Sunday, January 23, 2011





Although this very ornate antique tray does not fit into my decorating theme for most of my house, it will be perfect for my newly renovated Tuscany Suite. I’m having students stay here for an all-inclusive sculpture class this summer and I want to give them every possible luxury.

Benedetta-ornate wooden tray

Benedetta, (that is the name I am giving her because I believe that anything worth owning is worth naming) was very easy to create. I found the wonderful tray at the flea market. I used a digital image of a spirited gal I painted last year. I had named the original “Tess” She even has tattoos! There is something innocent about her face though and I knew I could convert her into a beautiful Italian girl. My friend, Chrystal, gave me some absolutely beautiful delicate lace that her mother had collected. I placed it around the digital image and printed it once again. I cut a few pieces of the lace and used gel medium to glue down the entire collage.

Side view

After the collage dried, I added Tim Holtz’s crackle paint, heated it with my blow dryer. Then I dabbled the entire piece with gesso to give it an even more antique look.

Benedetta with bath soaps

I’ll be on the lookout for 2 more trays for the other bedrooms that will be used during the class. In the meantime, the only decision left is whether Benedetta will be offering exotic perfumes, soaps or wine and delicious truffles from our local candy store, “Chocolate Paper.”

Benedetta with exotic perfume

Benedetta with chocolate candy and wine

If you are interested in reading more about the class, please check out my website at the top of my sidebar titled “Cheryl Dolby’s School of Sculpture.” There are videos of the Tuscany Suite, Tuscany Annex and Cabana Suite. I am visualizing a lavish ocean tray there. I’m happy to announce that I only need two more students! Perhaps you will join me here at my home, Woodloft.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



"Dreams" file folder, original artwork from Sharon Tomlinson

I’m still on a roll with my artsy file folders. This time, I added a new twist. Over the holidays, I received some beautiful gifts from some very special blogger friends. I pondered as to whether to frame them, or place in a portfolio or do something else with them. Well, that something else evolved into my file folders.

I knew it would be wrong to make a copy of any of my friends artwork, so I used the actual work they sent me. Now, whenever I go to my folders and pull out “Dreams", I think of Sharon Tomlinson at all Norah’S art She sent me a beautiful image of one of her colorful gals. The Epson printer she uses gives a crisp clean copy. Sharon even shows how she achieves this on one of her posts! She also sent napkins and I even used the original of those too. It was interesting sewing on a paper napkin…..something I’ve never done before. I left Sharon’s lovely message so I can always be reminded of her generosity.

"Travel" file folder, original artwork from Lisa Wright

When I’m planning a trip, I now see a beautiful girl with green eyes with a castle in the background and I remember Lisa Wright from The Wright Stuff
I placed her handwritten message to me on the back of the folder as well. Lisa and I did a collaboration a few months ago. She is an amazing writer and I couldn’t have finished my “Isis” sculpture without her.

"Books" file folder, original artwork from Priti Lisa

Priti Lisa sent me one of her whimsical prints with a saying that I have come to love. I placed the title “Books” at the top of Lisa’s work. I know Lisa loves to read and I will be reminded of her whenever I go to this file. You can see Lisa’s diversified work here

"Addresses" file folder, original artwork from Debby Harriettha

Last but not least. I admired this beautiful face I saw on The Gathering Nest and lo and behold..there she was in a beautiful Christmas card. I decided on “Addresses” for Debby’s folder. At Christmas every year, I’ll be reminded of her generosity and I’ll have addresses of all my blogger friends whenever I open this file.

Thank you all so very much!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sculpture School



Stoneware clay face planters

Finally! After spending over a year renovating my Tuscany Suite, I am ready to offer sculpture classes here at Woodloft.

I love both taking and giving classes. I’ve studied sculpture and other forms of art all over the world and have an idea of what a good class should be like. In preparing my sculpture class, I decided to fashion it after the ones that I have enjoyed the most and also add my own touches.

Woodloft welcome sign

When I studied fresco making in Serravalle, Italy, I was impressed with the fact that my superb teacher, Alma Ortolan, offered an all inclusive class. Her mother, Leo, who was an excellent chef, provided all of our meals. This allowed plenty of time for learning fresco. Another time, in France, the class I took in anatomical sculpture, offered a wonderful French country atmosphere and a stay in an 11th century castle. While I can’t offer the castle, Italy or France, I do have a lovely home located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I have named Woodloft. At Woodloft, we will combine studies with local sightseeing and have a chef prepare all our meals. That would be my version of an all-inclusive.

Tuscany Suite

I like the idea that my students won’t have to scurry around looking for supplies since I’ll have absolutely everything they will need for their studies. They won’t have to worry about meals, since the chef will be doing all the cooking, and they won’t have to worry about hotels since I have accommodations for 5 people. By keeping the class at 5, I will be able to devote utmost attention to each one.

