Saturday, February 17, 2024

Nature Girls - Translate natural items


Nature Girl #1
I spent over a month trying to come up with a very different kind of doll.  I wanted one that was enveloped with real leaves, ferns, bark, feathers and flower petals.

Well, those items are fine if they're on something like a wreath that is hung and never touched, just looked at.

A doll is different:  people look but always hold it, touch it, move things around.  So, those real items had to be changed to look alikes.

The ferns became green thread drawings using Solvy.  The end result are the long green ferny lengths on her skirt.

The feathers were photographed (then thrown outside), and then printed on inkjet printer transfer sheets.  There are many out there in the market but I used Jolee's Easy Image Transfer Sheets for Light Fabrics.  After printing on my printer, I cut out the images and ironed them onto light-colored fabric, usually cotton.

The brown "bark" across the shoulders was made using a brown paper grocery bag that I crumpled up, opened and spread out, and then wiped with brown Kiwi shoe polish.  The shoe polish really makes the paper stronger and more long lasting I think.  

Nature Girl #2
 I continued to experiment.  The skirt is kozo fiber dyed in indigo.  The underskirt of white silk is printed with black lines of leaves, and the "Blue Jay" feather across her front is the finished photo transferred print.  

Nature Girl #3 has many of the same adornments and techniques used.  She has rose petals and a large desiccated leaf as her bodice using the printed transferred images.  

I love to use corded tubes for arms, legs and the neck to simply the image and streamline the form.

All the dolls are less than 12" tall.
Close-up of Nature Girl #3

Friday, February 9, 2024

MFA Exhibit at Forest Hills Fine Arts Center


Forest Woman 2 in Blue Leaves

Mayfield Fiber Arts Group (MFA) of Grand Rapids will have a fiber art exhibit at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, 600 Forest Hill Ave, SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546 from February 14 - March 14, 2024.  

Artists' Reception is Friday, Feb. 16 from 6-7:30pm.  

The exhibit includes textile work by Sue Clarke, Lin Culver, Joan Duggan, Kathy Forzley, Jennifer Gould, Marilyn Greenlee, Elaine Hengen, Linda Ippel, Cyndi Len, Kim McDermott, Eileen Urbanski, and Linda Walburn.  Pieces include both 2-D and 3-D forms in felting, quilting, textile figures and dolls, knitting, and embroidered collages. The Exhibit gallery hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm ONLY.  

For more information, contact Jennifer Gould at

My pieces are all tall freestanding dolls.  This first piece at the left is FOREST WOMAN 2 IN BLUE LEAVES, 18.5" tall, collaged and embroidered leaf shapes of painted and arashi shibori indigo dyed cotton, leaf shapes cut from orinui stitched and indigo dyed silk organza, beaded to corded tubes; needle-sculpted face and articulated hands.

PISCES WOMAN 26 WITH SHIMMERING BLUE FISH18.5" tall, deconstructed screen printed cotton knit, embroidered, needle-sculpted face and articulated hands.

FOREST WOMAN 3 WITH BROWN LEAVES, 17" tall, eco-printed silk and wool (by Julia Voake), collaged leaf shapes, embroidered, Nuno Co. face, beaded.

FOREST WOMAN 4 WITH GRAY PURPLE LEAVES, 15"tall, eco-printed silk and linen (by Julia Voake), collaged leaf shapes, embroidered, Nuno Co. face, red twig dogwood.
Detail of piece below.
WOMAN HOLDING A BOX 2, 22" tall, handprinted synthetics, beaded, embroidered, corded tubes, needle-sculpted face, articulated hands.

Woman in Green Leaves from 2018 which I redid.  

Green Woman is a very tall 27" with deconstructed screen printed cotton knit which has also been discharged (color removed), and embroidered.

 And a close-up of her face.

Woman in a Cold Winter is also tall.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

Flying Tree has SOLD!

 Flying Tree has sold at the Northville Art House's annual juried exhibit "Small Works."  I am so happy.  It does feel rare to sell one of my tree structures.  Flying Tree is 12" tall x 6" wide x 4.5" deep and can be viewed in the round.  The collaged fabric on the base is machine stitched with a hole in which you can put your hand, if your hand is small enough.  

In the 2nd image of Flying Tree you can see the inside of the top piece which is discharged brown fabric with stripes.

