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Developing New Dolls - and a Whole Host of Questions

03.20.2018

Although the Bizarrium already includes a set of paper dolls featuring the characters of the circus itself, I have for some time been contemplating another group - this time focussing on women both famous and infamous.  I am thinking of a basic body for each set, with outfits for six or eight icons within each theme.

The first group is just underway, with this body:

Still work-in-progress (the face is yet to be finished, down-scaled and attached to the neck), and I am wondering whether I should have added underwear? Your thoughts?

This collection will be of historical icons :

  • Joan of Arc
  • Boudicca
  • Ada Lovelace
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Elizabeth I
  • Empress Theodora

To this end, I have been adding to my inspiration book filled with Heroines collages

A first draft of Boudicca, just to check that the costume fits:

So the next question arises: traditional paper doll with costumes attached via little tabs, or should I experiment with magnetic papers?  If I can make it work, I rather like the notion of a little tin containing a magnetic set.

It may have struck you that these are all very white, western figures - a necessity if I am to use the same basic body.  So my second list is of heroines of colour:

  • Cleopatra
  • Josephine Baker
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Billie Holliday
  • Marie Laveau
  • Amina of Zaria
  • Queen Idia

To my mind, this is just balancing the books - recognising that not all significant women have had pale skin.  But I do fear that it may be perceived as "cultural appropriation".  Again, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thirdly, there are the Bad Girls:

  • Elizabeth Bathory
  • Lucrezia Borgia
  • Alice Kyteler
  • Anne Bonny
  • Mata Hari
  • Bettie Page
  • Lizzie Borden

I do have a couple more groups in my notebook, but it is early days...

Do let me know your thoughts on underwear, whether it is alright to portray non-white icons, whether paper or magnets are the way to go...and of course, who you feel I need to add to the cast.

 

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