Karen Meacham, is a prekindergarten teacher at an independent school who, according to her, " is someone who loves creating natural toys and loves children." She makes the most adorable faceless (Waldorf inspired) wood carved art dolls (like the doll shown in the picture to the bottom right), carved wooden peg dolls (like the doll shown in the pictures below), and needle felted art dolls (like the Geisha doll shown in the picture to the right).
According to the Karen Meacham Designs Faceless Soft-Felted Toys article by Lynda Heines in the Evansville Courier & Press from Oct. 2, 2011, " Karen Meacham designs her faceless soft-felted toys to encourage children to use their imaginations."
"Inspired by the Waldorf approach to education, which encourages children to use their imagination, Meacham's creations allow children to act out their own scenarios and decide for themselves the emotions of the dolls. And they are made of all natural materials."
Her Little Acorns Blog by Karen Meacham blog is filled with posts about her life, her family, her natural classroom and being a teacher, and includes some tutorials showing how she made some of her dolls.
She has a couple charming posts and/or tutorials on her blog concerning the needle felted playscape she made and all the wooden peg people she carved and painted for this.
For her playscape according to Karen, "My original idea was to create a little scene in which small figures could interact in a variety of ways and in a variety of places. I also wanted to create a "location" to which children could add their own personal touches such as housewares, furniture, animals, gardening tools or different garden crops, or a fishing rod."
If you would like to see and read her Felted Playscape: Part I tutorial and post please click here.
Tutorial on Carving Peg People: Mother Earth and her Root Children (Felted Playscape: Part II) is a charming post and tutorial about carving the Mother Earth and her children that she wanted for her playscape.
According to Karen, "I am not a stranger to peg people. I love using them in the classroom. We use them for a "first day of school" project. The children paint and decorate one to represent themselves. They are then strung on a string and hung on hooks outside each center area......"
"But to give peg people a little extra personality, a little extra zing if you will, they might need a wee bit more than paint. Shaping peg people (as I have discovered after creating 10 of them) gives them a little more personality. Children have marvelous imaginations and certainly do not require the level of detail I have given my creations, but I enjoy making them. Plus in the past, our students did seem to especially enjoy playing with toys they knew I had created with our class in mind."
If you would like to see and read her Carving Peg People: Mother Earth and her Root Children (Felted Playscape: Part II) tutorial and post please click here.
Carving Peg People: Part II is about the other wood carved art dolls she made and includes a few hints into her reason for creating them and many, many pictures of her adorable creations.
If you would like to see and read her Carving Peg People: Part II tutorial please click here.
On the My Auction Finds.... and the Stories Behind Them website there was an article by Sherry entitled, Numbers were small but talents were big at Harlem Doll Show about the dolls being exhibited at a Harlem doll show.
In the article there were two art doll artists who were selling some of the faceless art dolls they had made. They were absolutely incredible so I wanted to learn more aboout these two artists and their "faceless" creations.
Doll artist Tanya Montegut of “Dolls by MonTQ” sells the "faceless" art dolls shown in the pictures to the left and below right.
According to Sherry's article, "Her “Dolls by MonTQ” have the look and feel of women who love themselves and love a good time. They don’t say a word but you can feel the energy in them, and you can see the ebulliency of their personality in Montegut herself, whose dolls seem to be created in her image."
"The first thing you noticed was that her dolls had no facial features, reminding me of the Lime dolls of the Dominican Republic that I own. She allows folks – in their own heads – to put their own faces on the dolls, making them into the image of a sister, aunt, mother or other relative. An interesting concept, I thought."
Tanya is a member of the Black Artists Guild and says on her Dolls By MonTQ page, "Over time, I began to realize that dolls are much more than just a plaything. Historically, they are an expression of people and their cultures. My inspiration comes from the folks I’ve met in my lifetime and I feel honored to capture just a glimpse of their spirit and pass it forward."
If you would like to see more of Tanya's art dolls please visit her Dolls By MonTQ Black Artists Guild page and watch the video trailer and view her slideshow. You can definitely sense the personalities of all her art dolls.
Doll artist Regina Dale of "T.A.S.T.E." also creates faceless art dolls, like those shown in the picture to the left and below right.
According to Sherry's article, "Most of her cloth dolls were faceless, too, and most were dressed to the nines. I suspect that making beautiful clothes is just as much fun for these folks as making the dolls themselves – bringing out the fashion designer in them. The clothes truly match the workmanship of the dolls."
In her Queenhealer 7 Etsy shop announcement she stated, "My dolls were created to give honor and thanks to our ancestors who came before us and made the foundation on which I stand. I am over joyed with the responses of the global community. You all empower me !! Thank you for your many blessings and encouraging words. Surly, my dolls will serve the purpose of healing for who ever possess it!"
If you would like to see more of Regina's art dolls please visit her Regina Dale NaNa kwakyebea's Page Black Artist Guild page and view her slideshow. Her dolls are one of a kind art dolls whose personalities definitely shine through.
Sarah of Bloomooks designs couture cloth art dolls, some faceless (like those shown in the pictures to the right and left) and some with faces.
All have beautiful couture outfits either based on Sarah's designs or based on an outfit from history, or an outfit from the fashion runway.
Sarah also does custom doll designs in which she will create a doll for you (faceless or otherwise) with an outfit of your choosing either from history, current fashion, favorite celebrity, friend of family member. She will also create a keepsake doll with the outfit made from a loved one's clothing.
According to her Bloomooks Etsy shop owner profile,
"My name is Sarah. I live in Missouri. Although my Etsy shop is relatively new, I've been making dolls for the last five years. I like to make dolls as a way to explore fashion design. My inspirations are varied, from the neon shock value of Pop Art to the rich visual tapestry of the Middle Ages."
Sarah's dolls definitely speak to you through their outfits and certainly define their personality.
Sometimes I see "faceless" art doll creations that just take my breath away. Such was the case when I saw pictures of the amazingly beautiful "faceless" art dolls by Joy A. (MacLeod) Kirkwood.
Joy is an accomplished mixed media figurative art doll artist, visual arts teacher who is known for her Personal Journey Doll Workshops and has been teaching them for 16+ years, has presented her works of art all over Canada, and has been published and interviewed many times.
According to Joy, "I am a lifelong learner with a ‘can do’ attitude, innovative problem solving skills, and an appreciation for collaborative projects. "
She describes her Personal Journey Doll Workshops as follows, “The art of free-form doll making is designed as a gentle way to free up your imagination and bring fun and spontaneity into the creative process. The distinctly, nontraditional doll making techniques are easy to learn, enjoyable to do, and full of expressive possibilities. These include twisting, wrapping, knotting, stitching, and/or gluing the ‘one of a kind’ doll creation together.”
Her artist statement: “Each poetic, enigmatic figure created is an expression of a feeling or idea rather than a lifelike portrayal of a human and is formed intuitively; playfully. My intent is to fuse my creative imagination with my artistic skills to enchant both adult and child alike.”
If you would like to see more of Joy's astonishing art doll creations and other beautiful art pieces please visit her Art by Joy A. Kirkwood - ART FROM THE HEART website here.