First challenge starting a commission is... Fiber! What fiber will make this particular dog look like him, feel like him and hopefully be as similar as possible. Beginning as I always do searching through bins of fiber. Everything from baby camel to buffalo. I wait for color to catch my eye... then feel. Cairns can be a huge challenge in this area because anyone that knows them knows not only can their fur change from puppy to adult but often from adult to some other coloring completely. It amazes me how the Cairn breeders know what that little puppy will turn into.. I like to have that same ability when making mine...Should be easy to make another Cairn. After all I have made more of them then any other dog I own two now and have studied them endlessly. Looking into my bin I see a color that would be perfect! I see that it is actually a bit of Old Ted's fur.. can I work with this? Do I want to? Is remembering him in such a tactile way what I want right now. Had to.. it was the color I needed. Touching his fir seeing the guard hair again brings back all that love I had for him over whelming emotion for this past little darling that I miss daily in spite of the immense amount of love I get from the darlings still with me. I went for it I started working on the dog... there is a point in the creation when I see a spark of reality in the eye the face comes to life for me in a emotional way. The Magic if you will is there.. this magic was my Old Ted! Where did he come from? I could not turn this little dog into anyone but Old Ted. The hips were his skinny little hips the way he sat the long often messy beard, the expression! Tail with only wisps of fur on it. Deep inside it struck me these mini dogs in some inexplicable way seem to almost use me to come back in a three dimensional way. One of the pictures is the dog sitting on a package under the tree. Representing to me one of the greatest gifts he was in my life... he also had the habit of sitting on ANYTHING, if it was a piece of cardboard or a paper bag or plastic or poster board you name it if I put it on the floor Ted sat on it! Just one more tiny thing I loved and miss about him.. Now to make another Cairn!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
A bit of excitement when I get a request for a Cairn Terrier... when the picture looks so much like my own dog Bob, and my fur grand baby Mario! There is just something about their faces that gets me deep inside. Is it from the great love I had for my Old Ted? Is it just that they are the cutest little dogs? No real challenge working on this little guy. Mini Brian is a Xmas gift so he is wearing a red bow. I tried to get a photo of him next to my own Cairn Bob... Bob seemed indifferent to the whole idea. Maybe he is sick of me showing him my work... Little Brian is on his way to London.. hope he makes his new owner happy because it sure made me happy to make him for her. These little dogs are just a package of joy for me... well dogs are.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A tiny little dog with a giant love. Angelo passed away the summer of 2012. Leaving his elderly owner with a big hole in her heart. Old dogs and people touch me deeper then anything. With the combination at work here my heart was full when I started looking at the many pictures sent to me to recreate such a special friend. Each commission is special ... when the dog is gone it adds another level to that. No explanation... I may get too involved in each piece. You see I know the loss and the love and the missing... when it's in my hands to create through a visual representation a piece that will recall our memories of the special creature whom we were able to borrow for a short time to love in our life.. a piece of "forever life".
Angelo is a 80th birthday gift from two daughters..
Angelo is a 80th birthday gift from two daughters..
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Bacardi is a dog from many years ago. During a photo sorting I came across his album. Feels right to write about him now.. he is after all on my slide show on Designer Dog Miniature's Website, so he is an important piece. To choose 7 photos for a slide show when you have hundreds says it all. This is one of his favorite actions in the real Bacardi's life.. the old paw offer move. I see this myself daily from my big dog Onyx. Onyx adds a bit of a slap with is paw offer. His objective is to somehow turn a offer of the paw into a full on "sit on your lap move" ..in Bacardi's pose he is looking gentle and in a true offer of the paw. Said it before ... love those dogs paws. Here he has wonderful paws that seem to actually put weight on the surface he sits on. Attentive sweet expression! So much in those eyes... love, energy,excitement all at the same time. There is always some bond with a piece when it is a persons pet..I can't work with those photos so closely and not get that dog in my head and heart. Enjoy him..
