Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Soft Sculpture Workshop

Last month I took a soft sculpture workshop with renowned artist Lisa Lichtenfels.

I have wanted to take a class from her for about twenty years. I had been bugging her over several years and one day, I am going through my emails and a new one popped up saying Lisa Lichtenfels Soft Sculpture Class. I just about fell off my chair. I immediately clicked on the email and read how she had revamped her technique to make it easier to teach. I responded right away and became one of five students. I didn't know how I was going to get there but I knew I had to go. And I'm glad I did.

I begged, borrowed, and pleaded with friends and relatives to get me to this class. It was touch and go for many moments but I got there. It was the first time I'd been on a plane in thirteen years and at a doll type workshop in eleven.

The first day of class we worked on the skull. Actually it was half a skull, the back of it was flat. Lisa had prepped part of it for us with the eye sockets in and the whole thing covered with white batting. We chose our eyes which were shooter marbles and hand painted by Lisa. I believe we were the last class to get hand painted Lisa eyes. I feel so honored. We started with the eyelids, the eyes, and built up the features. It was kind of weird being able to roll the eyes around so they wouldn't get scratched up. At that point, my creation looked like an alien.

Part of Lisa's workshop. The place where magic happens.

The hand painted marbles and mohair that has been moussed and curled with a curling iron.

My face. For the first day, I thought it was going to be a male.

Layering on the foam. Brown eyes.

Foam is all pinned down. Alien eyes.

Classmate Peggy.

Classmate Marcia.

Classmate Dawn.

Lisa signing her book for me. That was the first thing I packed.

Lisa holding her book. Lisa is the most wonderful person with so much talent and advice to give. She answered all questions, never holding anything back and repeating things until we got it. To any of you doll makers out there, if you get a chance, take a workshop from Lisa. She is most awesome, caring, and funny.

Stay tuned, more to come.


Kim said...

oh my gosh Wendy- what an awesome look behind the scenes. Do you needlefelt the batting down then before covering it with material? Doesn't she use a stretch type material to eventually cover the doll in? The eyes are amazing! I find it interesting also that you just do half a face to start- is that how she usually does it? I'm so happy that you were able to make it to this workshop ♥

Wendy Luane Barber said...

The batting is tack down before we start adding more foam and the eyes. She uses pantyhose to cover the final face. We only used half a face to get her new and simpler technique down. It was easier to work with half a skull so it wouldn't roll around. It really helped to work big to see what actually goes on. I can add the back of the skull to this.

Kim said...

soooo interesting! I thought her faces looked like there was something thin and stretchable across them-never knew it was pantyhose! Thanks for taking the time to write this out Wendy- I love it!!

Wendy Luane Barber said...

You are so welcome Kim. It's all a part of my creative growth.

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