What are art dolls? Fetish dolls? Found art dolls?
Welllllll They're dolls that are different from dolls you'll find at Toys R Us.
Beyond that definition, it's difficult to explain just what they are.
My art dolls range from cloth dolls (inspired by the must-read book, Mother Plays with Dolls, by elinor peace bailey) to redesigned Barbie dolls, to assembled bits of things which only vaguely resemble a fantasy figure.
My latest art/fetish doll, Teal Magick, began as a milky plastic film canister. That's her head. I used Dover clipart to find a Victorian face to color and glue onto it. Her hair, which provides her name, is brilliant teal chenille yarn, mixed with curlicue'd copper wire strung with pearls. The hair was packed into the film canister and held in place with hot glue. Her hair spills out of the canister, dread-style. She looks dangerous.
Her body is a wooden block, painted copper and then I glued on an altered image of a corset. To attach her limbs, I used tiny screw-eyes at shoulders and hips.
Her arms are iridescent silk ribbons, with "beach glass" beads for hands. Her legs are crystal-like plastic icicle shapes, with holes drilled so that an antique button and embroidery floss hold them in place.
On her back, she wears teal-blue wings. They're made from a rubber stamp of dragonfly wings, which I printed with teal ink on white rice paper. I did two layers for each doll, and glued them back-to-back with a bit of wire sandwiched inside, to make the wings positionable. The wings are held in place with a small carpet tack, which I painted white to match the rice paper.
Her full height is ten inches, and she sits nicely on top of my television set. The light sparkles through her cut-glass-looking legs, and she looks just mysterious enough.
Her former partner was a Barbie doll. I replaced Barbie's torso with a stuffed fabric version. It's more "normal" sized than Barbie usually is, so her legs look a little funny now, set so wide apart. I strung her with odd beads and feathers, and named her Voodoo Doll Barbie. She now lives in the home of a doll collector, who was thrilled to buy her at eBay.
All original text, photos, and art are © 2000, Aisling D'Art.