Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ceramic and whimsy

Ladora Barnum has a been researching world languages since she was 5 years old and you can see that reflected in the naming of the Earth Spirit Dolls that she creates totally by hand. Ladora is into highfire ceramics and the bodies and faces of her dolls are all made by herself, after which she paints the faces, and clothes them. Some outfits are thrifted, like the Doll Brizza who wears vintage, and others are handcrafted from swatches of cloth, leather, or very sheer delicacies. The hair is all hand dyed with Koolaid, which Ladora assures me is good for adding color, just not so good for drinking. The whole collection she has made is very lovingly crafted every detail of the way.

Some will look at Ladora's dolls with their darkened eyes and call them "dead looking creepy dolls". I know from experience. I gifted one to a friend, who fell in love with her creation immediately but she was about the only one who had such an enthusiastic response that night. Ladora shared with me that her mother was not initially the biggest supporter of her work either, until she sat her down and explained who the mercurial and fairylike creatures that she brought into the world really were, and then there was an understanding of her daughter's unique creations. Her doll, Lindsay, was the result of that night - and needless to say, Lindsay is a cheerful, smiling, but still black eyed doll wearing Winnie the Pooh, her mother's all time favorite character.

I myself have two of Ladora's ceramic beings and I adore them. One I bought for myself and the other was a recent birthday present. Meeting the artist who created them was a bigger treat than I had anticipated. Ladora is charming and ethereal and might be one of the kindest, soft spoken souls I have met in a long while. Meeting her gave me a much deeper appreciation of my budding collection of her local craft ( Ladora is living "next door" in Seattle).

Ladora's work can be seen at Happy Delusions on South Third Street in Downtown Renton. Ladora has left more of her work at the store since the Art Show a week ago took place and will be around again on June 19th when Mary hosts a very big show of all her artists entitled, Meet the Artists. So, save the date.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ladora is great! Thank you for helping to get her name out there.

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