Strongmen were a mainstay of many a turn of the century sideshow, much rarer however was the strongwoman. There were several of note, often lifting men above their heads or offering a sum of money to any man who could beat them in a weight-lifting competition, as well as plenty of other odd displays of their inordinate strength. I figured my Ten-in-One wouldn’t be complete without a glamorous strongwoman of its own, so here comes Barbara Kettlebelle.
Despite her scrawny appearance, Barbara possesses unnatural strength for a woman having grown up wrestling with her fourteen older brothers. The circus offered her a place after witnessing her performing a clean and press with a baby elephant in the strongfolks Olympics. As you can imagine, a lady of her abilities needs a lot of fuel and her daily diet includes eight whole chickens, a gallon of chocolate milk, and her bodyweight in peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
I’ve been searching for a suitable branding for my new style of creation. I was toying with the idea of a total rebrand, but I’m rather attached to my pseudonym now so it’s here to stay. Instead, I’ve decided to give the dolls an umbrella name of their own, so from here on they will be known as
‘THE DOLLFACE COLLECTION’ By The Mistress of Monsters.
Anyone who sees them seems surprised by the size of them, so I thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of scale by having a photoshoot with my little darlings. Nothing beats the feeling of having an armful of things you’ve made!
Mr Monster is busy designing me a logo for the collection so will be able to show you that soon too. I love it when a plan comes together!
I’ve been promising a change of direction for some time now, and after a few false starts I’m finally ready to unveil my latest work.
For a while I’ve been feeling that even the name ‘Mistress of Monsters’ tends to push me towards a certain type of creation, and that I want to break out of the pigeon-hole I’ve created for myself. I love monsters and cute fluffyness, but I also love vintage fashion, pin-up glamour and all things cheeky and feminine. Besides this, I’ve wanted to work in some of the new skills I’ve developed over my three years of monster-making. It just wasn’t possible to incorporate that into my work given my back catalogue.
I was massively inspired by a pair of character dolls in my parents display cabinet which caught my eye when I was home at Christmas, and from these I’ve managed to develop a new signature shape. It’s going to take some refining and perfecting, but take a look at the first in my new line of creations.
So I’ve (hopefully) kept it recognisable as my signature style, but gone for a new shape in the ‘big head, small body’ kind of thing. I’ve used needle-felting to create her a little hairdo, and dressed her up in a saucy little outfit and matching jewellery. Once that was done, she was ready for her close-up!
Her neck is a bit floppy so I need to work on strengthening that up, and I’m aware that as a first attempt at something new, there are a few things I could do better next time round, but now that I’ve completed one, I’m bursting with ideas for the next.
You might find over the next little while that the blog might go through a little bit of re-branding, I don’t know if I can keep the name ‘Mistress of Monsters’ as I move forwards with my more doll-like creations, but rest assured you will be the first to know if anything changes!