Holidays · My Latest Ornament

Not Quite Spun Cotton Ornaments… But Almost!

Here are my two latest works!  I finished them yesterday afternoon.  Surprisingly enough they are not left over projects that I didn’t get done before Christmas, they are actually brand new creations for Christmas 2014!!!   🙂   The bizarre calendar of magazine deadlines strikes again!

Father Christmas

A.    This is a 24 – Inch tall Father Christmas figure.  I sculpted the head of this figure from polymer clay, then primed the clay with multiple coats of gesso and painted it with artist oils.  His hair, beard and eyebrows are made from individually hand applied strands of kid mohair.  A wood armature supports the sculpted head and shoulders of the figure and forms the core of the torso and legs.  The arms and hands have wire armatures, with individual wires for each finger and thumb, which allows the hands to firmly hold objects. The boots are hand sculpted. His coat is made from antique red velvet that was originally a curtain (which had been damaged beyond repair), it has antique metal buttons and a hood lined in wool that I hand dyed to match the velvet.  He wears pleated trousers made from the same hand dyed wool that lines his hood.  In one arm, Father Christmas carries and hand-made spun cotton girl, with a lithographed face, dressed in crepe paper, two hand – made paper dolls that are based on mid-nineteenth century originals, and three tiny feather trees, topped with candles.  In his other hand he holds the paw of a tiny hand-made mohair teddy bear, with working joints, glass eyes, a newspaper hat and a miniature American flag made of silk. I made the spun cotton girl, the paper dolls, and the teddy bear.  The feather trees and silk flag are purchased commercially made reproduction components.

Father Christmas by Paula Walton

Hand sculpted Father Christmas by Paula Walton

Father Christmas by Paula Walton

This is a 17 inch tall candy container made of spun cotton and papier-mache.
This is a 17 inch tall candy container made of spun cotton and papier-mache.

A.    This young lady is a 17- Inch tall candy container doll.  The papier-mâché head of this candy container was cast in a mold that I made directly from an antique doll head that I restored prior to making the mold. The head is painted with artist oils.  The body of the candy container is made from two graduated cardboard cylinders.  Her arms and legs are spun cotton with wire armatures.  The darker top layers of her skirt are vintage crepe-paper, with newer crepe-paper petticoats underneath.  Her jacket and hat are made from cotton batting with hand-made spun cotton snowball accents.  She holds a mica dusted spun cotton snowball in one hand.  This candy container is not an exact reproduction.  I deviated from the original on which it is based by using papier-mâché to cast the head rather than bisque, to make the head lighter weight.  I used a slightly different antique doll head from the original to make my mold.  I changed the size of the candy container to keep the doll in proportion to the head I used.  I used a wood base, rather than cardboard, for more stability and I added mica around the edge of the base and to the large snowball she holds in her hand.

Spun cotton and papier-mache candy container by Paula Walton

spun cotton and papier-mache candy container by Paula Walton

Spun Cotton candy container by Paula Walton


6 thoughts on “Not Quite Spun Cotton Ornaments… But Almost!

  1. Fantastic! Absolutely beautiful with such personal handmade touches. So delightful, thank you for sharing and describing all the details.

  2. They are both perfect! You are amazing. No wonder I haven’t seen you in 3 weeks! I’m feeling like an unproductive slug! Just beautiful down to the last detail!

  3. Hi Paula. I’m so glad I found your website. Your spun cotton ornaments are beautiful, so detailed and inspirational. I always feel uplifted when I meet people so dedicated to the art of spun cotton ornament crafting.

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