Akira Blount and her husband Larry make dolls from cloth with air-dried clay over it. Sometimes another layer of fabric is added. Akira's work has been admired and collected all over the world. The White House Collection of American Craft is a collection of over 70 pieces of contemporary crafts, of which Akira is the only doll artist.
The pieces created by Akira & Larry Blount ...."are a natural extension of the collaborative direction we have been working in"... Akira says "My own creative impulse has been moving beyond the more traditional 'doll' forms I have been known for over the past 30 years. Since early childhood, I've been absorbed by the colors, forms, textures and smells of nature and I have always tried to incorporate these elements in my work. For the past 15 years, I have progressively used more natural materials, since they convey directly those elements of nature that I love. " Larry Blout also makes twig furniture to display some of the dolls
Akira says: "The energy and beauty of nature has always sustained me. Woodlands, in particular, I find compelling. Most recently, in conjunction with Larry's love of working in wood, my love of natural materials has led us to explore how we might try to personify the spirit of nature as images of the playful, creative forces in nature. Each piece is a combination of cloth and natural materials, most of which are collected personally from our farm and gardens. They have been treated with a special varnish to help them retain their moisture and flexibility. "
If you're interested, there is a how-to video for sale on their website where Akira shares her techniques. PHOTO CREDITS: All dolls by Akira Blount