Work completed 4 months after initial concept. What started initially as a piece about the jizo statues morphed into the significance of sewing the garments and dressing the jizos. Work had to be thought through in stages, starting with the papier mache bodies. That took a lot of time and messy work. My studio will never look the same. Patience had to be exercised in the layering and waiting for each layer to dry before applying the next. Thank goodness for good YouTube instructions on how to make papier mache forms. The first one nailed it. I watched two more. The last one was a disaster and if I had happened upon that one first I would have been in trouble. While the layers dried, I knitted the caps. Luckily I had just enough leftover yarn to make all of them. Found a simple pattern on the internet. Of course, I only got the hang of knitting it at the very end. Some of the early caps are quite misshapen. Never mind...Once the forms were strong enough and dry enough I sanded them, added little noses, and put a layer of gloss medium on. Then a couple of layers of black paint. I had initially thought to paint a fancy faux granite finish but the forms looked just as good black. There was a month's interruption with work before I could go back to the project again. Luckily the next step could be done at home. I found all my red and pink fabric from my fabric stash in the basement. At first I used a pattern for aprons, thinking I would need to do it all very carefully. Soon I figured out that I could use a rectangle of fabric and torn strips for the sash. Cut up the fabric into piles of 10. Ten aprons to sew each day. Didn't quite follow that regimen but was close. In the end I even made patchwork sashes. As I tied the completed bibs onto the forms they started to come alive.
Dolls dressed with the first set of bibs. Haven't decided whether to keep the dolls a uniform black color or not. Have had no time to go into the studio and thankfully the bib-sewing can be done from home. So glad the caps got knitted early. Starting to breathe life into these creatures.
This altered doll took several months to complete. I started with an idea to convert a typical blond-haired, blue-eyed doll into a Japanese character, complete with kimono. I found the perfect doppleganger at Thrift Town. I painted her red and she immediately transformed from a Scandinavian to a demon. Her pale hair was dyed black with ink. I blacked out her eyes but that looked too dead so added googly eyes. Her kimono is made of cheesecloth. I love working with gel medium because it's such a versatile glue.
white marker, double-sided tape, scissors, black paint, glue stick