Last week, Jerry and I took a short break from the shop and headed up to North Carolina to deliver eyes to Captain Jodie Gay at Blue Water Candy Lures. We took #cheerfulclyde along with us. More about Clyde later; but first let me tell you about our visit.
Most people know we sell eyes to teddy bear and doll makers. Jerry actually started the business selling eyes to decoy carvers. Now, you'll find our eyes in sculptures, carvings, puppetry, decoys, and fish lures.
Last year we talked with Musky Dan about hand carved wood lures with glass eyes. We also had a conversation with Rusty Jessee about the National Tackle Crafter Collectors Club and included tutorials on How to make your own fish lures in the June 2016 newsletter.
We were thrilled to have an opportunity to visit Captain Jodie and his family at Blue Water Candy Lures located in Hampstead North Carolina.
Captain Jodie was a Commercial fisherman for 20 years. He used Hook and Line Fishing in the Ocean and trolling for Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo, and Mackeral. He also bottom fished for Snapper and Grouper.
When he left commercial fishing in 2002, he started Blue Water Candy Lures, a family owned and operated business. It started at the Kitchen table and moved into the garage. Jodie and his son in law, Russell, gave us a tour of their current manufacturing and shipping facility and shared their expansion plans with us.
Now, Captain Jody participates in fishing tournaments and fishes with family. In 2015, a Record 68 pound King Mackeral was caught by Captain Jodie's Blue Water Candy Lure Team at the Cape Lookout Shootout Fishing Tournament. At that time, it was the largest caught on the Atlantic Coast in a fishing tournament. Carolina Sportman
We had an opportunity to watch Jodie's wife, Terry, and his daughter Jessie sorting the bling-bling used in several lure styles.
Terry and I shared stories about the challenges and joys of being married and building a small business. She also shared her recipes for cooking some of Captain Jody's favorite fish. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to see more photos, get Terry's recipes, and learn more about our visit in our September 2017 Newsletter.
I also had an opportunity to record Chase as he showed #cheerfulclyde how he hand crafts a Blue Water Candy Lure.
Clyde told me he had no idea how much patience and skill was involved in making a lure. He had so many questions about Fish Lures and talked about learning how to fish as we traveled home.
Learn more about the various types of fishing lures and how they work Here.
Do you like Fishing? Do you know anyone that enjoys Fishing or wants to learn how to fish?
For 10 years, Fisherman's Post, a newsletter covering saltwater fishing along the coast of the Carolinas has hosted Fishing Schools for anyone interested in getting some hands on fishing skills taught by experts like Captain Jodie Gay and Captain Russell Weaver.
There are four schools scheduled in February and March 2018. These schools are reasonably priced and would be a great gift for a loved one that enjoys fishing and wants to learn more about it!
I mentioned Clyde in the beginning of this post. He came to visit us from TheCheerfulChameleon for his summer vacation. Learn more about #cheerfulclyde pick up a Free Crochet Pattern and learn how you can win these free prizes.
Jerry has a quilt that he remembers taking naps with when he was a child. After his mother died, Jerry was helping to clean out her home and saw the quilt on a pile of items that were earmarked for the dumpster.
He did not know who made the quilt. He just felt that it was a part of his childhood and he cherished it. He rescued the quilt and found a quilt restorer in New Jersey to repair the edge of the quilt and replace two brown square patches that were deteriorating.
For several years, the quilt was displayed in our home on a quilt rack until we were told light would harm it and we should cover and store it.
It spent the last 11 years under our bed in an old suitcase until last week when we took Jerry's quilt to the Quiltcon Show in Savannah, Georgia. Jerry was hoping to find someone that could appraise his quilt and give him more information about it.
We stopped in the Quilt Alliance Booth to ask if they could refer us to a quilt appraiser and Merikay Waldvogel just happened to be visiting the booth at that very moment.
We did not know at the time that Merikay was the Author of several books about quilting as well as a Curator and Lecturer on the subject. She was at the show simply to see the quilts and connect with friends!
