About...Expressions Of Color
A seamstress and designer for many years, Jean began to gravitate toward the dollmaking process in 1993, beginning with simple fabric dolls. She attended many doll shows that featured work from various doll artists and this inspired her to begin making the more detailed, soft sculptured doll. However, she noticed that there were no upholstered doll furniture makers at these shows. "Because I am a collector as well as an artist, I associated with other collectors who continually express a need for designer doll furniture." It was then that she decided to approach her husband, Henry, to go into business with her.
Henry Henderson has been an upholsterer for over 35 years, working for various businesses and finally beginning his own business. When Jean approached him about making a piece of furniture for one of her dolls in her collection, he designed what would become his first piece of doll furniture --- a miniature upholstered wing chair. Although he continued to make furniture for Jean's personal collection, he still was not convinced that it would be a profitable business venture. But he was wrong.
Jean and Henry did their first show together in November 1997. Not only did people buy the dolls, they bought the furniture for the dolls. It was then that Expressions Of Color was born. Since that time, the couple have exhibited in numerous shows annually, including New York International Toy Fair, Doll and Teddy Bear Expo, and the Philadelphia Black Doll Convention. They have been featured in Dolls Magazine in 2001 and Jean's dolls can also be seen in The Definitive Guide To Collecting Black Dolls by Debbie Garrett. In 2005, Jean introduced dolls sculpted in polymer clay, and Henry designed one of a kind pieces of furniture to complement the dolls. Production of the furniture ceased in 2006.
In 2006, Jean discovered the world of gourd crafting and began creating mixed media gourd dolls, and other forms of gourd art, such as pictures, vessels and other décor for the home. Gourds have allowed Jean’s creativity to flourish by using conventional and unconventional techniques.
"I create mixed media gourd sculptures because of the artistic satisfaction in taking these beautiful vessels of natures and combining them with other natural and found objects. Each gourd has its own characteristics; each piece has its own story to tell. Fabric choices of batiks, mudcloth, leather, suede and burlap add to the natural element. Through carving, woodburning, and the use of dyes and paints, my work is given life."
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