Welcome to this year's Halloween in Miniature.
** Be sure to grab a drink and some snacks, starting at Day 1, The Party Begins:
Come in, come in, honored guests and friends. Make yourself right at home. (Click photos for full size.)
Oh, do try the Glog. It's simply delightful, I hear, with oil of bat, bergamot, herbs, eye of newt... Cook doesn't scrimp on the good stuff, you know. (Glog from Patricia Paul Studio.)
Oh, look. Can it be? Yes! Frank? Oh, there he is!
Come say hello to Mr. Frankenstein...
"No, call me Frankenstein's Monster..."
"Sorry, how about Frank for now..."
"Very well. Tank you for inviting me. I, um, am hoping I can finally make some friends. You know things didn't work out so well with my wife-to-be. And those villagers, all those pitchforks... The fires. Oh! It makes me shiver... I mean well, honest. It's just... sometimes... my thoughts get... mixed up. Garbled. You understand?"
Oh dear, he seems nervous, doesn't he? Maybe...
"Yes, yes, I see. Come into the other room. Get some snacks for yourself. We'll be right back."
There now. I think it's best Frank is by himself for a while. I hope he can control his anger...
Now, oh, look who it is! Why, it's the Snail Lady. My, my, she is even more exquisitely dressed than the rumors I heard!
Psst, please I heard her ask a couple people if this new shell makes her look, you know... big? She got very perturbed at the answers...
She's rather sensitive, so please, be kind. Tell her she looks wonderful!"
(The Snail Lady figure is amazing! She looks just like the movie character in the Italian-made version of the movie Pinocchio by Roberto Garrone, starring Roberto Benigni as Geppetto. See the trailer on IMDB. I've borrowed this from the library - well, kind of an odd movie, mostly good for the scenery and the strange characters. The Snail Lady is really interesting.)Oh, my, now I am a bit flustered myself! Why it's Morticia Addams from The Addams Family! My, my, she is quite lovely, isn't she? I wonder what her beauty secrets are, though I'm sure she'll never tell!
The room is getting rather crowded. I hope there are enough snacks for everyone....
Oh, darn, catch that one, would you? Heh-heh, Morticia thought that was pretty funny. (Crawling tentacles, Michael R. Miniatures/Etsy, UK)
Hey, look! There's Grandpa Munster from The Munsters TV Show... Now there's a real celebrity, thousands of years old, I think. No flash in the pan...
Well, he's a good guest to have as he only needs a fresh decanter of blood. I think we have some...
Has anyone seen cook? Ah, I'll be right back. I can't figure out where she went. It's so hard to get good help these days!
* About the creator:
Sharon Cariola has been making 1/12th scale figures of polymer clay over a wire armature for about 19 years. She was inspired after seeing some hand-sculpted dolls at a local dollhouse show and learned about making them by watching videos from UK doll artist James Carrington.
She's had no special training, although working as a dental assistant, she jokes, could've helped a bit: "All that looking in people’s mouths has helped when it comes time to sculpt that area." But she says, "I always enjoyed drawing and took what art classes were available in school, but had no professional training. I am a people watcher by nature. I observe hands, ears, how clothing drapes, how shoes show wear, so many things."
She's since made literally hundreds of figures, mostly of typical "everyday" people or character sculpts of well-known celebrities and actors. "I usually make more everyday type dolls, but once in a while something more unusual catches my interest," she says. The dolls range in price from about $700 to $900, with portrait-type dolls on the high end.
After about a year of making them, she had amassed quite a few and with the help of her husband, Cariola decided to open a store on eBay. "I was really surprised when one finally sold," she recalls. "Now I am kept fairly busy filling special orders." See her FB page for information and photos. https://www.facebook.com/sharon.cariola
The dolls, which she works on one at a time, take "at least a week" to make. Cariola starts by sculpting the head and face separately, then she does the hands, feet, and the torso. The body parts are then baked, painted, and assembled on wires. Wired areas get padded for shape before she makes the clothes.
"I like to use old cotton clothes from second hand shops and I cut my fabric from those," she says. "I used to really dread the costuming, but now it has become something I enjoy."
The most difficult aspect of sculpting, she notes, "is the head, but I also really like to work at it. I often work three days on just the face." Her tip: "If you want the doll to look “human” use photo references. You can find pictures on the internet of people with some claim to fame. Good profile images are very helpful."
While she says her early dolls were much simpler and thus took less time to make, she's still amazed at how far she's come. Several of her dolls are in museum collections including a miniature Harriet Tubman and the painter, William Turner in the KSB (Kathleen Savage Browning) Miniatures Collection in the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center.
Others are in personal collections around the world. But a few... well, they don't make it
"I recently cleaned up my work area and tossed a few 'loser dolls' in the trash," she says. "I wonder what folks at the dump must have thought of them."
(Of course, we often are our harshest critics. I can't believe her 'misfits' were that bad, even if they didn't measure up to her exacting standards. And wouldn't you like to dig in her trash?) --Christine Verstraete
** See what and who's next on Day 3: https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/09/halloween-in-miniature-shop-till-you-drop.html
** Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Halloween fun! (Links are not live until the day of post.)
Day 1, Today - The Party Begins
Day 2: Meet the Guests
Day 3: Shop 'Till You Drop
Day 4: The Party's Not Dying
Day 5: Happy Halloween Surprise!