GUEST ARTIST CHRISTINE SHIVELY-BENJAMIN


 

Christines photo

I first met Christine in 2009 when I attended a workshop that she offered to the Flying Phoebe doll club.  I was new to doll making and I learned more in her class than I did in any other workshop that I’ve taken.  The faces on her dolls are perfection and the clothing and embellishments are unsurpassed.  

THIS IS CHRISTINE’S STORY

Exploring the possibilities of creating a character with fabric is an extension of my lifetime fascination with three-dimensional forms; my characters emerge from familiar tales of childhood and from stories of the heart and soul. Fabric, color, texture, and pattern… all play intricate parts in creating interesting figures that tell their own stories to the viewers who meet them.

I grew up in Denver, Colorado and had the good fortune to have art in my life from a young age.  My process of doll making grew from experimentation, and from the art background and foundation from that early age.  I graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University with a BA in Art in 1974.  I had no clear idea what lay ahead.  I went back to school and received my teaching credentials, and then I taught Art on the secondary level until I began embarking on my creative, figurative doll work.

I was invited to teach at Doll Maker’s Magic in Snow Bird Utah in 1993.  From there I began teaching at Doll U, We Folk of Cloth, Doll Maker’s Fiesta, Artistic Figures in Cloth, Enchanted Doll Artist Conference, and numerous doll clubs.  I have also taught in Australia and Canada. My work has appeared in three of Susanna Oryoan’s books, Miriam Gourley’s books, and numerous doll magazines. I have also been a member of Original Doll Artist Council of America since 2003, and served as President from 2007-2010.

My dolls grew from a love of fabric, costuming and embellishment. The original dolls began with embroidered faces.  I start by drawing the body shape and structure I wish to use for my fabric figures, using a template to create the basic silhouette of the drawings.  The shape is then transferred to the fabric.  Sewing on the line gives a great deal of control over the shape I am envisioning.  Some of the body shapes are an abstraction or somewhat stylized.  Most of my figures have an economy of line, a simplified structure.  I use paint, pigma pen, and colored pencil to create the faces on the cloth figures.  An extreme light and dark technique is employed to give the illusion of depth in the face.  The costuming and embellishment are the key elements.  Fabric, creative manipulation and embellishment are one of the most important parts of my figures and chairs.  I use applique, picot, brick and spiral beading techniques in layer over fabric and ribbon.

An ancient connection to doll making and storytelling is ever-present in my work.  Experimenting with new techniques in drawing, painting, beadwork, embroidery, solving structural and aesthetic problems, and educating myself on historical and cultural heritages, contributes to continual growth and change in my figures. Manipulating basic shapes in new and different ways plays an important role in the creation of my characters.  Paper and wire manipulation have added a whole new page to my book of characters.  The fabric and paper speak to me in many voices, and the combination of these voices gives life and harmony to the finished figures.

 

CHRISTINE’S DOLLS

Benjamin-2695

Unfold Your Own Myth

 

 

Benjamin-2674 (1)

Crowning Glory

 

Christine #1

Night at the Opera

 

 

Benjamin-2682

Daughter of Daydreams

 

First in a series named “LA DEMOISELLE DE FLEUR”

 

Christine-blue La Demooiselle de Fluer

Second in a series named “LA DEMOISELLE DE FLEUR”

 

MY DOLLS MADE IN CHRISTINE’S WORKSHOP 

Mask Carnival 3Pink Carnival 4

 

MORE DOLLS MADE BY OUR GROUP

 

MARY PORTER VAUGHAN

Mary’s details are always wonderful.  Can you believe a camera or a cabbage that small?  

Mary's Hiro-san - at the onsen 01ObaaSan

HIRO-SAN                                                        OBAA-SAN

 

BONNIE HOOVER

So many people wait for Bonnie’s new dolls.  Always so charming with all their embellishments!

Bonnie#2Bonnie #1Bonnie #3Bonnie #4

 

Several of us are working on mosaics and we are gathering converts every day!  

Here is some of our work:

 

SUZANNE DURAN

Suzanne’s whimsical birds always make me smile.

20160714_155749-1Suzanne's bird 8-16

 

COLLEEN PATELL

Colleen’s gazing ball is one of the best I’ve seen.  Just beautiful!

colleen's giant blue ball

 

WANDA FUDGE

Making this picture was just silly fun.

Legs

This is the first of 2 tall pots I’m making as focal points in my new small mirror image succulent gardens:

check flowerpot

 

MARY PORTER VAUGHAN’S JEWELRY

Mary's earrings Mary's jewelry

 

Bonnie Hoover has made something delightful; she calls it “wall jewelry”!

Bonnie #5




If you are interested in purchasing any of our crafts, please contact me: wfudge35@att.net


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