Matt Tommey / Vine Baskets by Matt TommeyMatt Tommey is an Appalachian basketmaker in Asheville, North Carolina. Matt's baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional Appalachian forms...
Shuck Dolls by Karen
Media: Natural Materials
Born and raised in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, I have 200 years of mountain heritage teeming in my blood. In Girl Scouts my small troop learned how to make ole timey corn shuck dolls. Some 40 years later I still create the simple traditional corn shuck dolls of my grandmother. I also construct elaborate detailed ones that tell stories and evoke emotional responses to the viewer.
The pieces begin as an idea in my head that I may or may not sketch. I envision color schemes and proceed to dye my shucks for the project. When my pallet of color is complete, I use corn husks, corn silk, glue and cotton thread to create the dolls.
Working with wet shucks I begin the simple time honored method of wrapping , twisting and tying to create my dolls. Binding, cutting , pinning and all manner of methods are used to position and shape the dolls giving them motion and expressive body language. Accessories and fashion styles set the time period and are all made out of shuck. Sometimes it can be a week before the doll dries enough to finish dressing. Each doll"s personality comes out as it is made. Fine detail work is done with manicure sissors, straight pins, glue and lots of patience. The final corn silk hairdo can change the whole personality of the piece.
All pieces are one of a kind. They are named and numbered and posted in a doll registry online as completed.