NOTE: Sewing machine experience required. We will have 5 machines available if you are traveling. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a machine. If you live locally, please bring your machine and let us know so we can reserve for others!
The Days of the Dead, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and throughout various parts of Latin America, is one of my favorite holidays. It is a celebration of the life of those loved ones we have lost. In Mexico it is celebrated with great big colorful joy. The “Elegant Skeleton” Catrina character, created by printmaker José Guadalupe Posada in the early 1900’s, has become a popular symbol synonymous with the Days of the Dead. In the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, girls and women adorn themselves with the sinuous lines and gorgeous flowers associated with La Catrina, then form a long procession that leads them across the city toward the town center, where music and merriment brings the population together in honor of their loved ones.
My version of the Catrina pays homage to all those who beautifully paint their faces as they dress up for Days of the Dead. In this class I will teach you how to sculpt and paint the Catrina doll. Next, I will show you how to stitch a simple yet elegant dress for your doll. Finally we will decorate the shadow box. Your end product will be a lovely Catrina, ready to display on your wall.
$25 Kit fee payable to instructor at beginning of class includes:
• Doll body, sewn and prepared for the sculpting phase
• Paper clay
• Pattern for skirt
• Hardware for your shadow box
Students will need to bring:
• Artist quality fluid/soft bodied acrylic paints, such as Golden or Liquitex. Please bring titanium white, Mars or carbon black, your favorite shade of red, and other festive colors such as cadmium orange hue, cadmium yellow hue, medium magenta, deep magenta, teal, vivid lime green. Please see photos for ideas.
• Good quality brushes, including a ½” flat, a size 5 round, and a tiny detail brush. See tools photo.
• Fine point marker, black: I love Pitt pens by Faber-Castell, size small, and Micron pens, size 005.
• Optional: black Stabilo water soluble pencil.
• Fabric for your Catrina’s dress, about 15 x 10 inches (think festive, Mexican or skeleton prints)
• Bits of white lace for sleeves, 1 – 1 ½ inches wide. 6 inches long should be enough.
• Lace trim for skirt, 1 ½ - 2 inches wide (your choice of color); about 16 inches long.
• Optional ribbon to match Catrina’s skirt.
• Sewing threads for the sewing machine. All-purpose 100% polyester is fine. Bring white and black, and an optional color to match the fabric of your doll’s skirt.
• Other basic sewing tools, including scissors, ruler, seam ripper.
• Optional lighting to enhance your sewing vision – small portable lamp like an Ott light.
• Silk flowers to decorate the box. Marigolds are the traditional choice, but choose your own favorites. In the sample I’ve used flowers that are from 1” to 2 ½” wide.
• Charms or beads for earrings – your choice
• Wooden painting panel (also called cradled board or cradled panel) – this is the box I use to display my Catrina dolls. The 6” x 18” box that is 1 5/8 inches deep is a good size for this doll. Blick Art Supply carries it, item #13606-1618.