I have more in the Tree Series that I'm hoping to work on in 2023!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

2022 Holiday Shows

Dear Followers,

I am truly terrible at keeping up with my blog.  Sorry about that!  So I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you about the three holiday shows I'll be in and give you some ideas of what's new in my work this year.

ArtCats Gallery in Muskegon, Michigan, at is an incredibly wonderful little gallery (and not just because my work is there).  The owner, Louise Hopson, is a potter with her studio behind the gallery where she produces quirky and colorful, wild and wonderful pottery displayed in the gallery.  I have my dolls there all year round, fortunately, and usually have Leotard Angels and Big Skirt Angels.  Here are some of the newest ones at the gallery:

Louise also chose four Little Angels, only 6" tall:

LowellArts in downtown Lowell, Michigan, at sets up their large gallery space for their annual juried holiday artists market for over 40 artists' work.  I'm a member there and love to have my dolls at the annual show.  My space is a small, narrow one but it fits my work so well.  The show is November 4 - December 24.

I hope you can visit to see everyone's work!

I've been invited back to the BBAC (Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Center) in Birmingham, Michigan (north of Detroit) this year and am so pleased to have my work there.  The Holiday Shop is December 1-20 and they spend all November setting up this wonderful show and sale.  (Check them out at  I have Button Jesters (seen just below), Big Skirt Angels and Ladies, Leotard Angels, Little Angels, as well as a series of dolls I call Imaginary Friends--- lots of fun to create and to see.

I hope you're somewhere in Michigan where you can visit any of these three locations that are spread from the Lake Michigan shore to the eastern side of the state!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Glue Gun Stencils: What Fun!

Making hot glue gun stencils was an absolutely fun time inspired by Traci Bautista's "Printmaking Unleashed" book (North Light Books).  That is MAKING the stencils was so much fun.  I actually use the "stencils" as rubbings.   In making them, just make sure you connect the glue line enough times to keep the lines together without falling apart. (My original post was on Dec. 14, 2015.)

Glue gun stencils - be sure to connect the lines
often so the stencil doesn't fall apart

Here are some images of the rubbings I made:

Embroidered Collages: Small is good!

I have been working on small pieces, as well as dolls, and love the ability to take pieces from my tubs of handprinted, dyed and painted scraps to make what I am calling Improvisational Embroidered Collages.  Taking one piece that looks inspiring and adding it to another with stitching satisfies that part of me that can't through away anything, especially fabric that I've worked to hand dye, print, paint or embellish.  These are my most recent pieces:

Jennifer Gould "Purple Clouds on the Horizon,"  8" x 6", synthetics, cotton; deconstructed screen printing (DSP), rubbing, printing, stamping, embroidery

Jennifer Gould "Radiating Spiral," 5" x 7.5", Indian dyed/printed cotton, synethics, sheers; stenciling, fine line printing, hand and machine embroidery

Jennifer Gould, "Out There," 6" x 11", cotton, synthetics; hand printed,
stamped, drawn, embroidered

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Profusion: newest 3-D shibori indigo piece

Profusion is my latest piece in three-dimensional shibori stitched and indigo dyed work.  It's 10" x 10" x 3" deep; cotton, Procion MX dyes, textile paint, indigo and shibori.  Also, because the pre-stretched canvas frame has almost a 2" deep side, I added flattened fabric to the edges to give a wrap-around effect.

I wanted to do more than just have blue on white fabric and decided to dye paint large areas of bright colors.  Relearning to mix Procion MX dyes was good experimentation because I discovered that my red and pink dyes had died.  So, I brought out my ProFab textile paints and did a thin wash over those faded areas.  Knowing that indigo does attach to textile paint (can't be too plastic-y though), I was glad of the results.

Unfortunately in this new Blogger, I can't get the caption to appear no matter how I follow the instructions in the Help section.  

I find it amazing in this new virtual exhibit reality we have right now that we can have one piece in multiple shows and never physically send it anywhere!

Here's what it looks like when it's all scrunched up after pulling and tying off the stitches.

The second photo shows an entire dishpan filled with indigo dyed fabric.  There are all different colors of blue because indigo overdyes beautifully and creates lovely and unusual colors.  My favorite is indigo on orange/yellow!