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Patience the Peace Angel, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Ornament by Max Bailey

Patience the Peace Angel, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Ornament by Max BaileyIn creating “Patience”, I was inspired by the beautiful dolls of the Victorian Age. Patience holds the symbol of peace, a white dove, in her hands. She has little flower-patterned bloomers, and golden lace-up shoes.

She wears a golden halo, highlighted with light tones to make it look like real gold. The golden light from the halo touches her long brown hair, and the top feathers of the dove. Patience has wing feathers that are detailed with soft blues to make them look feathery. She’s needle-sculpted at the elbows to give her more dimension.

Patience the Peace Angel, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Ornament by Max BaileyI’m especially pleased by the way her sweet little face turned out. Her green eyes have a direct and hopeful look, and her expression is a little wistful, but thoughtful rather than sad. She’s what I imagine an Angel of Peace would look like, patient and hopeful.

Patience the Peace Angel, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Ornament by Max BaileyHer little white-laced apron ties in the back in a big bow, and is signed and dated by me, Max Bailey, on the sash. Patience is 9 1/2 inches tall, with a 7 1/2 inch wingspan.

The small loop at the top of her head allows her to be hung as an ornament, but she can also be displayed as part of a table centerpiece, or propped on the mantle with your Christmas greenery, or nestled on the inside of an indoor wreath. She is softly stuffed and very lightweight.

Patience is a true one-of-a-kind original work of art. I created her first in my mind, then from my own pattern. I painted her with acrylic paints (my favorite part), then sealed her with matte varnish to protect her.

Update: Patience has been adopted.

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Pigs in Progress by Max Bailey

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyThese are “Horatio and Hannah“, my first original, one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted art dolls, in progress. This is my first time using Creative Paperclay, and it has opened up a whole new world of art dollmaking possibilities for me.

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyHoratio, the papa pig, has an entirely hand sculpted head of paperclay over hand carved styrofoam, with painted fabric ears inserted. I smoothed the paperclay into the fabric for a seamless look. Hannah, Horatio’s little piglet daughter, has a hand sculpted paperclay snout smoothed into her fabric face. They will both be painted with acrylic paint and sealed with matte varnish for protection.

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Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max Bailey

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyEveryone who has or ever had a cat knows that all cats are angels. With her innocent and angelic expression, this petite white cat is adorable.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyShe’s only 8 and 1/2 inches tall from ear to toe. She can sit on a chair (chair not included) or she can sit by herself. Her cute little curled tail will support her back in a sitting position, and her small size allows her to sit prettily in your favorite curio cabinet, or nestle in anywhere among your favorite collectibles. Sitting, she’s only 4 and 3/4 inches tall.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyHer quilted wings have been attached separately and are painted with feathery blue detail.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyShe has sweet little high-button shoes with black soles, painted on.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyHer faded blue apron sets off her lovely blue eyes. I painted a pattern of wavy water across the bottom of her apron just for her good friend Angelifish.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyAngelifish is very colorfully painted and detailed in shades of blue and green, highlighted in yellow to give him that wet “fishy” look. He gazes up adoringly at Angelicat, and is suspended from her apron button with pearl cotton cord.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max Bailey Angelifish is only 3 and 1/2 inches long. In addition to being Angelicat’s best friend, he makes a wonderful ornament for a small Christmas tree.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyBoth Angelicat and Angelifish are signed and dated. From top to bottom and beginning to end, they are true one-of-a-kind original works of art.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyI made my own patterns for Angelicat (and her apron) and sculpted Angelifish from paper clay without using a mold. I painted them both (my favorite part of the process) with acrylic paints, and sealed them with matte varnish to protect them.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyAngelicat, with her friend Angelifish, are my first original art doll set.

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max BaileyUpdate: Angelicat and Angelifish have already been adopted. Thank you!

Angelicat and Angelifish, Original One-of-a-kind Cat and Fish Folk Art Angel Dolls by Max Bailey

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Art Doll Beginnings

Serenity Starr angel sketch by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve completed my first set of original, one-of-a-kind art dolls, and these are some of the sketches I drew for them, before I turned them into patterns to sew. Above is “Serenity Starr“, and below are “Cottontail Charlotte“, and “April May“. They all turned into angels, and have since flown off to their new homes.

Cottontail Charlotte angel sketch by Elizabeth RuffingOnce I had an idea of how I wanted them to look, I experimented with making patterns for them, using 100% cotton sheeting. I used a sateen-finish sheeting, so I would get a nice smooth surface for painting. I learned that your initial doll shape changes a lot once your doll is stuffed, and so adjustments are necessary. Your pattern design usually needs to be a little wider than you think, and slightly taller.

Each angel got a set of hand-quilted wings, which were stuffed with 1/4 inch batting, and then hand sewn onto each doll body. I made wooden stands for my angels first, so I would be able to leave the right amount of space between the wings and the doll bodies. That way, I was able to slip the stands between the wings and the bodies.

April May angel sketch by Elizabeth RuffingNext up, I’m going to be trying some hand-painted, jointed art dolls, for a little more dimension.

Elizabeth Ruffing's doll pattern sketchesThese are some of my sketches for pattern prototypes. They’ll be sewn, stuffed, and then redrawn until I like the results.

Elizabeth Ruffing's doll pattern sketchesFor instance, I’m going to redraw those feet, above, because they came out more pointed than I wanted them to be. Making patterns for doll bodies and doll clothing takes a lot of experimentation.

I’m going to be experimenting with Creative Paperclay, and Li-Qua-Ché pourable papier mâché, to add some sculpted parts and details to my fabric dolls, as well.