Jerry and I met with her in the lobby where she examined the quilt and hand wrote this review. She graciously shared her time, knowledge and expertise with us and we are so grateful to her.
Time Period: Late Depression 1930's-1940's
Pattern: 8 Pointed Star
Fabric Cotton, Some Acetate, Plaids, Solids, Outer Border and Binding Replaced in restoration.
Thread for quilting is a thick coarse thread - utilitarian
Hand carded cotton Thicker, Lumpy
Backing: Quilt "gauzey" loosely woved. Easy to Quilt - Utilitarian. Not many stitches per inch. Material might be a 100 pound sugar sack
Pieced by Hand. Quilted by Hand
"A Make Do Quilt"
She told us that this quilt was made to be used with materials that were available at the time. Below are photos of pieces of the quilt that might have been made with material from used clothing.
Merikay's review of the quilt also supports the story of Jerry's family history.
Jerry's Grandparents immigrated to America from Poland in 1904. His mother was born in the United States in 1921 and she worked as a child with her parents picking string beans on farms in Cordova, Maryland during the depression era.
She learned to be frugal and "make do" with resources available at the time. Jerry thinks the quilt may have been sewn by an Aunt or his maternal grandmother and then given to his mother. He is not sure though; and the people who might know the quilt maker are now deceased.
Do you have a quilt that has been handed down in the family? Are you a quilter? Do you belong to a quilt guild? You might want to learn more about the Quilt Alliance.
Their mission is to "Document, Preserve, and share American Quilt Heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nations diverse peoples and their communities."
Now quilt stories can be saved at The Quilt Alliance S.O.S. Save Our Stories (QSOS)
QSOS "creates through recorded interviews, information concerning quilt making both past and present. The archive for the original recordings and photographs is the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress."
You can learn more about this and volunteer to conduct your own QSOS interviews.
Make sure to Sign up for our monthly newsletter. In March, 2017, learn how Merikay Waldvogel started collecting quilts and quilt ephemera. Also, See photos, videos and links to more history about quilts.
The Art Quilters of the Low Country are exhibiting in the Coastal Discovery Museum at historic Honey Horn until the end of October.
Jerry and I invited our friend, Pat, to go with us to see the exhibit and attend one of the demonstrations and discussions.
Pat has been quilting for about ten years. She belongs to the Lutheran Women Sewing Circle. Each Monday this group meets to work on quilts for Lutheran World Relief. Pat is also a member of the Sea Island Quilters.
We photographed some of our favorite quilts and learned through the discussions about the varied techniques of the five artists that comprise Art Quilters of the Low Country. Their goal is to design, quilt, exhibit, sell, and teach art quilting.
We had an opportunity to meet two exhibitors, Peg Weschke and Shaaron Thomas. Each artist has a unique process for creating their art quilts and demonstrated the steps during our visit.
Peg Weschke starts with a photograph or picture that she has enlarged at Staples. She draws lines on the back of the enlarged copy to highlight certain colors and shapes she wants in her finished art quilt. The lines resemble puzzle pieces. She uses fusible interfacing to trace out sections of the enlarged photo.
Peg then cuts fabric into the shapes of the puzzle pieces before ironing to fusible interface. She also paints and hand dyes some of the fabric she uses in the cut outs.
She sews all the fabric pieces together then applies Wool batting and a backing.
The final quilting work is done with a sewing machine to add more dimension. It is a very labor intensive process.
One of my favorite art quilts "Godwits" is shown below. I have photographed these shore birds and love the way Peg captured their reflections on the waters edge in gorgeous detail with thread painting.
According to Peg, Art Shows have different criteria than Quilt Shows for displaying your work. In order to display at quilt shows; you must make a sleeve and hang the art quilt on a quilt rack. When displaying at art shows the work must be on canvas.
Peg stretches her finished piece across a canvas and temporarily sews the back edges together. The temporary threads on the back of the canvas can be cut to replace the quilt on the rack for a future quilt show. This allows Peg to display and sell her work in both venues.
