soldier, sailor and commissions

This is the secret project that I was working on a month ago. Secret because it is a gift for someone.

It was a commission. You may or may not know that I have a policy of not taking commissions. I feel like I’ve talked about it regularly, but when I searched the blog, this was the only post I could find. It isn’t recent but still pretty accurate. These days my excuse for not doing commission work is that I am not getting paid enough to not being doing just exactly what I feel like. But, sometimes someone asks me if I’d be willing to do something that I do feel like doing. Something that tickles my imagination. When I got an email from someone asking me if I would interpret a Staffordshire figurine that a friend owns, my first thought was no… until I scrolled down and saw the photo.

How could I say no? I had fallen in love at first sight!

I used my tattooed man pattern but had to do quite a bit of problem solving to make the coats and hats. It was lots of fun and I love how they turned out.

So much white was a challenge. I decided to use a variety of slightly textured whites (twill) to give more visual interest.

I love all the blues here-

and I used every last little bit of this striped fabric to make his hair and beard.

I wanted the hats to be removable so I found some matching pins to hold them in place.

The coat is a piece of vintage twill. I’ve seen antique children’s coats made of this fabric.

These are Crimean War veterans- a soldier and a sailor. The figurines must have been a popular collectible at the time of the Crimean War because there seems to be a wide range of styles. Some examples here.

And here is my husbands arm to show scale-

They are on their way to their new home. I had a hard time parting with them!