attention. Spring Break is almost here and even though I have a ton of papers to grade there just has to be some craft time in there too. I will make a simple hide doll to begin a collaborative project with a Caddo friend back home; her grandmother made dolls and Tracy has asked me to look at an unfinished one. I'll use it for a guide, likely its a different style than I have been working with and I think its cloth too which presents both possibilities and problems. Am still trying to figure out how to make & decorate Caddo men's leggings but have not found any examples in museum of the joys of dolls & toys is the suggestion (not actual representation) of reality so hopefully we can get close enough for now (with room for later improvements). Not sure about his hair; traditionally they wore a roach style but shifted to southern plains during the res era and the boarding school cut by 1900 or so...too many decisions for right now! So I'll likely spend some time working on rosettes as a mild distraction and I have been thinking more seriously about making a blanket strip for a friend's retirement gift.

I've also volunteered to give a presentation on bead work to a local historical society this fall and to possibly teach a bead working class if there is any interest. I need some additional examples to show so I am trying to pick up some small/affordable items; just bought my 1st Iroquois whimsey, a beaded pin cushion from around 1900. The price on these seems higher than it used to be so I am out of the market for the good stuff. Not sure what kinds of projects to teach, maybe rosettes for small bags or gourd stitch pens etc.

Got an interesting old Dover book: North American Indian Designs in full color for Needleworkers and Craftspeople (1975), featuring grid patterns for various southwest & Plains designs. Looks handy and I should try to incorporate more intricate patterns in my work. I'm already considering a new female doll with a lovely greasy yellow yoke, really like this color and look forward to working with it for the 1st time!