Friday, August 10, 2007

The African Queen

Close up Doll Front

Doll Back

A couple of years ago I purchased a copy of Soft Dolls and fell in love with a doll by Kooki Davis, Ethiopian Queen. At the time I didn’t think I was up to creating the doll, but it is amazing what time and the encouragement of great club members can do. I realize as the time has gone by the members of our group have become dear friends. Anyway, the queen was not as difficult as I imagined at first. The most challenging part was her mask. First of all I didn’t have paper clay as was suggested in the article, I used polymer clay. What a search I went through trying to find a mold that would fit the size of the doll. Finally I discovered that I had purchased a mold from Sherry Goshen, Chantal, and she fit perfectly. There was only one problem, Chantal was a beautifully crafted Art Deco face and I needed a beautiful African face. Quickly, my sculptor instinct took over and I realized that I needed to change the nose and mouth of the face. I over structured the mouth of the doll, because she was suppose to represent wearing a mask; and I remembered the mask of the dancers that I observed during my studies in the Ivory Coast. I wasn’t too sure as to the surface color that I wanted the mask to be so I experimented with pearl powders and came up with a result that I was please with. Needless to say I was happy being able to use my large collection of African fabric. The queen’s coat is decorated with cowry shells. Her jewelry necklaces, earrings and bracelets are copper and brace wire enhanced with beads. I still have to complete her staff, but I was so excited with the results I couldn’t wait for you to see her. When school opens I’m going to take her in and have my students give her a name.


Gerry said...

WOW! What a stunning piece. She is beautiful. Her gown is fascinating. The colors are just wonderful.

Venus Thomas said...

Hi Sandi,

She came out great! This is one I definitely have to make. Keep up the good work.


Karoda said...

I caught this link from the yahoo group and I keep coming back to look at this doll...just had to say hello and let you know how commanding The African Queen is!

Sandi said...

Venus, thanks for your encouragement. You know you are one of my role models,lol

Sandi said...

Karoda, thanks for your feedback. I had admired this doll for some time and thanks to the encouragement of my doll club members I went ahead and tackled her.

Sandi said...

Gerry, thanks for your comments. The dress and coat are sewn stips on a foundation. I had a great time creating her.