After some colleagues and I completed our Minime Colaboration (May 2015), we discussed future collaborations and this idea of an all boy doll exhibit arose out of our discussions. Boys. we all know them, we birthed some of them either in the flesh or in our imaginations. We love them as friends and brothers, dads, sons and lovers.
And so, this exhibit is in honor of the boys we love in our dreams, imaginations, and in our homes. My first son who is eleven, is Jasper and he was my muse for this doll.
This is a recent picture of him taken after a long day of playing outside.
And, in fact, my son was also a co-collaborator on this project as well. He served as the doll’s mind and thoughts and wrote his penpal a letter on parchment paper that he made himself.
He designed his sword and armor and he made them with cardboard, wood, tape, a bit of leather, and school glue and water. There is an original dragon sketch on the chest plate that my son thought would bring dignity and courage to the look.
In addition, and importantly, I often ask my son for advice on colors and style. He has always been a maker from the time he was a baby and usually has a really definitive idea of what he likes and doesn’t like. He chose the old tarp fabric I used to make the doll’s cargo shorts from several choices I was toying with.
Jasper the doll has the Inviting Play armature system; buried deep inside his woolly muscles is an armature that allows his legs and arms and neck to bend and hold gentle poses. He is firm and feels just like a wool doll without armature. He’s also perhaps the biggest and oldest (has the longest most mature proportions) doll that I have ever made.
His hair is made from alpaca fiber and has been dyed in a variety of natural shades of strawberry blonde. It is a boyish mess of curls and strands and defies the comb and brush. Jasper likes to sweep aside the too long strands from his eyes with his hand.
Jasper the doll is a anatomically correct made to represent a prepubescent boy.
Jasper will come with cotton boxer briefs, socks sewn from real socks that my son’s Oma knitted for him, wool and leather hiking shoes that fasten with a bit of elastic over wooden buttons, weathered cargo shorts with an overlarge collecting pocket and a loop for hanging swords, knives, or wands; a soft cotton blue t-shirt, a hand-knit hat made from soft alpaca yarn, and a couple other goodies and layers.
Its hard to know exactly what to write about this duo;
this pair separated by a generation and connected by love, eyes, memories, and scraps of fabric.
He so strong and steady
his love was accessible
How I remember you
Hold me close
Tell me your stories
your arms calling us to you – well perhaps you were motioning the dog to come for your secret ice-cream rendezvous – but your arms were open to us anyhow
now I try to walk in your footsteps
of course with the rainbow pants
just a little girl….Made strong by your being
You gave me your heart
now I have my memories and your heart
In memory of Harold Hubert
I have a friend. She and I have been friends since we first lived together in college. It wasn’t by choice – it was by assignment. But, despite my college disorderliness, we are still friends to this day. She asked me to make her a doll that she could give to her sister in honor of a new nephew about to be born. Together, we worked to choose a theme. We wanted someone classic, a suitable friend, a guardian of the nursery. And, we settled on Max, King of the Wild Things. The book by Maurice Sendak was one of her own children’s favorites and would be given with the doll.
And so, this is Max, made for a friend for her nephew. He is really just a sweet boy with a wolf suit.
How could such a sweet boy be king of the wild things?
“The night Max wore his wolf suit…”
“and made mischief of one kind. and another.”
Max is a new body style for me. I was trying out some new techniques. He doesn’t have a back seam like most of my other dolls. He has lovely brown mohair fabric for hair and black wolf eyes. He is fully dressable and so won’t really be fit to be a play mate until his friend is three or so. Hopefully he will watch over the sweet new baby and scare away the wild things.