Monday 28 January 2019

Sunshine in January - Clarice Cliff Inspired Tag by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! At this point in the Winter, I'm ready for some spring-time colour! And here is my Calico Tag doll, Clarice who has joined us for tea with a bouquet of spring crocuses as a gift.

 I often imagine how dazzling and exciting the Art Deco ceramics of Clarice Cliff must have seemed when they first blossomed on the china shop shelves in the 1920s and 1930s. Even though her first hand-painted crocuses first appeared in 1928 her art deco flowers, geometric shapes and country cottages still seemed really fresh and hopeful to me when I first saw them back in the 1970s. And it's always been my dream to have a tiny piece of her work.

I'm sorry to say that the mug in this image isn't real Clarice Cliff, but an interpretation of her work given to me as a house-warming gift from a friend about 20 years ago. In the absence of any real Clarice pottery in my kitchen I decided to have a go at creating one of her sunny landscapes to bring some colour into my home in the form of a domestic goddess art doll.

What a great surface Calico MDF Craft Parts are to work on! I decided to create a spring-time bouquet by layering a smaller sized crocus over the larger size. Alternatively you might like to create an Art Deco doll of your own using one of the new Art Deco embellishments from Calico Craft Parts here.

After applying a coat of Gesso to a dome topped Calico large tag, I used a graphite pencil to lightly sketch in a Clarice style design based on research into her images.

It was then fun and rather relaxing to start to 'block' in with bright Clarice style colours in Acrylic chalk finish crafting paints. As the sections dried, I used a fine black, brush style graphic pen to add that Art Deco look and to make the colours pop.

I wanted my doll to have the look of a traditional country woman and this Calico plain bauble left over from my Christmas stash reminded me of a 'cottage loaf' style hair-do. My country woman has lived a long time among the hills and valleys in her simple cottage but she has gathered natural wisdom with her grey hairs.

To create the face, I used water-colour blocks over an Acrylic base and then added detail with fine, black pen. I added these additional holes to secure the arms from a large Art Doll. It's easy to punch holes from the MDF using a single hole punch and I chose white brads to blend with my design.

With the pose - able doll arms you can position the crocuses wherever you please to create different effects.I love how the petal shapes of the Calico crocuses complement the sweeping lines of the landscape behind.

Finally, here is Clarice hanging up in her new home in my kitchen.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope that crocuses will soon be showing their faces in your garden and that until then you'll perhaps be inspired to create a project with some Calico spring flowers yourself. There are lots of lovely new Art Deco pieces available to choose from too. Happy Creating and may the sun shine wherever you are.

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Plain Bauble MDF Wood Shape Style 2
MDF Tag Shape - Round Top (200 mm x 100 mm)
Standard Jointed Art Doll Style 2
Crocus - MDF Floral Wood Shape in Small and Medium


  1. what a gorgeous interpretation, Julie Ann!

  2. Thank you so much, Helen. I'm so glad that you like her. :)

  3. Julie, she is wonderful. A ray of sunshine to keep our sights set on spring. Your Clarice Cliff inspired painting is the perfect ensemble. xx

    1. Thank you so much, Ann. I'm so glad she was a ray of sunshine deep in winter. xx

  4. A touch of spring and a lot of sunshine can we all need in this dark time. Love your wonderful painting, a fabulous idea!! Hugs, Kerstin xx

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Kerstin. x

  5. Crocuses are peeping Julie Ann. Just love your interpretation of Clarice Cliff! Your colou4s complement one another so well. A beautiful presentation and a gorgeous glimpse of the promise of Spring just around the corner. Xx

  6. Thank you so much, Hazel for your lovely comment. It is much appreciated. x

  7. Your works of art continue to amaze Julie Ann!
    Clarice and her crocuses are simply splendid!
    Jackie xo