Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

How to Make A Spirit Doll: Step 2 (Decorate the Face)

in Art Tutorial, Classes & Workshops, Creativity

As I mentioned in the first post, I like to use the terra cotta faces I purchase from San Antonio artist Lyn Belisle in her Etsy shop, EarthShards.

To “paint” the terra cotta face, use a mixture of clear (or neutral) shoe polish and Pearl-Ex powders (I learned this trick from Lyn).  Put a thumb-sized bit of clear shoe polish on a piece of heavy paper or foil, then mix in one of the Pearl-Ex colored powders with your fingers. Smear this onto the face. You can either cover the entire piece of clay, or allow some of the terra cotta color to show through.

Karen Karlovich, one of the women at the retreat, went home and came up with another technique. She used metallic paints. On one, she painted it black first, then blotted it. Then she brushed copper paint over it and rubbed it, for a really lovely distressed look.

Some of the women at the retreat preferred to leave the face “plain,” with no decoration at all. Of course, it’s up to you (and your doll!).

You can also sculpt your own face out of Sculpey or Fimo. If you’re making a face out of these, you can rub the Pearl-Ex onto the face before baking it. Be sure to leave holes in the face, so you can tie it onto the doll’s body. (I prefer the terra cotta faces because they are made from the earth, unlike the polymer Sculpey material.) You could also make a head or face out of cloth.

I find “Wet Ones” to be really handy in cleaning the paint, powder, or shoe polish off your fingers.

Click here for information about sculpting in polymer clay.

Click here for information about Pearl-Ex Powders.

Tomorrow we’ll make the doll’s body. 

A complimentary PDF of the whole process of making a Spirit Doll can be downloaded here.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Indigene Mon - Oct 15th 2012 5:07 pm

    I love these! This is soooo wonderful and thank you for sharing! 🙂 I order some Earth Shards, too! 🙂 🙂

    • Joanna Tue - Oct 16th 2012 7:26 am

      Wonderful! Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Indigene. I know yours will be amazing!