“A bright blue pigment formerly made by crushing lapis lazuli.”
Meet Lazuli, named by Amber, my friend and colleague at work and the person she was created for.
Amber has a wealth of creative interests and I always knew that this cloth doll would push me creatively to produce something that is entirely new. This is the first doll that has been completely created from scratch, including the pattern for the body pieces.
Now I must admit that I did a bit of Pinterest stalking to come up with the original design for this cloth doll. I went through Amber’s boards with a fine tooth comb and picked out elements that I thought would work together. Her pins had a strong presence of blue, turquoise and purple feel, which naturally found their way onto the design of the doll.
The face, head and hair
The design of the face was inspired by a pin from KelleeArt, an illustrator who has most notably worked on the Monster High characters. I wanted to recreate the enlarged eyes and pouting lips from this style of illustration.
Lazuli’s hair has been layered with different hues of blue and purple wool for each new layer, using a range of wool types to create texture and interest and to reflect the pinning board title ‘Hair’.
The ear was inspired by another pin showing a leafy looking elf ear and I loved this unusual shape.
painting the face
I have been very inspired by the painted cloth dolls from Pantovola Textile Folk Art by Anouk de Groot I love the whimsical nature and individuality of these dolls and if I ever have any spare money would love to purchase one from the Pantovola Etsy shop.
Therefore, rather than applying the details with water colour pencils and pigment pens, which I have been using up until now, I painted on the facial features with acrylic paint. I referred to an image of Neytiri, the female character in Avatar to help create the blue tones needed on the face. Painting definitely allowed me to achieve a greater level of depth on the face than the colouring pencils did.
the body, tail and wings
The body of this cloth doll was inspired 3D printed model from Bitgem. When creating the pattern I narrowed the waist and accentuated the curves.
This then led me to complete the look with a corset that was made out of real leather. Matching arm cuffs were also added around the wrists.
Like the image, I choose to include wings and a tail.
The lower half of the legs are centaur shaped, again using my own pattern and I was pleased with the end result.
However, I felt there was something missing when I assembled all the body parts. I made a decision to recreate clubbing style fluffy boots. This turned out to be an excellent way of using up tiny scraps of fabric.