Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Fabulous Wendy Froud Sculpting Class

After I returned from my trip to Europe, the next big event I had been eagerly anticipating was my 3-day sculpting class taught by world-renowned Wendy Froud, which took place at the Petaluma Arts Center in Petaluma, CA.

Pictured on the right is the "furry creature, Keiran (little dark one), who was the result of three days of building an armature, sculpting the head, hands and feet, fleshing out the body, covering it will fake fur, and finally costuming it. When I signed up for the class, it was to be a fairy sculpting class. Due to time constraints, Wendy decided to make it a "furry creature" class, as the same techniques apply to both. I was a little out of my element when it came to dreaming up a fantasy creature. After struggling horribly, I finally crafted a furry little man, who seemed to resemble the little spirit guide in the "other world" Wendy led us into during a 15-minute pre-class meditation.

When I got home, I finished costuming Keiran by creating his little leather bag for amulets, his tiny rolled map of the "other world," a lamp to show the way at night, and a tiny dagger for dangerous situations.

My Phoebe friend Mary, whom I had driven up to Petaluma with (visit our Phoebe club's blog at, had already conceived the idea for her tall, leaf-nosed furry bat creature well before the class. It turned out to be a fantastic Tim Curry-like creation. How I envied her imagination!

Wendy and her son Toby, also a talented sculptor, taught us so much during those three days.
In the class group photo, Wendy's husband Brian is shown on the right. He is a renowned author and artist. He and Wendy met when they both worked on the Muppets building puppets for Jim Henson. Wendy has been a sculptor for films such as The Dark Crystal (she sculpted Jen and Kira), Labyrinth, and The Empire Strikes Back (Yoda). They now live in Devon, England.

Here is Keiran again at the class, with some of his furry friends. There were so many talented people in the class!

Wonderful! Look at those claws!

Geri Olson (left), Curator for the Petaluma Arts Council doll exhibit that was taking place at the Center during our class, took Wendy's class with us.

Westly (right) was another of the participants with amazing imagination and sculpting skill.

The doll exhibit taking place is entitled "Art of the Doll: Protection, Healing, Power & Play." The Phoebes were invited to display dolls in a special display at the exhibit. I submitted a recently completed ballerina series doll, "Nicole."

Below is Nicole and the Phoebe exhibit. The exhibit runs through September 19, Thursdays through Mondays, 1 to 4 p.m. The Arts Center is located in the old train station, 230 Lakeville St., Petaluma. Exhibiting doll artists include Akira Blount, Wendy Froud, Toby Froud, Sha Sha Higby, Barbara Redemer, E.J. Taylor, Christine Shivley, and many more!

Since returning home and finishing Keiran (as well as two other dolls to appear in my next blog), I have ordered the materials I need to try some more sculpted dolls, including (hopefully) a pretty fairy. It will certainly be fun trying! I can't wait to start!

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