Spun Cotton. It's All About Childhood, Real Snowy Winter and Nature
One of the oldest Christmas ornaments technique
Long time ago people made toys by hand of what nature could give them. First Christmas toys were real fruits and natural candy, decorations made of paper, wax, copper and spun cotton. Spun cotton is one of the oldest Christmas ornaments technique. It originated in Germany in the 19-th century. Cotton wool was spun around a wire frame and sealed with a natural glue (starch or flour based).
The technique didn’t live long, it was time-consuming, by hands only. When industries started to produce festive glass ornaments, nobody felt like bothering with spun cotton any more. But when plastic ornaments have invaded the world, eco-friendly spun cotton trend came back to life. And me is one of this trend followers.
Two years ago I started collecting information about spun cotton technique, learning and experimenting and fell in love forever.
My spun cotton dolls are not as before, I don’t feel like reproducing antique toys. I want to show how spun cotton art can live in the modern world and stay bright and durable, but still unique, keeping some history, childhood memories and nature inside.
How do I make them?
Doll body and outfit are handcrafted a layer by layer of pure white cotton (cotton wool), sealed with a natural glue and completely dried. I don't use any kind of artificial glues to seal the cotton, my big aim is to save the eco-friendly concept and the nature feeling about my toy kids.
I make faces of non toxic air-dry clay (paper based). Every face is carefully polished and hand painted with attention to every tiny detail.
Dolls outfit is hand painted with acrylics and protected with spray varnish. Every doll keeps a tiny handmade miniature in hands.
It's rather time-consuming to create my doll kids but the result is really worth it. Dolls are lightweight, they ideally suit Christmas tree. They are strong and durable with a pleasant texture and the charm of nature.
© 2019 Irina Sharova