Monday, June 27, 2011

French Milliner's Head

A while back in one of my blog posts I mentioned a French Milliner's Head that I had been working on as a custom order. I didn't want to show any photos because the customer wanted to be surprised. She lives in Australia and it took a few weeks for the package to get to her. Now that she has received it, I can show you what it looks like.

Although I'd sculpted dolls heads before (several are shown in this post), and had previously made milliner's heads, I hadn't made any as big as 20" tall as requested.

It took a while to get a base going, building it up with various chunks of styrofoam, carving away parts of it, adding layers of paper mache and letting it dry very well in between layers before adding a layer of paper clay.

After the paperclay was dry, then came sanding, painting, sanding, staining and a hand rubbed beeswax finish. The stain really brought out all the little crackles and crevices when you view her up close. I intentionally kept her looking a bit rough and handmade, since she was inspired by those of the 1800s that sat in shop windows.

You may see some examples of the antiques at Adrian Morris Antiques, Hanes and Ruskin Antiques and Cowan's Auctions. If you are like me, you could spend hours browsing their antiques!

That's all to share for now. I have a few custom orders to finish this week and then I have to schedule more time for even more renovations.

Have a blessed day!

P.S. ~ I have just a few of these mini French lavender cones left from the Lavender Festival. They are paper mache cones wrapped with French book pages, stuffed with crinkled lavender paper shreds, embellished with tarnished silver tinsel. Each one has a little black wire loop for hanging on the back and comes with sprigs of dried lavender. The cones are 4 1/2" tall. I'm selling them in sets of 3 for $15 plus shipping. Just email me if you want a set and I'll send you a paypal invoice: honeysucklelane (at)

1 comment:

  1. The milliners head is just lovely Lana...I'm so glad you shared it with us. I've been wanting to try making one for some time. Thanks for the inspiration!