Sharron Thomas starts with white silk material on a frame. She places a photograph or drawing under the silk and uses a quilting pencil to draw on the silk. In the Photos above Sharron demonstrates her painting process.
She outlines the drawing on silk with a water resist pen and uses a blow dryer. Sharron mixes acid dye formulated for silk painting with distilled water and paints in the drawing on her silk material. She will sometimes add salt or sugar for texture and dimension.
The next day, Sharron wraps the silk in muslin and steams it for 1 hour in a canner. She washes the silk with synthrapol to hold the dye in the material.
Once the silk is dry; Sharron quilts with a sewing machine. She will also add dimension with hand sewn jewelry beads in some of her creations. She likes to frame her art quilts.
We had a wonderful time meeting the artists and learning about how they are combining paint and thread to create unique and beautiful works of art.
If you are in the Low Country, the exhibit will be open to the public until October 29 with demonstrations and discussions with artists on October 11 and 25 between 10am-12n
I was thinking of my sister, Heidi, a few weeks ago while admiring a doll with the same name on display at theInternational Doll and Teddy Show (IDTS). I heard a voice next to me asking me "Are you a collector?" That is how I met Beverly Warren, the doll maker.
I told Beverly about how her Heidi doll reminded me of my sister living in Washington. I found out that Beverly also lives in Washington. She named some of her dolls on display after friends and characters in children's books.
She gave me a book mark with the Serenity Prayer that I cherish.
We reconnected on the phone last week and we talked more about how she started making dolls. It turns out that Beverly relied on God to lead her to the people and places she needed to be in order to learn the art of making dolls. She also told me a story about God at work in her life through one very special doll.
Every artist I talk with has such a unique story about how they began creating their art. I was wondering how you became interested in making dolls and how you learned this art form?
BW: When I was young, I hand sewed dress shifts for my Barbies and loved to draw. I took lessons from a retired fashion designer when I was 13. I sewed my Barbie Doll clothes and made clothes for family and friends. After High School I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology because I was interested in freelance illustration. Then I was working, married and started raising a family. My background is sewing and art.
One day I was out shopping and saw these beautiful handcrafted dolls in a boutique. I wanted to learn how to make those dolls. The shop owner connected me with Ellen, a local porcelain doll artist that made those dolls. Ellen used liquid porcelain poured in to molds. She taught me how to clean, fire, paint, and make the clothes for dolls made with molds. After a few months, Ellen turned me over to her teacher, Arlene. Both doll artists used molds created by other artists.
I really wanted to sculpt my own faces instead of using molds. I prayed about this for a while. I was visiting a local art museum and someone working at the museum told me about a clay doll maker. I got in touch with her and she basically gave me instructions. This was her "recipe" that I used:
Take aluminum foil and roll it into the shape of a skull.
Make two dents in the foil for eyes. Set eyes into the dents.
Take a brick of clay and a sculpting tool and mold it around the foil.
I tried it and was hooked right away on sculpting dolls. This person also told me about Jack Johnston, a sculpting instructor offering workshops around the world.
In 2005, I took beginner doll sculpting classes with Jack Johnston in Vancouver, Canada. I prayed for God's direction as I was taking the beginner class. Would I be good enough to be invited to participate in advanced classes? My prayers were answered as I did get invited to attend the advanced classes. I entered the Professional Class National Competition hoping to win the scholarship to attend the professional level doll classes. I had created a mother holding a toddler on her lap. She won 2nd place. I receive the half scholarship for the professional course. I joined the Doll Guild in 2006 after I completed the professional course.
I wrote about the Doll Guild recently in our monthly newsletter. Can you tell me about your experience as a member of the Guild?
BW: I enjoy meeting other doll artists and becoming friends with them. We share information and resources. I am not into computers or facebook. I'd much rather be making dolls and illustrating. The Guild gives me a web page and free exhibit space at the doll show. There are also free classes offered during the doll shows. I think the biggest benefit for me is connecting with other doll artists.
I've been learning about the different mediums available for making a doll. What medium do you like to work with when you are making your dolls?
