What’s Cooking with Christine Shively-Benjamin

The first artist we would like to introduce you to is cloth doll artist, Christine Shively-Benjamin.  Christine will be making each doll for us completely by her own hand so each one will be unique and original.

Christine’s website opens with the words “Imagination takes flight on the wings of dreams” and that perfectly describes her work. Christine lives in Carson City, Nevada. She is an active member of ODACA and served as President of this prestigious artist group from 2007 to 2010.


In Her Own Words

Exploring the possibilities of creating a character with fabric is an extension of a life time fascination with three dimensional forms. My characters emerge from familiar tales of childhood and from stories of the heart and soul. Fabric, color texture and pattern all play intricate parts in creating interesting figures that tell their own stories to the viewers who meet them.

I begin by drawing the body shape and structure I wish to use for my fabric figures. I use a template to create the basic silhouette of the drawings. The shape is transferred to the fabric. Sewing on the line gives a great deal of control over the shape I am envisioning. Some of the body shapes are an abstraction or somewhat stylized. Most of my figures have an economy of line, a simplified structure. The costuming and embellishment are the key elements. I use paint, pigma pen and colored pencil to create the faces on the cloth figures. An extreme light and dark technique is employed to give the illusion of depth in the face.

Fabric, creative manipulation and embellishment are key elements to my figures and chairs. I use appliqué, picot, brick and spiral beading techniques in layers over fabric and ribbon.

An ancient connection to doll making and storytelling is ever present in my work. Experimenting with new techniques in drawing, painting, beadwork, embroidery, problem solving structural and aesthetic problems, and educating myself on historical and cultural heritages, contributes to the continual growth and change in my figures.

Manipulating basic shapes in new and different ways plays an important role in the creation of my characters. Paper and wire manipulation have added a whole new page to my book of characters. The fabric and paper speak to me in many voices, the combination of these voices gives life and harmony to the finished figures.

To learn more about Christine’s work visit her website at:  www.fancifulclothimages.com

What’s Cookin’? Convention 2012 Artist Spotlight

Jambalaya Jubilee” may be months away but our event artists are already hard at work.  Each month UFDC is pleased to introduce you to the artists whose work will be showcased at the meal events planned for New Orleans.