My studio

I named my workshop, Faces, Faces, faces. I plan to teach my students how to create a face using various materials such as stoneware clay, paper clay and a few other types of clay. We will construct a stoneware clay planter with face that will be fired in the kiln. We will also build a tall stoneware clay Goddess figure. While the clay is drying, we will create a doll using a non firing clay and also a bas- relief to be used on the cover of our journals.

Tall standing sculpture

Since it does take awhile for the clay to dry and for firing, the class will take two excursions. We will visit Chateau Morrisette, which is a lovely French restaurant and winery located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will also visit the Taubman Museum located in the Farmer’s Market in Roanoke and have lunch while there.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The fabulous chef I have chosen for the class, Stratton St. Clair, is a bit eccentric. Here is what he says about himself:

“Wayne is mildly psychotic... fortunately for everyone around him it is expressed in generosity, good humor and fine foods. He claims that he learned how to cook in order to augment the fine art of seduction then discovered he was better at the cooking. He has worked in many restaurants and chased out of many more. He likes to make as much as he can from scratch and in the process has taught himself how to garden, hunt wild mushrooms, brew beer, make some cheeses, can foods... make sausages, dry foods and smoke them though meats and cheeses tend to clog the pipe. In the years since he has renounced the restaurant trade his cooking has become more refined and now he understands (via the context of cooking) what Picasso meant when he said that it has taken him a life time to learn to draw like a child; consequently Wayne can be often observed playing with his food. ;) W”

Stratton will not only cook for us but will also give us a cooking class at the end of the sculpture session.

Stratton St. Clair

All in all, I think everyone will have a grand time, including me. My goal is that at the end of the week, each student will take away samples of the work they create in class and to have a firm grasp of how to recreate the process once home. I will be available to the students exclusively all week.

Woodloft pool

I am placing class information on my right hand side bar for you to refer to at any time. The site can still use a bit of tweaking but a complete itinerary with prices, videos and all details can be found there. You can also click on I hope you will join me!!!!

My art car B-dazle

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, January 1, 2011




Collaged file folders

Living lavishly is easier than you think. It doesn’t require a lot of money but it does involve imagination and ingenuity. You can start by taking mundane items in your home and kicking them up a notch.

I must admit, I hate to file anything. I really hate filing bills and medical documents in file cabinets. It’s as though I have a mental block about this, even though I know how supremely important it is to have a good filing system. (It’s also a good idea to have a high quality filing system on your computer, but that’s another story.)

I used one of my stories, the banner for my blog and lots of metallic thread on this folder

When I read an article in Somerset Life Magazine, I knew immediately that I wanted to make my own version of Lisa Guerin’s file folders. The ones I created look completely different from Lisa’s but that is always the idea in art. When artists are highlighted in craft magazines, they are there to show an example of “how to” make their creations, not to be copied exactly.

With that in mind, here are some of the folders I am getting ready for my new 2011 filing system. I’m hoping they will encourage me to be more organized.

On this one, I used a digital print from my Celtic Woman and one of my mosaic labyrinth from my laundry room

I used digital prints of my paintings and sculpture on cloth and paper. I added paper, lace, embroidery thread, text from old and foreign books, sequins, etc. I added stories from my books to some of the folders as well. I embroidered around these pieces using intricate stitching and also added some free motion stitching. If you double click on the folders, you will see the elaborate stitching in metallic thread

This collage has a heavily textured background and a face from one of my paintings

These artsy file folders are extremely addictive, sort of like potato chips, you can’t eat just one. You can’t make just one of these once you get going on them. I made so many that I decided to sell them in sets of 5 for those of you who don’t have the time, inclination or even a sewing machine with which to make them.

The girl is from my painting "Mesmorized" and I used several textured cloth pieces from an old purse

Here are some examples of labels you can give them. Of course, it will vary from person to person. I will leave the labeling to you.

Medical bills
Water bill
Gas bill
Cable TV, Phone HS
Electric bill
To Do
Blog Post Ideas
Dynamic ideas
New Year's Resolutions

A face from my "Doors" series

This one was inspired by a really cool card and gift from my friend Dian-oh so French

At some point I may list these sets on Etsy but for now, if you’d like a set of them to get you going in the right direction, just e-mail me and I’ll ship them off to you. I’ll choose a variety of themes and colors for each set. We can use Paypal or I also take checks.

I have priced them reasonably at $35.00 for a set of 5. Shipping to the UK France and Australia is $9.00. Shipping to Canada is $6.00 and anywhere in the United States is $5.50. I hope they get you started on the path to a lavishly lived new year.

Stumble Upon Toolbar