BW: I prefer to use Prosculpt. When I add clay on top of clay it will seam well without a ridge. I also like the look of the clay after baking. Sometimes I paint the eyes with resin molds and sometimes I use glass eyes. All clays can get half moons or cracks if the clay is not kneaded well enough. Prosculpt seems to require less kneading to me. I like the sculpting of the face and painting the doll the most. It is like watching this person come to life as I am creating it.
I took a break from making dolls and left the Doll Guild for a while for personal and professional reasons. I did some traveling with my family and some mission work.
During the break I visited New Zealand and took the Lord of the Rings andWeta Tour. I was so impressed with the movie props and the sculpted faces on shelves. I actually held a sculpture of Gandalf's nose.
I also admired Margaret Keene paintings of the big eyed children. These experiences and some others were tugging at my heart to get back to making dolls and start illustrating children's books.
I rejoined the Doll Guild, started making dolls and exhibiting at shows. I recently submitted a painting and doll for a juried show at a local art museum. I'm hoping my creations will be accepted in that show.
Beverly Warren Exhibit Video by David Eggen
Do you have any particular doll that you created that is your personal favorite doll?
BW: I do have a doll story that I would like to share with you.
Several years ago, I went to Israel. I was part of a mission team working with the poor. I felt like I was supposed to take one of the resin dolls that I made on this trip because I was supposed to give my doll to someone.
I kept praying about who I should give this doll to while I was on the trip. Toward the end of the trip, we took some donated toiletries to a holocaust survivors home for the elderly.
I met a woman named Shula. She had been a child during World War 2 and had survived being in a concentration camp. I realized as we talked that Shula's experience had robbed her of her childhood.
Shula wanted to know what I did in the United States. I told her that I made dolls. She asked me to please send her a doll when I returned home. I knew at that moment that Shula was the person that needed my doll. She was overjoyed to receive my doll the next day.
I received so much more from that experience. I felt so blessed to have met Shula and have the opportunity to give her my doll.
Whenever I talk with people like Beverly; I also feel blessed. I am reminded that God is present in my life. Sending me messages of love and care through other people and their creations.
A Conversation with Linda Ellen Brown-Trinckes About Making Beariety Bears, Experimenting, Working With New Mediums, and Growing Creatively.Read Now
I have a Teddy Bear Collection so I was drawn to the Beariety Bears Display at IDTS a few weeks ago. I met the creator, Linda Ellen Brown-Trinckes, and had a heart warming conversation with her about making and collecting bears. We continued our talk a few weeks later. She shared with me how she started making and selling teddy bears and what she has planned for the future after attending a doll sculpting class at the IDTS a few weeks ago.
When I visited your booth at IDTS; I loved hearing your story about how you started making Teddy Bears and would love to share it with our readers!
LT: Certain, I'd love to share it!
My son was about 3 or 4 at the time. We were out shopping and he saw a Steiff Bear in a toy store window. My son had a fit because he wanted that bear! I could not afford it at the time so I told him I would make him a teddy bear. I purchased a teddy bear pattern. As I was working on the pattern; I could see that it was not like the teddy bear my son saw in the window. My mom was a very good seamstress and as a child I watched her modify patterns all the time. Just as I had seen my mother do with clothes patterns; I modified the teddy bear pattern.
I was not happy with the first teddy bear I made and I put it in a drawer thinking I would modify the pattern more and make another bear. I did not realize at the time that my son was watching me at work during the entire process.
A few days later, I started a new bear and went to the drawer to get my first bear out for comparison. The bear was gone! I found the bear in my son's bed dressed in his pajama shirt. My son had already adopted and loved that first teddy bear I made.
It sounds like your son got you started. How did you get from there to where you are now with making teddy bears?
eLT: I finished the second teddy bear and kept modifying the bears I made until I got what I considered a good teddy bear. I continued altering patterns and designing and making my own bears.
