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Susan Melvin

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Artwork for Susan Melvin










How would you describe the work you do and why?: 

I make dolls from two very different mediums. The smaller ones are sculpted from polymer clay, which is baked and painted; the body is soft and weighted; hair is made from mohair and glass eyes if used. The textile dolls are waldorf inspired. The fabric is cotton and the body filled with lambswool. Sculpting these is done through rolling and tying the wool and needlefelting. All the dolls are unique, entirely made by me and no molds are used.

For you what does being an artist mean?: 

Always having busy hands! I love to turn a lump of clay or a sheet of wool batting into something recognisable. There are always new techniques to learn and to try to use on my dolls, from wigging to leather shoe making and different techniques with stuffing.

Describe what you call yourself/your practice?: 

Cloth and Clay ooak sculpted dolls

CV & Education, relevant & leading to your artistic practice: 

I can't draw as much as a square, or paint anything other than a wall, but have always crafted and seeing other craft work inspires me to have a go at almost any craft. I danced from the age of 5 and was a professional dance teacher with my own school until I retired where choreography, producing shows and sewing costumes was my artistic creatitvity. I loved the children, their innocent little faces and joie de vivre and maybe missing them so much fuelled my desire to produce childlike figures. That, and the fact that I have always been a dolly girl and doll collector and seeing what other doll artists produce made me want to have a go, so I bought a lump of clay and started playing ...

Exhibitions in the last 3 years: 

This is the first time I have shown my dolls

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