The Zombie Doll Circus Comes to Town
Roll up, roll up… come and see the Zombie Circus, the newest spectacle comes to town! Vaudeville Manor is proud to introduce Heidi the Hooper, Clarice the Clown and Stanley the Strongman, for this most spectacular event!
Zombie Doll Inspiration
Early on in my doll making journey, I created my first circus themed zombie doll, a poi spinner, for my partner Steve.
Looking back at him, he is a rather simple design. However, his creation was an important step in sowing the seeds for future zombie dolls with a circus theme. Therefore, ever since his construction, it has been my intention to make additional zombies. And so I am pleased to introduce my new collection.
Dreaming Up Doll Designs onto Paper
Only recently have I begun to draw out my dolls in more detail. Prior to this, I mostly sketched aspects or details of a doll. In conclusion, I have found this process extremely useful. By fully working out the majority of the details first onto paper, it allowed me to become more specific and focused when creating the costumes for each individual doll. I am no longer having to become inspired by my collection of fabric scraps, instead, the drawings informed the type of scrap I could use.
In hindsight, of course, this approach makes total sense. So moving forward this is the approach I shall take for my future doll making projects. It is one of the many ways I am trying to organise my chaotic artistic brain!
Making the Dolls
Working slightly differently this time, for this collection, I made all three bodies at the same time. Therefore, all the cutting out, sewing, stuffing, assembling, painting of the face details and fleshy scars were spread out across all three dolls simultaneously.
I wanted to see if this method would speed up the initial construction of the base of the dolls. This was due to wanting more time to develop and create the costumes and details. For the most part, I think it did, therefore, I intend to continue to work with groups of three dolls at a time.
Something else I have aimed to incorporate into my doll making is the use of scrap fabric to create the dolls’ clothing. Like many artists, I am a massive hoarder. Keeping hold of things ‘just in case’! This extends to many, many bags of scrap fabrics, even the tiniest pieces. Well, it just so turns out that it was worth saving these seemingly useless bits. Whilst creating The Crows’ Secret Collection, I discovered that leftover material is great for creating textured and layered hair pieces.
To really bring any doll to life, it is all about the details. Here are my favourite three details:
Starting with Clarice, I simply love the ruffle of her clown top. This is because I intentionally created a ‘rough and ready’ feel to the hand stitching. As a result, the stitching effect emphasises the rugged nature of the zombie outfit.
Stanley’s hairy strongman chest really makes me smile. Most of all, this is because it is a simple detail that helps brings his character to life.
Finally, the combination of needle felting with scraps of lace to create Heidi’s hair is beautifully dishevelled.
Rehome Me Please
This wayward circus troupe of lost souls have wobbled their way into the Vaudeville Manor Etsy Shop. Consequently, Heidi, Clarice and Stanley are all in need of a good home to live out the rest of their zombie days in peace.