Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One more for the face swap and a couple of questions...

Let me introduce Rose, this is my fourth and final entry for the 2008 Beaded Face Swap hosted by Sassy Art Goddess.

She is just under 2 1/2 inches tall and wide if you don't count the dangles. This is another wonderfully crafted polymer clay face by Jen Martin.

This time I used a stacked stitch method for the bezel as described in Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery by Robin Atkins - her latest book and a wonderful addition to my library. The finishing edge stitch is found in Beading with Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin.

Now my questions to all of you that use face cabs in your creations...if you could make or order the perfect face for your art...

What size would it be?
Would the eyes be open or closed?
Would the cab have holes for attachment or do you prefer it without?
Would it be a bit concave on the back or flat?
Do you prefer them in a range of colors or closer to skin tones?
Do you prefer hand sculpted or one of a kind faces?
And if so, would you pay more for those? Or are faces from mass produced molds just fine for your projects?
Would you like the option of matching hands and feet?

Here are my thoughts -

For dolls, I consistently reach for faces that are about 1 inch or sometimes even 1/2 inch if I'm using a really tiny doll form. For flat work, the faces can be bigger, but I have found that I don't tend to seek out faces that are any bigger than 1 1/2 inches. I have several faces by Diane Briegleb, and they are stunning, but I have yet to use one because they are fairly large

The eyes - hmmmm, a touchy subject for me - I'm not sure why, but most faces give me the creeps. I don't care for masks, and I was never a big fan of dolls as a kid. I have seem to overcome a lot of this feeling as I began beading dolls, but it does linger. More often than not, I prefer the eyes closed.

I prefer my faces without holes - I glue faces to my work or hold them in place with a beaded bezel.

I think the back just a bit concave works best with dolls and when it comes to the thickness - the thinner and more consistent size all the way around, the better! That seems to be an art in itself.

Color - Skin tones, bright colors or crackled, I like them all! When I think about all the faces I have worked with in the past there is one that always pops into the forefront. It's a raku face I used on my October Bead Journal page last year. That in conjunction with the leaves is probably my all time favorite. I was fortunate to come by that face and the matching leaves through someone that was clearing out their stash. I have not been able to find a face like it since. The colors are nothing short of amazing. If you don't remember or haven't seen it, here's a link to check it out. If you do, make sure you click on the photos for a larger view. Aren't the colors jaw dropping?

I love hand sculpted faces, but good artists are in short supply. Actually I can only think of two, Diane Briegleb mentioned above - the creator of 'The Face' and Dottie Hoeschen of Stonebrash Creative Arts. It wasn't that long ago I discovered her wonderful faces on Etsy and have since been back to buy several more. Check them out when you get a chance. She was also kind enough to add a tutorial to her website on how to shape a face cabochon. I spent one Saturday playing with clay and my poor face ended up looking like a circus side show. Made me appreciate the work of those that hand sculpt faces all the more!

Hands and feet - I like them, a lot. I did find some GREAT feet and matching hands at Anima Designs. I love the ease of use with the holes in these too! I made a birthday doll for/of me a couple of years ago and used these feet - I thought they were adorable!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on faces you have used and your preferences and by all means if you have links you'd like to share, please do!


Hélène H said...

Oh wow, what a beauty ! I'm very excited by your new technique. This face looks very precious and refined, it's lovely.

Regarding faces, they are very difficult to find in France, and american crafstmen tend not to ship over to us. So I go from commercial moulds and adapt them a little by hand, because the result is often flawed. It is frustrating because coloured clay tends to leave colour on the mould. So I use neutral colours and paint the faces with acrylic paints. I will definitely try the tutorial you have linked to.

I used to like closed eyes faces, but now I like them better with open eyes (and slightly ironic smiles).


freebird said...

Hi Grace. This is another nice face. You made so many. Does the $5 postage count for all of them or do you need it for each of the pins you sent in? With all these you should be getting a nice variety back to you. What fun!

I finally finished the pin I said I would make using your technique of larger beads around the face. I'm pretty happy with her and you can see her here . I'm not sure if I will get her in the swap or not yet.

As far as your question on faces: I really prefer open eyes as I like to look at who I am beading and to me eyes really are the doorway to the soul (as soon as I saw my husband's eyes I knew I wanted him and we've been married 36 years now - no other eyes compelled me like his). Flat or concave isn't too much of a concern unless the face is a larger size but I really wish for thin ones with rounded edges so I can choose to bead over the edge or just up to it. If it's concave it needs to still be able to be used somehow on a flat surface for jewelry. I like the idea of sewing them on but tried your glue on my new pin and it does seem sturdy. I like them smaller like you and lots of colors plus natural looking faces. I really don't like the molds I can buy - those faces are too goddess I guess. I want some innocent, some happy, some sad, some childlike, some adult.... variety I guess so the mood of the face can fit my mood or fabric or beads. Hands and feet are a great idea but I want holes in them so they can hang off the main body of the doll. Now, do you know who can fill the bill?

abeadlady said...

