ChickieLou is on Etsy

Oregon Sunshine Copyright 2012 Bruce Couch

Happy Spring!

So much has been happening in the ol’ studio. I appreciate the patience of those who have not given up on ever hearing from me again while I pursued some ideas and designs. As it turned out, I found a ton of inspiration in my husband’s photography. For the past few months, I have been tinkering with some of his flower macros and his photos of his camera collection. Looking at some of these lovely images, it struck me how novel it would be to “wear” a flower center, or adorn my ears with steampunk cameras, or embellish tiny vignettes of the gorgeous area where I live, Portland, Oregon.

I spent the greater part of three months simply prototyping the design of these, focusing on reproducibility and strength.  The images are already amazing, so I knew they would be beautiful. I settled upon earrings to start, because photos on earrings are so unexpected and I like that.

My first roll-out is of plant macros, but I plan to have more designs in weeks to come. For the findings and embellishments, I wanted to only use sterling silver and natural beads of shell, semi-precious, or other natural materials. Hopefully, the quality and care are reflected in these. All are handmade by me, with love and are available in my Etsy store. I’d love to know what you think.

Update: I have been informed by someone wiser in these matters than I that the flower depicted above is called Oregon Sunshine. I could not have given it a better name myself.

       

Dolls as creative inspiration

Some time ago, I ran across a photographer’s work using dolls as subjects in some fairly unconventional photography. I was enthralled by the dolls. I had never seen anything like them before. Some were incredibly human and life life. Others were macabre and scary. It made me go on a hunt for these dolls which later inspired my own creative project.

My search led me to, among other places, this on-line doll shop where I became fixated on this fellow. Without much of a second thought, I parted with the $90 thinking I just needed to, no… I MUST have him.


He is Nosferatu and a vampire. I just think he is enchanting.

Since he was a pre-order at the time and delivery was not promised for nearly 2 months, I had to satisfy myself with his picture. But once he arrived, I took these pictures of my own (minus his fangs – I like him better de-fanged).



And he is wearing an awesome Goth get-up…




A bit of info about these dolls. Nosferatu is a Korean doll (Pullip-TaeYang) made by Ars Gratia Artis. As it might be expected, the Japanese take these artistic dolls to a much higher level of being nearly incarnate. From a collector’s standpoint, these shown here are known as Ball-Jointed Dolls or BJDs.

Variations cover the range of everything from the human form to the fetish and fantasy form…


BJDs are thought to be heavily inspired by anime and Lolita fashion.

Japanese BJDs are not the only highly desirable doll. Here is a Chinese brand of BJD:

Here is another Korean doll, Luts. Just incredible! (I’ll be poking around on this site more after I post this):


I wanted to show you these dolls as inspiration for creativity like these drawings based on the familiar Blythe doll or dressing and posing them for a creative photo shoot. Also, a note of interest: the name of my blog “ChickieLou” is named after my childhood doll, so dolls have been personal creative touchstones for me throughout my life. As I mentioned, my Nosferatu inspired me for an art project. More on that next time!

If you want to spend an entire DAY (and probably more) exploring more about BJDs, this would be a good place to start: http://www.bjdcollectasy.com/bjd-companies

Warning: You might want to put your credit cards in a bowl of water and freeze it before you look at these. The emotional tug and impulse to buy one of these dolls is strong! Just when you think you are safe, one individual will draw you in. Also, please note: some of these sites may have images that are unsuitable for work browsing.

Photo streams and blogs featuring BJD:
http://izismile.com/2008/12/17/japanese_dolls_cool_40_photos.html
http://www.isabelle-ribeiro.com/blog/?tag=bjd
http://www.flickr.com/photos/inamourada_flux/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lolita_pop/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/607104@N20/