Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marionettes art felted dolls by TwoSadDonkeys

I love felting as there are so many amazing things one can make out of simple wool. Art dolls and toys always fascinated me. They look so precious and sophisticated. It’s hard to comprehend how someone could possibly turn a piece of wool into something so unique, delicate and beautiful. I had a chance to talk to Olga who is an artist behind TwoSadDonkeys.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Olga. Since I remember myself I’ve always been fascinated by marionette dolls. It comes as no surprise that my life these days is closely connected with theater and art. I was born and raised in small and beautiful Estonia on the shores of the northern Baltic sea. I graduated from the Textile Academy in Moscow, Russia with a degree in art and design. These days I live with my husband and our three boys in sunny Georgia located in Caucuses mountains on the shores of the Black sea. I work in a puppet theater as a stage and puppets designer.

How did you start?
Felting has been known to the people of the Caucuses mountains for centuries. Ancient Georgians used to wear felted coats as part of their standard outfits. When I moved to my husband’s native country Georgia I fell in love with felting. It’s a miracle how mixing a bit of wool, hot water and soap one can create firm and durable fabric.

I started felting art dolls and marionettes for our theater. It was great watching children gather around my art dolls after every theater performance. Children are always eager to touch art dolls, to play with them and to make them a part of their imaginary world.

I should admit that art dolls we use for our performances in the theater are fragile and are more like art objects rather than toys. That’s how I came up with an idea of creating felted toys for children that are somewhat easier to play with and are more durable.

My first creation was a white dapple Horsy. It’s so rewarding to watch children play with felted toys. One can see children exploring mysterious lands of fairy tales together with their felted companions.

What inspires you?
My main sources of inspiration are children, nature and art. Children’s drawings are masterpieces that help me come up with new ideas for my projects. Drawings are so simple, kind and unaffected by any outside influence. I try my felted toys to be exactly like children’s drawings.

Rock carvings by prehistoric people are another source of inspiration for me. Their neat forms and unusual color combinations provoke many thoughts and help me come up with new patterns and colors for my felted toys.
Of course beautiful nature offers a lot in terms of design ideas and creativity.

What fibers do you use for your toys?
My first toys had simple color combinations reminiscent of nature and animals. Later I started experimenting with different colors adding hues that normally don’t exist in nature. Thus, my animals look like fairy creatures of vivid and bright colors with sophisticated prints and decorations on their bodies. Each color brings a new attitude and makes people dream about different things. Some creatures made of pastel colored fibers look somewhat melancholic. Others made of brightly colored wool look happy and positive.

I incorporate nuno felting techniques and embroidery into my doll making process to add texture and to make my toys visually more complex.

I use only natural fibers like wool and silk. All my toys are stuffed with 100% wool. Wool adds natural warmth to my toys and that’s another reason why children as well as grown ups love to hold them in their hands.

Originally my felted toys were designed for children. It turns out, however, that grown-ups are avid and true admirers of my art.

1 Comment:

OneWord said...

These are awesome!! Thanks for sharing!