Fiber artist, Leandra Spangler, created a one-of-a-kind
artist book of handmade paper titled, the Unbarbie Paper
Doll Book, in 1995. Response to this book was so
positive that she decided to self-publish a printed version of
it the Paper Doll Book is the printed version, and
is now available.
Fashioned after the Venus of Willendorf ( a Paleolithic
sculpture of an abundant female form, c. 15,000-10,000 B.C.E.)
the Paper Doll Book contains a die-cut paper doll,
seven outfits to cut out (swimsuit and sun hat, shortie pajamas
and robe with fuzzy slippers, cowboy outfit, tutu, evening gown
with wrap, garden party dress and wedding gown with veil) and
eight backdrops (scenes).
As a baby boomer, my preteen image of the ideal female
form was based on an unrealistic tall, thin, large breasted doll.
The Unbarbie Paper Doll Book was my tongue in cheek
response to the discrepancy between the preteen ideal and my 40+
reality. As a hand papermaker and book artist, I had the materials
and tools available to explore alternative body forms, create
clothes, environments and laugh at myself along the way.
How did the Heroines evolve? After publishing the Paper
Doll Book, I was invited to participate in a wearables
fiber exhibition. I am a papermaker and wearable fiber exhibitions
showcase fine handwoven or hand dyed fabrics. I had been asked
to create wearable outfits of handmade paper--paper doll outfits
of human size. I designed and created seven wearable paper doll
outfits made of handmade paper, complete with weighted "tabs"
and easy to remove from the display to try on. Guests were invited
to wear these outfits and see themselves as: Brunhilde, Sarah
Bernhardt, Josephine Baker, Sacajawea, Amelia Earhart, Cleopatra
and Joan of Arc. The next step was to create these Heroines as
outfits for the original Paper Doll Book and have them printed.
These new outfits Heroine Outfits for the Paper Doll Book
are now available.
order Heroine outfits for the
Paper Doll Book
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