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Here are some more items that I recently completed that will be on sale at tomorrow’s Pigtown Festival in Baltimore.

Ball Jointed Resin Pig Doll Mixed Media on Tiny Canvas

This is a tiny mixed media piece that’s based on my earlier Fabric Art piece called Ball-Jointed Resin Pig Doll Sitting Outside (which itself was based on a photograph that I took of a doll that I own, a Goodreau Dolls Wiggles the Pig) that I’ve since sold. It measures 2.5 inches/6 centimeters all around, which is perfect for people who live in small spaces or whose walls are already crowded with larger works of art. It will come with its own tiny easel so the owner can display it on a shelf or a desk.

I also used that same image when creating a new line of boxes. Here’s some background. Back in June I began experimenting with the idea of recycling empty Altoids mint tins as a combination box/compact mirror. The outside top would be covered with polymer clay.The insides would be covered with two items. One half of the inside would have a mirror glued to it. The other half would have a photograph I’ve taken in the past or a scanned copy of my original artwork glued to it. That half would be covered with two layers of Modge Podge before it would be completely covered with resin.

The results of that first time totally failed. The polymer clay weighed so heavily on the box half that the hinged box would literally snap into two after opening it and closing it a few times. I decided to give up on that idea for a while.

But then the local Michaels Arts & Crafts began to carry a relatively new Sculpey product called Ultra Light. This clay was touted as being much lighter weight than the other Sculpey brands. I decided to buy it and try making the boxes again.

So I made the boxes the same way as before except I used Sculpey Ultra Light. Once I finished baking it I had to paint it with acrylic paint because Michaels sold it only in white. Then I glued in the mirror, added the artwork, painted Modge Podge over the artwork, then poured resin over the artwork. This time it was a success! The boxes had no trouble with opening and closing and the hinges seem to stay attached so far.

Here is my Ball-Jointed Resin Pig Doll Sitting Outside in box form.

Pig Doll Box
Pig Doll Box

I surrounded the image with sparkling red glitter paint prior to encasing the bottom in resin.

Pig Doll Box
Pig Doll Box

I also have a few non-pig boxes that I’ve made and I will also sell at the Pigtown Festival tomorrow, such as the one based on my parody of those motivation posters that I call Desire and it features an Australian Shepard named Jay-Jay. (The dog currently resides in Phoenix with my husband’s step-father.)


The last two boxes are based on photographs I’ve taken during the weekend I spent in Baltimore in June. One is a pair of dolphins swimming by that I took at the National Aquarium and the other is a bunch of paddle boats shaped like sea serpents that were docked at the Inner Harbor.

Dolphins Box
Dolphins Box

I surrounded the image with sparkling blue glitter paint prior to encasing the bottom in resin.

Dolphins Box
Dolphins Box
Sea Serpent Paddle Boats Box
Sea Serpent Paddle Boats Box
Sea Serpent Paddle Boats Box
Sea Serpent Paddle Boats Box

I’m looking forward to the festival tomorrow. Today it’s been alternating between being completely overcast and being sunny with plenty of clouds in the sky. I’m hoping that it doesn’t rain at all tomorrow. In any case, visit the official website for information and directions.

I’ve been attempting to take old Altoids tins and recycle them into boxes that could also be used as a compact mirror. I found mirrors at the proper size at A.C. Moore’s. I saw a tutorial in a book on decorating the outer lid with polymer clay that I followed. I saw another tutorial on the Internet on enshrining photos in resin to use in jewelry. I attempted to enshrine one of my own photographs on the inner top lid in resin. I used six Altoids tins. Of the six, only one worked out. (The lid hinges broke on the rest when I attempted to close the box after the resin hardened.) That’s because I used less resin than in the others. The big lesson learned is I only need to use an extremely thin coat of resin–just enough to cover the photograph and no more or else it’ll be a bitch to close the box again without breaking the hinges.

At least I’ll have something to show people (other than jewelry) at an Etsy-sponsored Meet-Up that’s taking place in Washington, DC tonight.

