Looking at Art


How many of you remember having paper dolls or having a sister who spent hours with them? For me, some of my happiest memories were making clothes of my own design for those perfectly shaped paper dolls. The freedom to combine patterns and colors that danced in my head allowed me to escape into my own little world.

By the time I was a young teen I had learned to sew. Nothing was more fun than going to the fabric store and picking material for my next project. All of this led me to think I wanted to major in fashion design in college. That dream, however, was short-lived as drawing did me in. Funny, though, that as a weaver much of my work has been apparel. When it was necessary to communicate shape to a client, it was done with a most rudimentary sketch as my drawing skills have never improved!

Anyway, I digress. What I want to share with you are the wonderful creations of Joan Son, a nationally acclaimed origami artist. She, too, loved making her own designs for paper dolls which led her to a continuing exploration of paper as an art form.

I stumbled onto an exhibit of her work quite by accident, but what a wonderful find that made my heart sing.

Her designs were playful and fun, and it was easy to imagine seeing them on a runway done in luscious fabrics.

I have always been drawn to kimonos, and it was thrilling to see how Son interpreted the shape.

As with one done in cloth, the inside was a beautiful as the outside. How many hours must have been spent cutting and backing all the pieces that were knotted together. Thinking of my own experience, I know that time is a consuming part of the creative process and cannot be rushed.

What this exhibit confirms is how limitless the possibilities are for creating. The only thing that limits creativity is oneself. Today I will spend time in my studio hoping those creative juices flow. How about you?

10 thoughts on “Looking at Art

  1. What a beautiful exhibit! I spent many childhood hours playing paper dolls, and I loved the creativity of dressing them. I made some of their clothes, but I never learned to sew.

  2. What a most stunning exhibit!

    Do you remember the Mary Englebreit’s magazine called Home Companion? She always had a paper doll inside with clothes and accessories! I loved seeing those as it brought back such fond memories. And now our post does as well!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. I loved loved paper dolls as a child, but never thought to make clothes for them! This exhibit is wonderful, what a happy find! Weaving is definitely a form of drawing, with thread instead of pencil or ink!
    Jenna

    1. Yes and weaving saved me from being totally frustrated.

  4. Love this post! I loved playing with my paper dolls for hours on end, many years ago, as a young girl.Later, my daughter had her own paper dolls, and made clothes for her “Barbies”. She went on to F.I.T. and became a successful fashion designer, whose fashion line was sold at Neiman’s,  Saks, Nordstrom’s, Tootsies and many boutiques.I believe PAPER DOLLS have been a big inspiration to many!Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S8+, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

  5. It is hard to believe that you can’t draw considering all the beautiful creation you have designed and made. What a wonderful and fun exhibit you found…I’m glad that you shared it with us.

    1. Thankfully weaving gave me a creative outlet.

  6. I adored playing paper dolls. and have my childhood paper dolls of the Lennon Sisters and Debbie Reynolds so I am definitely dating myself.
    Cutting the paper doll out of McCalls magazine each month was a fun activity I remember fondly.

    1. I totally forgot about the magazine ones!

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