Several months ago I sent an email to the magazine with some jpegs of the dolls that I kept for myself. (I made five, traded two and kept three.) I hadn’t heard one way or another about the dolls other than getting a polite response thanking me for my submission. So, I was jumping up and down, twirling and squealing when I opened to page 101 and found a full page with my three steampunk dolls!
One of the dolls (top photo, doll on the left) is particularly symbolic. Back in 2007 I wrote an article in Cloth Paper Scissors called “Painting Out the Panic.” One of the pieces used to illustrate the article is a figure I call “Broken Chakra Girl.” BCG symbolized my struggle with panic disorder, particularly the fifth (throat) chakra. My anxiety would cause my throat to constrict and I wouldn’t be able to speak. I also got frequent sore throats at the time.
I used BCG’s face for one of these dolls, cut her hair, gave her a top hat, changed the color of the turquoise throat design to match her steampunk style, and made her neck a normal length. Somehow the steampunk version represents healing, with her strong, mechanical, shiny body and bold stance. Her green broken heart is no longer exposed, and is protected by her steampunk armor.
All of the dolls are made with original faces that I drew or painted. The bodies are made of painted, recycled coffee filters, painted and stamped recycled tea bags adhered to fabric, or paper. The metal textured legs and arms are cut paper from Just Steampunk, volume 1. The body with the corset and the clockworks are also cut paper from the first issue. The body parts are attached with tiny brads so they can be posed and played with.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Karen at The Graphics Fairy http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ for the use of her vintage images of butterfly wings and top hats; to Zinnia at Roses on My Table for creating such a wonderful online art community; and to JoAnn at Roses on My Table for running such a great group. http://rosesonmytable.ning.com/