This entry is devoted to my first foray into making art dolls and she’s currently on sale in my Etsy store. I’ve had a friend encourage me to try making one in the past but it was only recently I was inspired enough to try making one. (It helped that I already had some small empty candy tins lying around the house that I could use.)

I created Cinnamon Fire back in February as an entry in Art Doll Quarterly magazine’s "Metal Challenge" contest (where people were invited to submit a doll made out of metal). She was created from a bunch of empty candy tins and a key. I used a wire cutter to cut through the metal candy tins, an old key for the doll’s head, jewelry finding loops to connect the jointed parts together, E6000 glue to connect the non-jointed parts together, key-shaped jewelry charms for the arms, and shoe-shaped jewelry charms for the feet.

I’ll admit that I was influenced by the design of the robots in the Pixar movie WALL-E while I was designing the face. That’s because when Art Doll Quarterly announced the Metal Challenge in its February/March/April 2010 issue, the magazine got the idea from a submission from someone who took an old late 1920’s manual typewriter, took it apart, and created a set of four metal dolls who went together as a band playing vaguely futuristic-looking musical instruments. While the results were interesting looking, that piece didn’t quite grab me on an emotional level and I ultimately found the entire piece cold and alienating.

I wanted to create a metal doll that an average person could identify with. I started to remember WALL-E. While the main character was a metal creature like the manual typewriter doll band, WALL-E affected me on a more emotional level due in large part to his very expressive eyes. WALL-E was a metal creature yet was humanizing. His robot love interest, EVA, had LED eyes that were similarily expressive and also seemed to express a level of humanity. As I was creating Cinnamon Fire, I strove to have the doll have some kind of humanizing features on her face.

The doll’s height is 8.5 inches and she can be hung on a wall by a loop located on the back of the doll.

I decided to name the completed doll Cinnamon Fire because the words "cinnamon" and "fire" are so prominent on this doll that they were literally the first words I saw whenever I looked at the doll. (There are other words on the doll–like "Oral Fixation"–but they don’t stand out as much.)

By the way, as of this writing, I haven’t heard back from Art Doll Quarterly regarding this entry (even though I sent it in early March just a couple of weeks before their deadline). Either my CD that had the photos somehow got lost in the mail (despite the fact that I mailed it Priority Mail) or the magazine has just decided to reject my entry without even notifying me.

Cinnamon FIre

This is a scan of some of the items that I used to create Cinnamon Fire before I started my project.

Cinnamon Fire

This is a photo of Cinnamon Fire after I finished my work.

Cinnamon Fire

I used an old key as the foundation for the doll’s head. The key originally belonged to a store that I worked for on a very part-time basis but it has since been shuttered due to the bad economy. No one had ever asked me to return the key and I kept on forgetting to contact the store’s owner about the key until enough time has passed by that no one really cares about the key any more. Rather than throwing it away, I ended up reusing it.

Cinnamon Fire

This shows a close-up of the doll’s middle section. I used key-shaped jewelry charms for the arms, which was appropriate since I used an old key to make the doll’s head. The torso came from a candy mint tin that was sold under the brand name "Oral Fixation". (I once bought the mint during a road trip to the Deep South but I haven’t found any stores in my area that carries this brand of mint.) The design of the tin made me think of a voluptuous torso. The word "Fire" came from another tin that I glued to the torso.

Cinnamon Fire

This shows a close-up of the bottom half of the doll, which I constructed out of mint tins and shoe-shaped jewelry charms.

Cinnamon Fire

This shows a close-up of the shoe-shaped jewelry charms I used for the doll’s feet.

Cinnamon Fire

This is a scan which highlights the loop on the back of the doll so it could be hung on a wall. I made the loop out of old picture wire and I glued it using the E-6000 glue.

Cinnamon Fire

This is a scan of the doll that was done on a scanner. If you’re interested in Cinnamon Fire, see this listing in my online Etsy store.

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