Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A tale of two Fridas

Some time last year when I first discovered crafty blogs, I discovered Floresita and her Exquisite corpse project. She made a few parts of a Frida Kahlo doll to put together with other random body parts from other artists. My friend Kristine and I fell in love with her doll and decided to embark upon our own Frida journey, taking cues from Floresita's doll, but really figuring out the rest on our own. A big thanks to Floresita for the inspiration!

Here's what we came up with... The one on the left is Kristine's and the right is mine. The beauty of these dolls really lies (or lays..which is it, Edward?) in the details. Not having embroidered much in my life besides a cross stitch mini-pillow as a girl scout, I was slightly intimidated. I decided that what I liked most about this embroidery is the fact that there were no rules. No pattern to follow. Just wing it.

Notice how different our hearts are. How cool is that? Each one with our own style.

We began with the body, deciding that we would figure out how to attach the limbs and head as we went along.

The faces were next. I think this photo was taken before we applied Frida's blush cheeks.

Designing her clothes was the most fun, I think. We both drew from Frida's love of traditional Mexican clothes. My shawl was an old handkerchief found in an antique store in Siren, WI. Kristine's skirt came from a local Minneapolis antique store.

I have close-up color photo copies of my finished and nude (eek!) Frida right before she boarded a plane to Africa. I will post them when I scan the copies into the computer so you can see closer detail.

My Frida now lives in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire with Stephanie, my dearest friend and companion in visiting Frida's real house in Coyoacan a few summers ago. It was hard to give Frida up, but I knew that she would have a good home on a shelf next to Stef's treasures from her world travels. I really thought I would make another one for myself-- but the farther away from that doll I get, I realize that perhaps it was the challenge of figuring out HOW to make her that I liked. Just like running my marathon... ran it, check. Figured out Frida, check. Off the list. What is next?

The other Frida was also given as a gift and now lives in Santa Fe, a very fitting home for her. I don't think Kristine is going to embark upon another Frida either.


noradawn said...

It's "lies." My mother has recently educated me on that matter, after writing the wrong one in my own blog a few times!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Frida, how I miss your lovely soft body and your beautiful heart. I will hold you again one day...Kristine

mllnuevomex said...

Clever girls these Fridas; and clever girls their makers. I love my doll and she's quite at home in SFe in our casita. Marsha (Kristine's stepmom)

Stephanie said...

I love my Frida too. She's sitting on top of a calabaza from d'Ivoire that has fallen off of its Brazilian berimbau (capoeira instrument), right next to a Tunisian drum. How appropriate, because Jenn has been one of those persons most responsible for my travels. (Her earring fell off, but Fatou, my cleaning lady, put it back in/on--without even telling me!) Frida has told me she's excited to move to Angola, too.