Gene Swallow

Gene Swallow

Oglala Sioux


I make dolls and fabric sculptures that range from playthings to works of art meant for display.

For dolls that will be played with, I use fleece, soft faux camel-hair, or light denim. All of these types of dolls are made from patterns and are stuffed with poly-fill. I only purchase brand new quality fabrics and materials since these toys are likely to be held and played with by our younger relatives. For the fabric sculptures that are higher end art pieces, I use a variety of fabric mediums. I prefer natural fibers like wool, linen, or cotton.

These are more expensive to find brand new but, with the lack of local resources, I do a lot of reclaiming and up-cycling of fabrics from thrift stores and estate sales at pretty reasonable prices. Vintage fabrics are most desired as they contain prints and weaves not commonly used anymore. Some other materials used in my pieces include leather, embroidery floss, beads, wool roving for hair, and glass beads for eyes.

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