Monday, November 19, 2012
Here we are again... with I hope something you find interesting. Dog Earrings... in this case Rottweiler. My daughter has a Rottweiler named Jack! He is giant in heart and size. He is, or should be the poster child/dog for sweet breeds that are misunderstood. Calm wonderful gentle boy. Brings true meaning to "Wiggle Butt" as it seems to be in constant motion displaying the sweet friendly personality he has. My daughter's first Rottweiler was in Germany, when returning to the USA she had of course to have another, so here is the inspiration for my work. I have made so many Rottweilers just learning to get them right! The tiny little ones turned into earrings and some went to tiny, tiny 1/4 scale doll houses. I have made earrings of two different dogs so someone could wear both their dogs at once. I have made pins of other breeds so people could wear their own dog at dog shows. This worked wonderfully for show dog people. Hands free display of YOUR dog.. Here is Jack! From puppy to adult.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
A unusual couple at first glance.. living with them you see it's quite natural for this dog Bearaboo to have Greydee the somewhat crabby looking kitty follow him everywhere. I enjoyed making this couple. Bearaboo had a under bite that was most important to show in the piece. Greydee had a little closed eye look to her that gave her both character and charm.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Today I am focusing on two of the oh so many Poodles I have made. In my life my first encounter with a Poodle was a Standard Black male named Josh.. magnificent animal in all regards. He was groomed in the fancy show cut that we all think of when someone says "Poodle"..not a fan as a child of that style of dog but a dog was a dog and I did love all dogs and big dogs for sure.He was not Rin Tin Tin or Lassie but he was big and he was impressive. Josh belonged to a lady that owned a fabulous large brick home on many groomed acres. My mother did her cleaning and I accompanied her many times with the intent on playing some of the very clever games Josh knew. Brilliant animals those Poodles and he was no exception. Hide and seek was one of his favorites. You know what is fun about hide and seek with a dog? They love to be the seeker! Ha ha. Your it! is also something they love... because the chase is the most fun. You just can't be bored if you have a dog as your friend. The two examples I am showing of Poodles I made both for the same owner. Sadly the black example is a memorial piece named Wolfy. The beautiful Chocolate brown Poodle is Guiness. He arrived as a wild spirited puppy to help with the passing of Wolfy. He helped in more ways then expected as she found herself with a handful of puppy that quickly consumed every thought and maneuver to outwit him. Today he has settled into the wonderful companion she needed and wanted.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Today another of our dogs that have went on to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for his owner. The darling Bichon named Bijou! The photos that come along with the bits of fur and direction on pose give me pause as I study them for detail. More then physical detail comes through. Love... love for this little animal ... deep love and loss when they leave our side. Dogs! The sigh when they snuggle down next to you... paw raised to connect with you. Soulful expression awaiting the next move we are to make... they are our companions. My little representation of Bijou is on his way to his owner with my hope that he will give a bit of comfort back where the real Bijou has left a emptiness.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
A quick little post on a horse that just went to his new owner. It is often a struggle to actually pack them up and say goodbye when I spend so many hours in such concentrated work on a piece. As mentioned before many times... I love horses! Dogs are what I know! Horses are something I desire. That desire always brings me around to making a horse knowing the incredible amount of work involved. A piece of me goes into each animal I make. Horses have wonderful spirits, I try to capture that spirit and soul in all my sculptures. You see it in the face and the expression... as if there is just something a little more in there. ... that spark of realism I strive for. Thank you all that respond to my work with such passion and love..
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I thought I would share this touching tribute written about a beloved dog. With the recent news of a number of pets that have just died I thought this may be a nice time to revisit this touching way of remembering one beloved dog.
Anatomy of a Grieving Dog Mom: A Suitcase Full
My interest was sparked again recently with questions about dolls and making dogs for them.. as I have mentioned many times I have always liked Barbie dolls. A friend of mine sent me a number of other dolls to work with for scale in making dogs for them. Today I came across one I had not photographed or made a dog for. She has a really beautiful face and is very poseable. It doesn't seem like she likes dogs that much! I could not get her to interact with them the way I like. I even took Old Ted out from under his dome to see if he could not charm some warmth from her. The photos that follow show his interaction with her. She also held the Pekingese in my first attempt to warm her up. The doll artists and those that pose them and take the fabulous pictures should get a lot of credit... they are not that easy to pose. It takes a lot of patience... good job all of you..
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Writing about one of my real dogs today. Zebu is no longer with me in form but certainly is in spirit. He is one dog that has left me with a feeling of never really knowing just how great a dog he was while I had him. While looking for a big dog to come and live with us I came upon a breeder I had known many years earlier. She indeed had two puppies. I was interested in a male dog. I really lean toward them... I think they make a better pet.. personal preference. Getting there on a rainy type day... there they were two little darlings. Already almost 3 months old and showing their personality clearly. The little boy was being bothered, jumped on,and chewed by his sister. He came to me for a lap and a little hugging. He quickly sealed his fate as our dog with that move. My youngest son was beyond delighted when we pulled up with Zebu. Zebu was classically marked with the black and tan already holding his large ears high. My son and Zebu immediately became brothers... wrestling always ... with Zebu using all those moves his sister taught him. He became my son's dog in every way. Today it is often said that Onyx has similar characteristics in personality as Zebu had... that is a compliment and high praise...
Monday, October 8, 2012
I'm known as the "Dog Lady" or "Dog Artist" today I offer a Cat! Of course I have made many cats, because there are as many if not more of them then dogs... however I am not as familiar with them and in some odd way Dogs just seem to come from my soul. I have owned a number of cats.. two come to mind.. one my very first was named "Tootsie" I didn't name her and she didn't seem to like me as much as my older sister. Much to my distress she always prefered to sleep on her bed.. another cat when I was a adult, was "Morris" looking nothing like the Morris from the cat food commercials he was a black and white Tabby. Morris was quite the darling boy.. he loved the dogs and I delighted in watching them play together. I find that back paw kick that they do in mock fighting very funny. Watching my dogs figure out what Morris's next move was always made me laugh. Morris could always outwit the dog ...sometimes hard for dogs to figure out how a animal can run behind a piece of furniture and suddenly appear in a completely different area of the room.. so I have made a cat in a larger scale to pose with Barbie, and below you will see what I came up with. She was to have a elegant look somewhat delicate in form wearing a very thin purple leather collar with gold accents. Striking blue eyes with sleek form.....
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Just want to share some photos of a couple dogs that I enjoyed years of photographing, sent them to New York for a Fashion shoot, they flew to Italy for another Fashion shoot. Chicago to the miniature show and now to a private collection where they are on display and viewed often by interested and appreciative collectors. I think these pictures display how special they are with a wonderful quality to look good in many settings.