Commedia dell'arte Part Two

Yesterday you were introduced to the Commedia dell'arte Dolls being made by Octogenarian Andrea from Central Victoria, Australia. Today we will focus in on Andrea's interpretation of these historic characters from Italy.

We will start with Harlequin because he is the most well known. I will let Andrea continue with the explanation as to how the dolls were made.

All my dolls wear undies!! Harlequin's are a pale green silk vest and short drawers.

As it was not possible to get material in a tiny diamond pattern, I chose an evening dress material of multi-coloured sequins to make a two-piece suit. it is lined in silk.

Harlequin by Octogenarian Andrea ©

His hair is short lengths cut from a fancy dress wig. The hat, made of felt, is painted to make it stiff.

The mask is stiffened black satin, painted because the stiffening is white and tied on with very narrow ribbon.

Harlequin carries a white painted staff made from a craft construction stick.

Harlequin by Octogenarian Andrea ©

Pierrette (below) wears knickers and an underslip of lace trimmed white silk and her petticoats are satin, edged with lace. The first petti has fine wire sewn into the hem to hold out the other petticoats, and the skirt of her dress.

The costume is white satin trimmed with little green pompoms and very narrow green ribbon. She has bracelets of gold beads.

Her hair is short lengths of 'doll's hair' and her hat is a cone of thin cardboard covered in white satin, edged with narrow white braid and decorated with pompoms.

The mask is green satin, stiffened and painted and decorated with tiny 'bling'.

Just for fun I made her a 'Ra Ra' girl with pompoms and ribbons to shake.

Pierrette by Octogenarian Andrea ©

Pierrot (below) wears a white silk vest and short drawers under his costume of trousers and top. His outfit (like Pierette's) is made from white satin with green pompoms. The hair is wool and his hat is the same as Pierrette's.

Pierrot is an unhappy character, so I decided he could carry his green satin mask to show his sad face.

Pierrot by Octogenarian Andrea ©

Columbine (below) doesn't have a particular costume so I just made what I hoped would be a suitable dress.

She has blue satin lace trimmed knickers and underslip with the top petticoats white satin and lace.

The dress is 'party' material, lined with satin to help hold the shape and trimmed with flower shaped 'rhinestones' and silver ribbon. It has a lace collar and sleeve edging.

She wears a neckband of silver ribbon with a little 'rhinestone' circle.

Her hair I made from short lengths of a fancy dress wig. The 'hairclip' at the nape of her neck is a piece of silver ribbon sewn onto the hair.

She carries a posy of small artificial flowers and her mask is stiffened white satin painted silver and decorated with tiny 'bling'.

Columbine by Octogenarian Andrea ©

Puncinella's (below) costume does vary, but is usually breeches and jacket, with or without a hat and he nearly always has a grotesque mask.

So, my Puncinella has a vest and long underpants of fine cotton knit. The 'tummy' is cotton wool taped to the undies.

His pantaloons and jacket I made from evening wear material, lined with cotton to help hold the shape. His outfit is trimmed with narrow gold braid and has gold bead 'buttons'. The belt is velvet ribbon with a little buckle.

The hair is fancy knitting yarn and his hat felt with a velvet ribbon band, plus a glued on 'rhinestone'.

I made his rattle from a satay stick, painted with a bead at one end and two little bells with ribbons at the other.

His mask was the hardest thing to make, moulded from paper clay and took several attempts to get right. I covered the head in cling wrap, rolled out a piece of paper clay thinly and cut it to shape. Pressing it onto the face I marked the eye and ribbon holes and moulded on the nose. When it had firmed I removed it to dry, and then painted it.

Puncinella by Octogenarian Andrea ©

© Thank you to Octogenarian Andrea who kindly gave permission for the images of her work and explanation to be shared on AnArt4Life.