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Course Begins: July 1st, 2021

Description: Internationally renowned doll artist Akira Blount shares her unique philosophies, techniques and skills in creating cloth heads and hands for art dolls.
Media Category: Fiber Art
Course Type: Self-directed (refer to the FAQ page for full descriptions of each course type)
Special Category:  Legacy Course
Course Format: Demonstration
Course Begins: July 1st, 2021
Course Duration: 2-hour video

What will Students learn? The focus is on the head and face. She uses a pre-made stuffed, cloth torso to show how to attach the neck, but there are no instructions on how to make one. However, it is not necessary for the class.
Instructor/Students interaction: No Interaction
Skill Level: All levels welcome
Required skill(s): No special skills required.

Supplies and tools:  Akira describes each item she uses as she goes, so you could watch the video first and gather supplies afterward. Items she discusses are as follows:   

  • T-shirt knit, lead pencil
  • cardboard (Akira uses cereal boxes) 
  • sewing machine, scissors, polyfil, needle (she uses a #7 darning needle)
  • quilting thread, fabric stiffener (such as Aleene's fabric stiffener and draping liquid)
  • Tacky glue (or other fabric glue)
  • Drapery gauze, white acrylic paint, small paint brush, colored pencils
  • Artists kneaded eraser, Hemostats

Downloads: 1 video

Course Lesson Plan

Schedule of activities

  • Welcome
  • One video that is about 2 hours long.  
  • It says Lesson One, but there is only one lesson.  We aren't sure if there were going to be additional videos made, but this is the only one that she made.  
  • There are 6 chapters in the lesson and are all included in this video.

Instructor

Akira Blount

LEGACY: Cloth Dolls

Akira Blount (1945-2013) received a Bachelors degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started making dolls from cotton stockings in 1970 and they quickly evolved into a steady source of income. Over the next nine years, her mastery of needle sculpting evolved into a style well recognized as her own. Since 1986 she has been published in magazines as diverse as American Craft Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Fiber Arts Design Book III , Contemporary Doll and Art Doll Quarterly. Books include: Craft in America: Celebrating the Creative Work of the Hand by Phyllis George; The White house Collection of American Crafts by Michael Monroe; Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan and 500 Handmade Dolls by Lark Press which she curated and penned the introduction. She has taught at doll clubs and craft schools around the country. Her dolls are in permanent collections around the world including MUSEE des ARTS DECORATIF, Paris, France; CLINTON LIBRARY, Little Rock, AR; ROSALIE WHYEL MUSEUM, Bellevue, WA; MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, Macon, GA; SEKIGUCHI DOLL GARDEN, Izu, Shizuoka Japan; TENNESSEE STATE MUSEUM, Nashville, TN; MINT MUSEUM OF FINE ART, Charlotte, NC; SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART, Santa Barbara, CA; THE WHITE HOUSE COLLECTION OF AMERICAN CRAFT, a collection of over 70 pieces of contemporary crafts of which Akira is the only doll artist. Akira has also received recognition of more than 20 awards at juried shows over the years. Akira became a NIADA artist member in 1988 and served as President from 1997-2001.