At the beginning of April I announced the Doll Street Re-Imagine History challenge that I am hosting. We have got the most amazing prizes from our sponsors, Studio Galli, Fairfield Processing and Eucalan.
There are four categories designed so that doll makers of all levels can participate and win!
The main idea behind the challenge is to incorporate into a doll, elements of historical costuming that have been given a "twist". That is, mix the historical elements with an usual element or elements to come up with a new style. What would the characters in your “old world made new” be wearing and why?
The challenge has prompted quite a few questions from people who want to take part. I've paraphrased the questions and shared some of the answers in case you were pondering the very same things.
Question: I can't design dolls or doll clothes. Can I still participate?
Answer: Yes you can. You may use a doll pattern or instructions from a designer, but you must give credit to the designer on whose work you have based your doll. There is a space on the entry form to indicate that you have used a designer's pattern or instructions and an area to give that designer credit.
If you aren't able to draft your own doll clothes you may want to take a look at some of the free historical doll costuming links that I shared over the course of the month of March. Perhaps you can incorporate costume elements from these tutorials to give your doll a historical feel:
Question: Can I make a polymer clay/paperclay/paper/cltoh/mixed media doll for this challenge?
Answer: Yes. You may make a doll out of any medium and enter it into this challenge.
Question: Can the doll be male?
Answer: Yes, this is an equality opportunity challenge.
Question: Can I base my doll on a ficitonal world?
Answer: Yes, as long as the doll has a historical costume element then this would be a very interesting approach.
Question: Do I have to depict history as it actually was?
Answer: No. The idea is to give historical a twist in some way. There are lots of different ways you could approach this. For example, you could imagine that two cultures that never influenced each other suddenly came into contact and their fashions were somehow blended together.
You could imagine an alternative outcome to a major turning point in history. For example, imagine that the Mongolian hordes from the dynasty of Ghengis Khan did not return to their homeland, but rather conquered all of Europe. Would our clothing have had a Mongolian feel as a result?
OR maybe imagine a future that is somehow influenced by the past. For example, maybe an ancient culture is revived and in 1000 years we might be wearing something that is a futuristic version of a historical style.
As long as your entry is a doll and has some element of historical costuming, this is a pretty wide playing field.
Question: I'm feeling overwhelmed by the scope of choices that I could explore on this challenge. How can I ever decide?
Answer: Why not make it into a game? Write down a whole bunch of historical periods on small pieces of paper. Here are some suggestions:
Put the time periods into one hat. Then, write down random objects on small pieces of paper. Here are some suggestions:
eggplant/aubergine (depending on what country you are in)
Put this second group of word prompts into a second hat. Draw one piece of paper from the first hat and second piece of paper from the second hat. Now, come up with a doll that somehow blends the elements of historical costuming from the time period you selected with qualities of the object or concept written on the second piece of paper. That doesn't mean that you have to make the doll into a spider or a flower, but simply be inspired by some quality of that object or concept - the colour, the texture, or the shape.
With the decision made for you, the challenging thing will be to come up with a reason why these two elements might be blended. Remember, one of the prizes is all about the concept behind your doll.
Can't remember what the prizes were?
Here they are again:
- Fairfield's Best Overall Doll made by a Beginner – 10lb box of Fairfield’s Poly-filfibrefill or an assortment of different fibrefills* + a one year membership to Doll Street + your choice of Colleen Babcock pattern + Eucalan Custom Gift Pack. *Please note: Fairfield reserves the right to substitute the prize for alternative products if the winner is resident in a country outside of the continental US or Canada, due to the prohibitive cost of shipping.
- Most Imaginative Concept (This prize is to be judged on concept only, not the execution of the doll, so imagination counts here, not experience) - Patti Culea's Cloth Doll Making DVD (donated by Studio Galli) + a one year membership to Doll Street + your choice of Colleen Babcock pattern + Eucalan Custom Gift Pack.
- Best Use of Historical Costume Elements by a Doll Street Member (open to members only, again this prize is to be judged on recognizable historical fashion elements, not necessarily on skill level) - Patti Culea's Cloth Doll Making DVD (donated by Studio Galli) + one year membership to Doll Street + your choice of Colleen Babcock pattern + Eucalan Custom Gift Pack.
- Best Overall Doll - Patti Culea's Cloth Doll Making DVD(donated by Studio Galli) + one year membership to Doll Street + your choice of Colleen Babcock pattern + Eucalan Custom Gift Pack.
To remind yourself of the rules and to get the entry form, click the link.
And don't forget the deadline is June 15th, 2012!