I exhibited in my first teddy bear show promoted by Linda Mullins. Linda is the author of books about teddy bear artists and teddy bear patterns. She assigned my booth next to Flore Emory a fabulous and famous teddy bear artist. Flore was lovely and her Flore Bears were adorable. Having my booth next to her booth was both intimidating and challenging at the same time. I did not think I would sell anything at the show; but I did. I continued to make teddy bears, exhibit and sell at shows.
In 2000, I took time off from shows and spent the year trying many new and different techniques with bear making. I only exhibited at one show that year It was an International Teddy Bear Show in Honolulu, Hawaii.
I brought all the bears that I had made throughout the year to the show in Hawaii. It was a fabulous experience meeting artists from other countries. They really liked my bears. Because I had spent the year trying new things, making my own designs, and changing and modifying my bears; I did not have one particular identifiable style.
I entered almost every category of competition in the show. Everyone voted for the bear they liked best in each category. I won almost every category. The irony is that I won the "Best in Show" with the last teddy bear I made during the flight to Hawaii for the show.
Passengers would get up to stretch during the long flight. Everyone passing by my seat on the plane watched the teddy bear in progress. When we finally landed; all the passengers needed to see the finished teddy bear before I could disembark.
I named that four inch clown bear "Celebration" because I was celebrating a year of challenging myself to try new techniques with my bears. I sold almost all the teddy bears I brought to that show.
It sounds like you taught yourself to make teddy bears.
LT: I also take classes offered at Teddy Bear and Doll shows. At one time, I belonged to a teddy bear group on line from Germany. We shared information and resources about making and selling teddy bears.
What medium do you like to use to make your teddy bears?
LT: I use the traditional teddy bear joints that are hardboard with cotter pins. I also use Mohair and glass eyes. I stuff my bears with polyester fiberfill and poly beads. I sometimes use lead shot that is a little heavier to aide with positioning and sitting.
I design and make some of the little outfits and also will use vintage baby and doll clothes that I find.
I have also collected Steiff Teddy Bears and other early valuable teddy bears and restored them for myself and others.
As I recall, Celebration was one of your personal favorites. Do you have any other teddy bears that you would say are your favorites?
LT: My teddy bear named Schatzy. In German, Schatzy means treasure or sweet heart. The mohair felt like mink to me and the muzzle was whiter than the brown color of the rest of the bear. His face was so cute... so sweet. He was adopted and I know he is in a loving home.
You sell your teddy bears at shows; do you also sell on line or in shops?
LT: I do sell my paintings and teddy bears in my BearietyBearsandArt Etsy Shop.
My husband, John, is a musician. We formed a duo and have written and recorded music that can be purchased at our website Trinckes Music and Art. You will also find my paintings and teddy bears as well as musical instruments for sale.
I am also getting ready to test selling some bears on Bear Pile.
I understand that you participated in a workshop at IDTS and now have some ideas for future creations. Could you tell us more?
LT: My husband, John and I participated in Jack Johnston's doll sculpting class at the IDTS. Our first doll heads turned out great! We decided we want to start sculpting dolls and make stuffed animals for their companions. I'm thinking about sculpting the head, hands, and feet. The bodies will be made with fabric on an armature and have flexible Joints. I am planning to make the clothing.
I love learning new techniques, working with different mediums, and growing creatively.
Linda's story is heart warming and inspirational for me because I've been experimenting with photography and crochet. Linda is living out the idea of life long learning and growing. Her story is abou giving ourselves permission to experiment, try different mediums, and enjoy the creative journey !
Next week; Beverly Warren talks about how she learned to make her One of a Kind and Limited Edition Dolls and shares her special doll story that tugged at my heart strings.
Lori Platt at IDTS discussing the World of Art Doll Making and Collecting, International Art Doll Registry, and Spirits in Sanford.Read Now
I met Lori Platt from Yalaha, FL recently at the International Doll and Teddy Show (IDTS) in Asheville, NC. She is the designer and creator of Pixies and other fantasy art dolls displayed in her booth "The Pixie Knoll".