Great pin, Grace! Most of my preferences coincide with yours. I make a lot of my own faces; mostly from commercial molds. Then I have fun tweaking them so they don't all look the same. Wish they would come out with some new molds, though. I often use skin tones and accent them with chalk after baking. I then use Future to glaze them. I have fun incorporating old canes into the faces as well.
I'll ship my face pins out priority on Monday. They should be there on time.

freebird said...

Okay Grace, you are helping me with my addiction. I just ordered faces from two of the links you gave, Expressly Yours and Stonebrash! I really didn't need them but couldn't resist. lol.

beadbabe49 said...

hi grace! I did three this year and love the four you've done...
I like jen's faces, especially the sleepy face...don't know why it's caught me but it has.
Open or closed, I like them both, depends on the mood or message I'm trying to convey with the whole piece.
I like most sizes but tend more toward 1" or larger...the tiny's are cute too though...
I like a lot of finishes but don't like the mask look that some of them have (red lips, eye shadow, etc.)...
I don't use feet or hands much, but I'm heading in that direction...just haven't found a way to add them that suits me yet.
I like to use maureen carlson's molds and fuss with them a bit...I also actually like it when the face comes out imperfect from the mold...adds character to my eyes!
Now that's probably a bit more than you really wanted to know, lol!

Anonymous said...

Grace, your work is beautiful, as always! Thanks so much for the compliments about my faces, too.
I've been thinking about doing some in various (non natural) colors. Maybe pastel colors for Spring. Anybody think there might be an interest?
Dottie H.
PS. I prefer eyes closed, too.....
They look serene.

Beadin' Gram/aka Jackie said...

Oh, I just love this pin.
I love all your beading -- and your blog is such a delight to come visit.


girl_gone_thread_wild said...

creeping up slowly with hands cupped over eyes...


Did i get you?

Skerred you didn't I?


I buy cabs and NEVER have any idea what I'm going to do with IT. I buy what I like, regardless of size or color or holes...

mostly I base my decision on expression.


Diane's faces are super big! And I really prefer faces that AREN'T shiny. Yet the expressive EYES are what I like about hers.

xo, Monica

girl_gone_thread_wild said...


I came, sat down, and FORGOT to say,

I luvvvv the four faces you've done!

If YOU don't know by now I'm YOUR biggest fan,

then I will say it again,


Happy beading Grace! :)

KV said...

Love your latest face pin, Grace! I make my own face cabs and have made every size imaginable. But I do tend to favor the 3/4" to 1" for most purposes.

That said, I recently made a face pin with a 1 1/2" face that was probably the best effort I have put forth yet.

I tend not to like the facial features to be highlighted in any way such as lipstick or defined eyebrows. Always loved masks and I guess that love transcends into my feelings for these little goodies -- that and having been a dollmaker most of my life . . .

Kathy V in NM

Denise said...

Hi Grace! I won't scary you like Monica, she always makes weird faces when she's on the computer. I think I'd like one of her expressions - can all those cleaver artists make one like her's? --->
hahaha, I don't have a clue what face I like or don't like, only that it has to appeal to me when I see it. I guess I don't like them when they are all painted up funny and I don't like them when they are ugly or scary.
Hmmm, maybe I do have an opinion after all~ who knew? Probably Monica!
(I so hope she reads this!)
Cheers, Denise
Nope, not really crazy, just in a mood this am.

Pursuing Art... said...

Your latest pin is great Grace!!!

Sorry to hear you didn't have the best day playing with clay! However, if I was going to try and sculpt my own...I don't think mine would turn out so well! It is fun to use the molds and tweak them a bit though.

Size...I like all...but nothing more than 1 1/2" or closed eyes-it's more about the look to me but I don't like scary or mean looking faces...I prefer without holes too...Flat or slightly concave is okay with me, but I agree with the thinner and more consistent size the better...I'm pretty open to color, it's more about the face to me...hand sculpted is great and I would pay more if I liked it...molds are fine with me because it's really what you do with them although it gets a bit boring to use the same ones over and over...matching feet and hands are great but I like the option to purchase separately.

I have a few of Sculpey's molds but Kimberly Crick of molds are great!

Hugs friend...~Lisa ;-)

TattingChic said...

Wow, when you say you're "Lace Beading" you're not kidding! I love the lace made of beads around this face brooch! Beautiful!

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman