Exhibition highlights artists at Pinckneyville

Holley Calmes

Holley Calmes

Can you paint with a needle? Sculpt with fabric? The talented members of the Tangled Threads Doll Club can, and their artwork is on view in an exhibition titled “Frost and Fantasy in Fibers” at Pinckneyville Community Arts and Recreations Center in Norcross. The exhibition is on view and will end Jan. 28.

The exhibition allows visitors to admire the artwork and also take it home. Everything is for sale, beginning with prices around $50. For collectors and those who love to give one-of-a-kind gifts, this exhibition of 60 pieces is a unique opportunity to shop creatively for the holidays.

The Tangled Threads Doll Club is a collection of approximately 20 women who all love to make dolls. As happens with creative people, their artistic interests are not limited to one medium. As a result, the exhibition is made up of more than one type of art form. Wall hangings, art quilts and paintings are also displayed.

Club president LaTrecia Raffety said the club has been active in Gwinnett for several years.

“The group meets once a month in Lawrenceville,” Raffety said. “We love doll-making challenges, and we learn new techniques such as sculpting with clay, and new sewing and painting techniques. We also bring instructors in to teach us new ways of doing things.”

All the dolls in the exhibition are one of a kind, and many are very unusual, from “Altered Barbies,” to a whole display of “Old World Santas.” These Santas are very collectible and made with extreme care and are very individualized.

Another theme in the exhibition is “Alice in Wonderland.” The club has a themed class each year, and this year’s topic was “Alice.” As a result, the show has dolls depicting Alice, the Mad Hatter, and wall hanging displaying the “Alice” theme.

“We are trying to get dolls to be considered an art form and not just a toy,” Raffety said. “Our cloth dolls are soft sculptures. They are a creative three dimensional expression of art.”

Raffety also creates original dolls.

“I don’t follow patterns very well. I have to create my own designs,” Raffety said. “They are all fabric. I draw the faces, which is what I do best. I never know what they are going to look like. I also like dolls that are a little ‘edgy,’ not sweet.”

Melody Orr is another featured artist. Orr’s paintings have been exhibited in the Suwanee Art Walk and in Suwanee days. Orr also recently taught the Tangled Threads Doll Club a class in making her “woodland forest folk.”

“We welcome anyone who wants to join our club,” Raffety said. “We have some very accomplished artists in our group, but we would love anyone with an interest in fabric art or dolls to join us.”

For more information about the Tangled Threads Doll Club, e-mail latrecia@raffety.com

“Frost and Fantasy in Fibers” is open during Pinckneyville’s normal hours which are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Pinckneyville Community Recreation Center is located at 4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Norcross. For more information, call 770-417-2200.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.