Bluegrass & Backroads

I really like the title of this show. One of my favorite things about country living is traveling the backroads on a pretty day. Kentucky really is a beautiful state, and the rolling fields, deep caverns, creeks, lakes and rock formations can be breathtaking. I think the title of this show is an appropriate description of Kentucky.

Tucked along those backroads and rolling fields, sprinkled here and there, are unique and interesting people. Many folks think that isolation helps spur creativity in our people. To some degree this is true, I think. Growing up, all of my family members had projects we were constantly working on…piddling as we called it. I have piddled my whole life. In fact, I really never felt comfortable calling myself an artist until I was in my 20′s. So removed from the “art world” was I, that I simply said I piddled with making things.

I’m glad my folks encouraged all that piddling.

The episode that I filmed back in May (you can read more about that experience here) is coming up this next weekend on KET and RFD-TV. Although hesitant to participate at first because of my own shyness and perhaps, stage fright, I’m so glad Bob and Matt encouraged me to share my artwork on their program. It really was such a great experience and has helped me overcome some of that stage fright to a degree.

I encourage you to watch Bluegrass & Backroads. There are some interesting things happening in Kentucky, at the hands of interesting makers and these two fellows work very hard to scout the best and most interesting makers and bring their stories to you.

You can visit this link for a list of air dates on KET, (Kentucky Educational Television). I am episode #1305, just scroll down and look for Rebecca Miller Campbell or see dates below.

 

Rebecca Miller Campbell; Cathedral Basillica; Jack Crowner; Blessings in a Backpack

26:40 | #1305 | First Airs: October 15, 2016

  • KET2: Saturday, October 15 at 4:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, October 16 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, October 16 at 11:00 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, October 18 at 12:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, October 18 at 2:30 PM ET
  • KET: Wednesday, October 19 at 12:00 AM ET
  • KETKY: Friday, October 21 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, December 11 at 11:00 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, December 13 at 12:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, December 13 at 2:30 PM ET
  • KET: Wednesday, December 14 at 12:00 AM ET
  • KETKY: Thursday, December 15 at 8:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Friday, December 16 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, December 18 at 7:30 AM ET

Bluegrass and Backroads will also air nation-wide on RFD-TV. You have have that channel, my episode, Season 13 Ep 5, will air October 19th, at 5:30 PM ET.

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I hope you enjoy the little glimpse into what my day to day life in my studio looks like. I love making these little creations and I LOVE being able to share them and my process with you! Thank you for helping me realize that piddlers and artists are many times one and the same!

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2015 Woodland Art Fair

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(Click the pic above to be taken to the Woodland Art Fair web page.)

 

In exactly one week, I will be setting up my space for the Woodland Art Fair in Lexington, Ky. This is my 2nd year participating in this event. I had such a warm reception last year and am really looking forward to the weekend! In preparation, I’ve been working on new pieces and will have a good selection of wonderful little people and critters available. Today I’m working especially hard on some sweet sculptures to share during the Woodland Art Fair.

AND…I’m really looking forward to the food. Is that wrong of me? If it is, I guess I don’t want to be right! Crank and Boom ice cream, my current obsession, will be available during the fair as well as Goodfella’s Pizza, which is a little slice of heaven! So if you stop by my booth, don’t be surprised if I’m in the middle of my blackberry buttermilk ice cream! Oh, it’s to die for–like the last bite of blackberry cobbler, when the ice cream is melted.

These are some sneak peeks of the pieces I’m working on today (and will be working on this weekend!).

If you visit, I’ll be in booth 219–the same location as last year. I’m near the bandstand. On the map below I’m in the upper left hand corner. Just click on the map to make it bigger or to be take to the Woodland Art Fair map page.

 

Work in Progress! It takes a lot of little steps until they are complete!

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You Party Animal, You…

This…

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is how these little fellas

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begin.

Just simple sketches on white paper which I’ve divided up into sections. One half of the sketch is always a little more detailed than the other side. The sketch above is what I’m working on today. In a few minutes I’ll cute each segment out then fold each character in half on the vertical line that runs down the body. I’ll cut my shape from the more detailed side and Voila! an ornament pattern is born. The vertical line allows the ornament to be symmetrical on both sides. To some this doesn’t really matter, but for me…I’m always so disappointed when I’m finished stuffing an ornament and notice the ears are way off or the cheeks are in different positions. So I like this method. It works for me…(usually). I still have to pay careful attention when I’m stuffing so that the curves are “right”. You would think that since the shape is sewn a certain way, you could just stuff willy nilly and all would turn out fine. Over the years I’ve learned that this is not always the case. I can control the shape with my stuffing fork.

A stuffing fork, you say? Whaaa?????

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That little white instrument on top is my stuffing fork. Under that are long hemostats. These are two items I can’t live without. I have a back up stuffing fork, just in case I should ever lose the one I’m currently using. In the beginning of my doll making career I used whatever I could find to push fluffy fiberfill into doll bodies. A skinny long handled paint brush was my go-to. And I thought it worked fine until I saw a stuffing fork in a doll parts catalog. “Hmmm, I’ll give it a try”, I thought. It made such a difference in my projects. The tiny tines allow you to really control the stuffing in a way that I couldn’t with a long handled paint brush. It holds my stuffing so that I can direct the tiniest amount to sharp corners like tiny ears, hat tips and pointy noses. I think my work really began to improve when I purchased the stuffing fork. In fact, I wouldn’t even want to try to make painted ornaments without it.

Today I’ll be cutting out and sewing a large batch of these little guys for winter stuffing sessions bundled up on my couch while the temps dip outside! It’s nice to still be productive when it’s too cold to actually work in my studio. Oh the woes of living in an old farmhouse!

But I’ll have Netflix and my stuffing fork to keep me company.

Creating New People.

I’ve spent this week working on & designing new dollies. I love this part of the process, when things are still fresh and new and there are so many possibilities. It’s exciting to see what was once a blank sheet of paper become a template, with just a hint of the creature that is waiting to be born. It’s exciting to see a square lump of clay take form, become plump cheeks or a tiny lip. One of my favorite details on clay dolls are earrings. It’s such a small thing but I think it adds such charm to the overall doll. Perhaps that’s what’s exciting! Although in this stage, everything looks so bland, I know what these little pieces can & will become. I know what that tiny dollop of clay on the earlobe will look like in the end. And I usually can’t wait to see it finished!

Here are some of my new woodland inspired creatures in the making.