Monday, September 12, 2011

Good Morning, Gourd Jess....

I just realized from reading a few of my past posts, that I never did do a Good Morning, Gourd Jess reveal.

She was featured in the Autumn issue of Art Doll Quarterly as part of their gourd doll challenge.

On one of my trips to Stampington to pick up a few of my pieces, Jana, the editor of Art Doll Quarterly gave me the 10-cent tour and introduced me to the whole publishing team...from copy editors, to the photographers, to the graphic layout girls. It was a fun to get a peek behind the "curtain".

At the end of the tour, there were a few fold up tables chock full of goodies - props from previous photo shoots, art cast-offs, etc... Jana offered to let me rummage through the goods...

In one of the boxes, was this little 4" brown gourd. I commented to her what a cute little Halloween ghost it would make. It was then she challenged me to make her a gourd doll for the upcoming Fall issue...

The rest is history....

For those of you that ask, "How do you get your art published?" Here is a little sample of my submittal document...UN-EDITED, of course. The actual article was much more personally re-written by Jana herself. Thanks, Jana!

Somerset Art Doll Quarterly  

Attn: Jana Holstein
22992 Mill Creek, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Submittal Title: Good Morning, Gourd Jess

Inspiration and  Description

On a recent trip to California, I “acquired” a 4” dried gourd with the challenge to create an art doll. Admittedly, I had never created a doll from a gourd, or for that matter, any doll from scratch. Sure, I’ve dressed up dolls before, but making one from scratch, using a gourd, was intriguing.

On the long ride home, I closed my eyes, and let my mind wander. Of course, the play on words “gourdgeous” came fast and that soon evolved to designing a doll that epitomizes what the stereo-typical woman goes through to stay that way – a peek into her glamorous morning routine.

 Good Morning, Gourd Jess was born.


Beginning with the mottled, brown gourd, I added a dried, sculpted paper clay nose using Mod Podge. Knowing my girl would be more stylized than a perfect-porcelain, I did not stress over adding dimensional cheek bones, brow or chin. Once dry, the entire gourd was coated with peach paint. Using a fine tip mechanical pencil, I sketched her eyes, brows and lips; then painted in those details. Her avocado facial mask was next. I applied the first base coat, then built-up the thickness using heavier coats to give it the illusion of smooshed avocado.

Using a standard red plastic drinking straw, I cut ½” sections for the rollers.  Using a tiny line of low-temp hot glue (to not melt the straw) and 3” sections of yarn (to ease handling) I wrapped and glued each roller; then trimmed excess yarn and glued them to her head, including the rogue roller that is “falling-out”. 

The mug was sculpted using a ball of paper clay shaped over the end of an empty, large diameter ball point pen. The handle was added using a “snake” of clay. Once that was air dried, it was base painted pink, then brown polka-dots and the word “bean” was added. I chose “bean” over coffee, joe, or java, since my husband, Phillip, doesn’t drink coffee and when offered, replies, “I don’t do bean!”

With Super Sculpey clay, her hands and slippers were sculpted over thick wire arm and leg (with knobby knees!) armatures that were painted as well. Her slippers would be no other than the fuzzy-pink-slippers every woman wears…wink! Once dry, darker pink socks, with white polka dots and white lace trim were added. The flowers were cut from trim with a touch of white painted detailing.

Her traditional white terry robe and bathmat were sewn from a dollar-store microfiber wash cloth. Random splotches of pink & white paint were added to the mat; then it was trimmed with a strand of mini-pom poms. Openings were cut into the mat and divots cut into the base of the slippers to allow the adhesive to bond to the book base. The book page edges and the printed text were Mod Podge sealed.

Tools & Materials

4” dried gourd
Acrylic paint
Microfiber cloth
Matte Mod Podge
Paper clay
Super Sculpey
Pom pom trim
Fabric flower trim
Red plastic straws
Multi-color yarn
12-ga wire
Printed paper text
Low-temp hot glue
Glue gun
Devcon 2-part adhesive
Mechanical pencil
Sewing needle, white thread
Paint brushes

End Lines
Tina Schiefer lives in Grants Pass, Oregon and enjoys creating mixed media art using found objects and cast-offs. She has previously been published in various Stampington & Co. publications.

Tina welcomes emails at or visit her blog at to learn more about her hopes, dreams, and reality. 


1 comment:

Hopemore Studio said...

That is so awesome. Just have to chuckle at the it difficult to write in the third person? ;-P

Really sweet of you to share your process for getting published!

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