Gaia started as all good projects do, with destruction. I took the base doll apart at all her joints just to see what they looked like and what I could do with the doll once I had her down to her component parts. (Yes, I was one of those children growing up, but no fly wings.) I gave her a coat of bronzing spray paint and then tossed out her mid section. I replaced the torso with the core of an old school alarm clock, modified of course, because what’s the fun in leaving anything the way it started? If you look closely you can see some of the additions, smooth rhinestones (yup, also that kind of kid), various types of metal rings, and hacked off bits.
Next I actually put the rest of her back together, which was not as easy as taking her apart was, but hey it was fun. Her legs are wired and glued on and work much the way many pregnant women’s do in the late stages of pregnancy, which is to say, not all that well. With all of her reattached it was time to enclose the budding “machine” in her belly. For this I used half of a plastic Christmas ball and covered the edges with fabric and copper tape.
Next came her paint job. With the spray coat she had a fairly even tone of color everywhere but her face, so I started added metallic colored paint and shifting tones across her body in different patterns until she felt “right”. I always leave painting the faces to last, because for me the doll only truly comes to life as the face emerges, but who the doll is is also informed by the process we go through to find the bodies form, so I wait to find the eyes until the end. With Gaia, I just knew her eyes needed to be green with a hint of shimmer, and that did the trick. She was there waiting for me when the paint dried.
Finally I added her skirt, metallic and shimmery, but in earth tones to honor her Mother and Gaia status. Then created her staff of all natural shapes but made out of metal forms to honor her steampunk/machine status.