I love seeing artist/dealers who are so obviously having fun with their craft. I know personally how boring it can be to be making the same pieces over and over again, so stepping outside your comfort zone occasionally, can bring immense rewards.
Two doll artists I saw at the Guild Show this year have really been having stepping out. Mike Barbour has been making a name for himself with the evocative character dolls he been creating. Last week I showed you a photo of some peacocks he’d made, well he also had some spectacular phoenixes on his table this year, glorious in their flame colored feathers! The last couple of years he’s also been assembling and selling a really neat variety of fantastical accessories; elaborate espresso machines that any tres chic pastry shop would proudly feature front and center for all to admire, hookahs straight from a Persian bazaar and telescopes and orreries among other intriguing creations.
Deb Mackie of White Horse Studio has also been branching out from her doll work. I was aware that Deb had been working with cast horses, turning them into unicorns and fantasy winged stallions, but lately I’ve been seeing and hearing about her 1/12 scale leather work. She’ll be teaching it at Guild School next year and
the miniature saddle that was on display at the school table was to truly impressive. The tooling and silver trim have been scaled down so convincingly it looked like the product of a mad scientist and his shrink ray gun!
Bravo people, keep stretching those creative muscles!