How to present one's work

Over at Christmas, I was talking to my father about the dolls I have been making recently. My family had wanted to see them and I showed them by holding them in my hands. After having them been admired, I put them down again. A pile of colored wool. Just limbs. Almost carelessly tossed aside.

I have been thinking about that image a lot. 

Making the dolls is one thing, but showing them is quite another. How can I show them in a way that does justice to the nature of their character? I need to talk to someone.

My father instantly googled the name of the artist he had just met in Barcelona last November: 

Gerard Mas (Spanish sculptor, born in 1976)

What started as a search for ways how to present one's work, turned into an intense fascination for Mas's work. Here's a sample of what I found online.

The repetition of the statues and the pedestals could work for my dolls too.

It took me a moment before I spotted the bees. The expression on her face is  powerful and distracting.

Again, a quick glace doesn't do this one justice.

Like a fish on a plate. I wonder how big this one is.

Do you see 'it'?

The skin texture is almost real.

How about a frame?

Here the pedestal is part of the sculpture.

I welcome any suggestions about how other artists have presented their work. Please leave your comment below.



 A couple of weeks ago we went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In the medieval section I found inspiration for my dolls. I can't say exactly what it is that I would want to copy or reproduce, but these wooden statues certainly gave me new ideas. The expression in their face, the clothes, the way they are grouped together. 


Sometimes I finish something

Last week I started at least three different projects, but I also finally finished one.


I used yarn that I had bought years ago to crochet a poncho with. I kept forgetting the pattern and made mistake after mistake. So I pulled out what I had made so far (not much) and started an easier pattern, one that I had tried before and that looked nice. 

I made a very long scarf (I am very tall so most scarfs don't fit me that well). And I made wrist warmers using the same yarn and stitch, but I made up the pattern myself (not that hard).

I would love to make more of these to sell, so let me know if you'd be interested.


From my great grandmother's sewing basket...

My great grandmother's sewing basket is like a treasure chest. Although I would like to keep it intact, I also like using the materials that she collected and used herself.


Making a companion

Making one doll is one thing, but making another... that's a whole new challenge. I was eager to see what would happen with a new batch of wool. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to create a more pronounced nose.

Very quickly a character appears. I have no real control over it.

At this point I am still convinced I am creating a girl. Albeit an older one...

She's not a very pretty one. She reminds me of a friend of the family, so I start calling her Ruth.

She's waiting for me to finish her hand.

But then something shifts. It happens when I am working on the hair. This rather ugly girl turns out to be a boy.

 I think they look rather beautiful together.


Making a felt doll

Last week I started working with wool and a needle. A sweet face grew in my hands. I draped some soft wool around her head to see what she would look like with hair.
Then I created a hand. You can see the needle I am using to prick the wool into a firm shape.
Little by little her body is coming together. 
It's very difficult to make two identical hands. Wool kind of has a mind of its own. Hard to control. I just have to let it happen.
Her legs and body before I started to work them into felt. 
Wonderful surprise! She can stand on her own.
I gave her beautiful soft long hair. And now I am working on how to style it.
After working on her for three days in a row, I decided to leave her like this for awhile to see what will come to me next. I am too afraid to 'overwork' her.


Artist journal

In the news a few days ago...


Ode to Salo

Salo 1994 - 

How do I say goodbye to my faithful little friend of 19 years? The vet says it's time to let him go. But how can I possibly choose the moment? How can I decide for him when it's time to go?

I have let his older brother choose his own moment, and it was very painful, for him to die and for me to watch.

I look at Salo and I see him struggling. His heart is beating fast. Too fast. But it's beating for us, it seems. He doesn't want to leave us, faithful friend he is. 

A beautiful cat with a gentle soul. He never killed another creature, just stared and wondered at the spider that ran away from him or the mosquito that danced above his head. 

Most of his life Salo lived in the shadow of his older brother and when he died, a part of Cupido lived on in Salo...

How do I say goodbye to my little guardian angels? When is the right moment to let go? As Salo is struggling with holding on, I am struggling with letting go...