Friday, August 17, 2012

Grunging Up the Inner Child

Quite by accident I discovered a faboo distressing technique for these dollies.  Should I share it, hm?  Oh, sure, we each have our own vision, so here it is:  The dolls are stuffed with sawdust from the lumberstore scrap pile (some of it is cedar and smells divine).  As I understand it, the tannin in wood helps mordant dyes.  Thinking the little dears were way too pristine, I dipped them in a weak walnut dye solution and set them out in the sun to dry.  The dye wicked up into folds and seams and high places and created these splotches that look like foxed paper and very old.  Sure, some of the color from the delicate natural dye pastels was lost, but I just love this look, as though they were forgotten in an attic for a generation or so.  Isn't it evocative; can't you just picture the little pinafored, sausage curled girl feeding them mudpies?

And I think the grunge adds alot to the character of this bad, really, really bad pirate boy with a tattoo and raggedy shorts; he looks like he may have jumped ship.  If you look closely, his black silk eye patch has a button eye under it.

It all reminds me of that song from Peter Pan -- "I don't wanna grow up, I don't wanna wear a tie, or a serious expression in the middle of July."

Let's hear it for the inner brat who can help us to savor summer and not take life's nasty surprises too seriously.

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