Because the call to artists was for a Black Friday Art show, I wanted to make an art doll that did two things. First, it would have to be a larger doll that could be hung on a wall and second, it needed to reflect the holiday season and commercialism. I thought about all the madness and stress of shopping, often with a limited budget as opposed to how magical and fun Christmas was as a kid. I loved to watch and still do watch all the Christmas specials, some of my favorites are the Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and of course Rudolph. The idea of elves and their tiny tools crafting toys always appealed to me but at the same time, when I’d unwrap my presents I knew deep down that not one thing was handmade by an elf. That contradiction is one of the things that made me question this whole business of Santa Claus but I’d quickly shove it deeper down and hang on to the myth a little longer.
Remember when Jingle and Jangle helped save Christmas?
So, the idea of elves is what inspired me. These small wonderful craftsmen busy in their workshop making toys for all the worlds children. What if it were true? What if at one time we really did get our toys from elves but technology and crap made in China and discount stores had pushed them aside. Kids want what they see on television and elves don’t work in plastic and computer chips. What if the appreciation for elf-made toys had fizzled out. What would the elves do with themselves? Would they buy a huge condo in Palm Springs and take up golf? Or would they hopefully await, trusty tool in hand, for someone to request one of their toys. I imagined the latter…except of course, for Hermey who never wanted to make toys in the first place.
Forgotten – the Tiny Toy Maker is created with la Doll clay over an armature of wire, foil and gourd. His little outfit is created with a technique using paper that allowed me to create an interesting texture with lots of crinkles and folds. In his hands he holds an old chubby screwdriver I got from a dead man’s tool chest. (estate sale!) His eyes are my favorite part: rusty jingle bells my friend found at a garage sale which I brushed with a little translucent bronze metallic paint.
At the moment, he is on display at the Vitale Gallery at 651 Central Avenue, downtown St. Pete. He would very much like a home for the holidays. You can contact me for details.
In other elf related news, I’ve recently released this year’s addition to the GingerDead Greetings holiday cards. All the cards as well as illustrated jewelry and a few art dolls and finger puppets are available through my etsy store.