She was so friendly and welcoming to everyone at her booth. I found her so easy to talk with about her work. She told me that she did not have any girls, she raised boys. Lori felt like she needed eyes in the back of her head because they were frequently up to no good as young boys. She believes those mischievous faces of little boys comes out in her work with Pixies. Lori shared a little about how she became interested in creating art dolls and some valuable tips and insights for doll makers and collectors.
Can you tell us how you became interested in making art dolls?
LP: As a child I had an active imagination and enjoyed fairy tales and magical beings. I was also artistically inclined. I have an Associate of Arts in Graphic Design. I was working with many different mediums. I started with painting, pen and ink, and pastels. I also worked with ceramics and clay. Then I tried sewing and making quilts. I found a book with a pattern for a cloth doll and started making cloth dolls. Girls just loved the cloth dolls I made.
During my cloth doll period because I also happen to collect Santa Claus figures, my husband surprised me at Christmas with a "Sculpting Santa" Video by Jack Johnston. There were also sculpting tools and polymer clay in the gift. This was a new medium for me and I could not wait to try it. I made my first Santa and then went on to purchase a DVD by Wendy Froud "How to Sculpt a Faery Figure". I continued building my skills and have been creating and sculpting dolls for around 10 years now.
You mentioned Polymer Clay. Can you describe more about the medium you use to make your dolls?
LP: I use Polymer Clay for my dolls and paper clay for the scenery. Working with the paper clay and acrylic paints in the scenery allows me to have fun layering color and incorporating detail. I also design and create the clothes for my dolls. I really use all the different skills I've learned from working with all the other mediums I used.
I found your Etsy Shop Pixieknoll and Website The Pixie Knoll where you sell your art dolls. Do you sell by any other venues?
LP: I also sell pieces through my Facebook page, my Pixie Knoll Blog, and occasionally on eBay. I also exhibit at shows. I will be exhibiting at the Spirits in Sanford. It's an intimate gathering of Halloween Artists and Collectors in historic Sanford, Florida held on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 this year. I'm actually designing and creating Halloween theme dolls and monsters in preparation for this show.
Which of your Dolls do you consider your personal favorite?
LP: Each one I design becomes my favorite while I am working on it. If I had to choose from all of my creations; I would choose three.
#1 Allegory of Life: The four seasons It is very spiritual and representative of the circle of life. It sold recently.
#2 I'm also very fond of Steampunk Dragon Fly and Gnome Tinker Rider "WorldTraveler" He is available in my Etsy Shop.
#3 Would have to be Meadow. There is a photo of her on my blog. As I worked on Meadow everything seemed to come together without a struggle. I finished Meadow in time for the IDTS in Asheville.
Do you belong to any organizations or groups with a focus on Art Doll Making or Collection?
LP: I'm a member of the International Art Doll Registry. Members are from around the world. It offers so many services to members including tutorials, access to experts for questions about making dolls, competitions, and you can register you art doll creations for a permanent record of your work. Registering your art dolls is very important for collectors.
The competitions are bimonthly. You can compete on a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced level and have an opportunity to win a $25 gift card. There are about 10 to 12 judges that use a point system for judging each submission. There are 3 measurements. Interpretation of the Theme, Skill level, and Overall appearance. These competitions are challenging and fun. They help you grow and learn as an artist. The Theme for July is Circus.
I also get Pretty Toys Magazine. It is an International Magazine published in several languages. You can purchase the Digital Download or the hard copy. There are no ads published in this magazine. It features art doll artists from all over the world and their creations. I also subscribe to Art Doll Quarterly published in the United States.
Jerry and I learned a great deal about the world of Art Dolls while attending the IDTS Show and from my conversations with Lori. She believes that through sharing knowledge and expertise this art form will continue to live and thrive.
Jerry and I will be ready for another break from our business by this October and I think attending the Spirit of Sanford Show would be a great respite. It will also give us an opportunity to see Lori again and meet other artists.
Do you have questions or comments about making or collecting Art Dolls for Lori? Place them in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!
More about Dolls and Doll Making coming in our July Newsletter!