The making of Coree and Bum Bum pt.1
It was mid June and my flower garden was bursting with vibrant colors and attracting swarms of happily buzzing buddies. I felt particularly pulled toward this bright amber flower, over and over. It was the Lanceleaf Coreopsis. I decided to sit with this plant and observe it, listen to it.
The first thing I noticed (besides it’s beautiful uplifting color) was how hardy this flower was! It had been pushed aside by a very large and powerful Mullein plant and at first glance seemed to be sad and down trodden. To add insult to injury, it looked as though it had been laid upon by my cats. As I got closer to have a good look, I noticed that it had pulled itself up from the dirt and stretching it’s long spindly stems it raised it’s beautiful flower faces to the sun! I fact, it even seemed to be smiling! It was then that I recognized this flower friend as a Peaceful Warrior. A cheerful, friendly presence in my yard that was offering a lesson in raising one’s self up in the face of adversity. After befriending the Coreopsis and listening to its wisdom, I had the pleasure of meeting Coree and Bum Bum. Here’s how I helped bring them into our dimension...
I started with a very loose sketch and intended, from the beginning, to allow a lot of personality and features to be able to come through during the sculpting process. In the very first stage of sculpting, I realized that I didn’t have enough yellow Cosclay on hand to mix the vibrant amber of the Coreopsis. I knew I would need to pull out the paint for this bebe. So I decided to make the base color a light orange.
I imagined Coree with wings open and ready to fly but I didn’t anticipate the floppiness of the baked petal wings. So I decided on closed wings, laying almost flat on Coree’s back instead. I would have played with trying to create some kind of stiff armature for the wings but, I was short on the color of clay I was using.
Choosing to paint Coree was kind of exciting because I haven’t used paint on my sculptures for a while, and there was a sealing technique I wanted to try. I’m really happy with how the paint turned out and so so happy with the sealing technique! In the past when I used paint on polymer clay, I’ve had issues with the paint being easily scratched off. I’m not a fan of how the paint sits on top of the clay. Even after applying a varnish, the issue remained. After I stopped using paint and switched to using color clay and powder pigment, I stumbled upon a technique where you apply a thin coat of liquid polymer clay over the paint and bake it to seal in the paint. This works SO GOOD! Because of this, I will definitely be incorporating paint back into my process from now on.
Armature time! I decided to approach the armature a bit different this time. I usually make the armature and bake the hands and feet separately, then glue them onto the armature afterwards. This time I wanted to add another level of secure attachment though, so I baked the arm and leg armature wire into the limbs, hands and feet. I have to mention that Cosclay enables me to do this successfully because of it’s flexible capabilities. I’m really happy with the results of this approach.
With Coree I decided to start adding a piece of copal resin to my dolls for their heart. I burn copal resin regularly to clear my space energetically and enhance my connection to the creative flow while I work. I recently discovered, quite serendipitously, that copal is commonly used as a heart in poppets. While my dolls aren’t technically “poppets”, they are definitely crafted with magical intention. I’ve been deeply connected with copal for most of my life and by adding it to my process in this way, I’m able to further imbue my dolls with life, love and intention.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the first stages of my process for Coree and Bum Bum. Stay tuned for part 2 in next week’s blog post.