Good morning lovelies

Today I wanted to share with you my Queen Elizabeth Art Doll and show you a few work in progress photos.

Making this doll I used a tutorial by the incredibly talented Dorote Zaukaite (dorotesdolls.com) that I bought myself as a Christmas present, and I am so glad I did. It was 68 pages packed with loads of pictures and really well explained. In a handy downloadable PDF form too so you don’t have to wait for the postman when you just want to get on with it, you know what I mean, I know you do.

I have always loved the Elizabethan style of dress and when the Makers Medley challenge for Strong Women came round it gave me the perfect opportunity (although I do still want to make one for myself one day). I even tried a little Elizabethan braid to improve my needlework skills.

Elizabeth braid, style needlework
Elizabeth braid style needlework

The doll is made with a wire armature with hooks left sticking out of the clay to attach upper arms and legs and then the lower arms have holes that are threaded together with ribbon. Patience is need during the sculpting phase to wait for the clay to dry before moving on, then the parts get varnished, painted or sealed depending on where they went afterwards.

art doll parts drying before use.
art doll parts drying before use.
assembling an art doll
assembling an art doll

I particularly like her large bloomers, which weren’t historically correct but I’m sure lots of other things are wrong with her too.

The lace I used for her ruff was a vintage piece given to me by an Aunt in a lovely old cardboard box of haberdashery treats. I have been keeping it for a special occasion and it was a perfect size for this job.

assembling an art doll
assembling an art doll
attaching the ruff
attaching the ruff

I ran a black thread around the outline of the shape of her stomacher and lined it with thick interface and although the space was rather small managed to fit in a few beads and a bit of gold thread on it. Fit for the queen and the last part of her costume.

embroidery a stomacher every Elizabethan lady needs one
embroidery a stomacher every Elizabethan lady needs one

I learnt loads from this tutorial and have already started adapting certain ideas to more suit my style and there were certain things I couldn’t do as I didn’t have the parts like attaching the head, as I didn’t have a fishing line thingie. Instead, I modified and used elastic which gave a nice snug fit and also allowed for an easily movable head. One of my real goals for moving into clay dolls.

Art doll with movable head work in progress
Art doll with movable head work in progress
Art doll with movable head work in progress
Art doll with movable head work in progress

As an interesting side, Queen Elizabeth was very vain apparently and did not want any of her ladies in waiting to outshine her. So while she wore all sorts of beautiful fabrics in jewel-like colours, they were only allowed to wear white or black.

From www.historyextra.com

Flame-haired, white-faced and always lavishly dressed, Elizabeth possessed the natural charisma of her father, Henry VIII, and was the darling of her people. Her finest hour came in 1588 when she defeated the Spanish Armada, catapulting her to legendary status.

Elizabeth I (1533–1603) is one of the most iconic figures in history. The daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, she was England’s ‘Gloriana’ – a virgin queen who saw herself as wedded to her country, and who brought almost half a century of stability after the turmoil of her siblings’ short reigns.

Queen Elizabeth Art Doll
Queen Elizabeth Art Doll
Queen Elizabeth Art Doll
Queen Elizabeth Art Doll

Thanks for reading and I do hope you found this interesting. Any questions please do get in touch it’s lovely to get feedback too.

Ally xx