The 2014 Christmas issue of Early American Life, which includes their Holiday Directory of Traditional American Craftsmen, is currently on newsstands. I’m honored to have been juried into the directory again this year!!! I also have an article in the this issue 🙂
You can see and read all about my All Hallows Eve Ball spun cotton figure in the Autumn issue of Stampington Company’s Art Doll Quarterly magazine. She is located on page 75, as part of the article on the Shelf Sitter Challenge. Thank you Art Doll Quarterly, it’s a treat to be included in this issue!!!
This doll is a larger sized version of a traditional spun cotton ornament, which I created especially for the Shelf Sitter Challenge. Her face is made of pressed and molded cotton. Like all spun cotton figures, she has a wire armature, which allows her to be posed in a sitting position. In order for her to remain firmly seated, I have added a weighted “cushion” for her to sit on, made from a heavy automotive washer that I covered in wool felt. Her hair is made from hand dyed kid mohair, which I glued directly to her head in small segments. I costumed her in an outfit reminiscent of those shown in early 1900’s crepe paper crafting books published by the Dennison Company. She is wearing a dress and multiple layers of petticoats fashioned from crepe paper, trimmed in black Dresden trims and velvet ribbon. Her hat is made from wool felt, with a velvet band and a glittered hatpin. Sparkly glitter shoes, Dresden paper bracelets, and a ruffled owl mask are the finishing touches on her Halloween ensemble.
Spun cotton ornaments, which were generally Christmas decorations, were popular from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. They were inexpensive and unbreakable which made them perfect for small children and as decorations on the lower branches of a Christmas tree. Originally they were a cottage industry, made in people’s homes in and around Lauscha, in the Thuringian mountain region of Germany. The ornaments were made by spinning cotton fibers around wire armatures, with faces of spun cotton, bisque facemasks, or chromolithographed paper scraps.
They were frequently adorned with crepe paper and Dresden paper trims. More information about spun cotton ornaments, including a list of reference books, can be found here at my blog, http://www.spuncottonornaments.com.
My name is Paula Walton. I’ve been a doll maker for 26 years. More than a decade ago I developed a fascination with the art of spun cotton ornaments. Because there is very little information available about the way spun cotton was crafted, I taught myself the technique by studying antique ornaments. Since then I have been gleefully creating spun cotton figures and enthusiastically teaching others to do so too. My ornaments can be seen at my website http://www.asweetremembrance.com and here on my blog. I also have a special online discussion site for all my spun cotton students. I may be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I always especially enjoy the Autumn issue of Art Doll Quarterly, and 2012’s is no exception. I just love Halloween! The official release date for the magazine is August 1st.