Carving Dried Creative Paperclay

 In reworking this doll, I tried to get the best head shape first, with the idea that I would sand away spots where I didn’t want clay to be. After I got a decent head shape I decided to use a carving tool to take away pieces. The good thing about using creative, as opposed to carving wood, is that I know I can put back whatever I take away. So it’s a win-win form of sculpting, because it has both reductive and augmentative aspects to it. This is a fun exploration.

On Wasting Materials

Learning doesn't always mean spending money. If you are trying to gain skills, though, you will often end up wasting some materials in the learning curve. I've learned  that sometimes I just have to sand down a creation I don't like and start over. I did that this morning with a little doll I made a thousand years ago. I peeled the glued on stockinette off, then sanded her face down to an almost flat surface. This gives me a base for a new face sculpt. The previous face was set too high, and I wanted this doll to be a child. Sometimes "wasting materials" is part of the creative process. But it's not really wasted. Let's think of it as tuition for a class.  That feels better.

Better Is the Goal

Some years ago the MAIDA Dolls Group had a Storybook Challenge which was published in Prims Magazine. You likely didn't see my doll in the magazine, because I advocated for a group shot of all the dolls instead of a photo of my doll. My doll ended up being in the fold of the printed version of the magazine. 😂. I have a tendency to promote others' work.

When I received my doll back from Prims, I noticed something about the nose I didn't like. It might have gotten bumped in the process, or it could have been some touch up I did before sending the doll. Anyway, I sat her on a shelf and she waited for YEARS for me to decide to make make her *better*.  I've repainted this creation so many times that some of the incised detail on the hair was muted, so I decided to carve the grooves again. This etching tool carves wonderfully into dry, hard Creative Paperclay.

So she's getting better.  After this NO MORE REPAINTING, Dixie! On to body covering and she needs a basket. 

Day Two

I needed to read this post from 2011 again....
Have you heard this saying?

If everything's important, 
then nothing's important

Yeah, I thought so.   I like to do a lot of things.   I didn't even list all the things I must do, just the things I like to do.   I'm talking to myself here, but if it helps you, then great.   Dixie, you can't do everything.

Life is about making choices.  The constraints of our time and our space help us in making these choices.   In fact, psychologists propose that constraints contribute to creativity and inventiveness.  That's good news!   I only have so much space and time, just like the rest of you.

Some questions to help me in my choice-making:

What will I wish I had done (next year, in five years)?

What would I do if I weren't afraid?

Which things fit with my creative personality?
Which activities are most practical for my life?

Which activities contribute to the family budget?

Some things I need to cut down on:
Playing around with the colors and backgrounds on the sites that I write for.   It's fun but it doesn't necessarily make the sites function better.    In five years will I wish I had made a painting instead of switching the background of a site from pale ochre to yellow?   

Pleasing people.  I really, really, really like to encourage other people and help them.   But, and this is tricky, am I ignoring the needs of my family and even myself to please another person?  Sometimes the other person isn't putting forth as much effort to help themselves as I am.  I'll still help people who need it, but I won't worry as much about pleasing people.

The online checking loop that takes up a lot of time (ouch!)....first check email, then check news, then check facebook, then check groups, then check twitter.   Then start the loop over again.  Will I wish I had made a painting or created a folk doll instead of doing some of those things?  

Side note.  My family hates the picture above.  It was taken by my photographer friend Danielle Pease. I was modeling for a project of hers about women of a certain age and what we've learned. She took a lot of great pictures that day!  I was goofing around for this one.  But she caught something in it because it got ALL kinds of reactions from my family.    I put it on the fridge before the kids got out of school last year and my son with autism went right to the picture and threw it away even before he had his snack.   It looks like the face I make when he is being told he's lost a privilege.   My husband said, "Don't post that picture."  My other son said I look mean.  And yet here I am posting it.   It's a great motivational poster for ME to hang in my studio while I do the sorting of STUFF.   I mean, really, if I try to keep the 3" piece of string, do you think that woman will let me?  

Are you still with me?   

You're probably a friend 
or family member. 
Or you need to clean your slate, too.


Dixie Redmond's Folk Art Dolls

Here is a gallery of dolls that I've made over the years.  Obviously I have been very inspired by Izannah Walker's wonderful dolls in my studies and in my own creations.   The doll in the picture above on front left is made with my Izannah Walker Doll pattern.

How to Buy My Work   

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Join My Newsletter List

I send out very infrequent newsletters where I share what I'm working on. 
I also share with this list what I have available for purchase.  

Another doll in process above

The next three four dolls are made from my Izannah Walker pattern

The doll above was featured in Prims magazine.

Below is the first doll I made from my Izannah inspired pattern,
her name is appropriately Honor Goodfolk.

Papier mache inspired doll


A papier mache I rehabilitated. 

A palm sized Izannah Walker inspired doll. 

A papier mache inspired doll 

Art From the Heart: David Schump aka The Art Tramp

One of my goals is to amplify good things I see in life and in the art world. So I will be doing a series of posts here in my blog called "Art from the Heart", which features other artists. For a while I've been watching David Schump, aka The Art Tramp, share beautiful and interesting folk art creations. Before Christmas, I decided to give one of his miniature baskets to my antique Izannah doll Hope. So I sent David her measurements, and her picture, and asked him to create a worn version of his beautiful miniature baskets for her to hold.

What a beautiful basket he made! David also sent a beautiful folk art tramp art dove sitting in the basket, which I love. Take the time to visit his site -


I got my cup of coffee, went in to admire the awesome tree my husband picked out, and saw this. I woke my college aged son up, and we set the tree to rights. A few sentimental ornaments broke, which can be mended. Some can't, and we will recreate.

This is a metaphor for life. Life gives you challenges, and you respond. Sometimes you are changed in the process.  😂. The tree is fine now.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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