Twelvemo

Twelvemo is a highly articulated female form, built to one twelfth scale. The original was sculpted by hand and the figures are hand cast, finished, drilled and assembled in Norwich, England. The figure is jointed at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck and is very pose-able and realistic in the positions that are possible.

For more information about the project please scroll down the page.

You can buy Twelvemo from the Etsy Twelvemo Shop

£250 for basic (antiqued) resin figure.

Latest news - These four Twelvemo figures to Kyoto in Japan, in one of the exhibitions relating to the World Archaeological Congress in August 2016.

 

Some of the parts I make are more flawed than others. I go to some trouble to fill the bubbles neatly but here I've taken inspiration from the Japanese tradition of kintsugi.

 

Kintsugi means mending things with gold, and celebrating the individuality of objects and the adventures that befall them.
These figures are also £250 each.

 

Plain Jane Twelvemo
£250 antique ivory-look figure.




I've made a few variations over the years. Had to start giving them names eventually, mainly so I could label the photos with something descriptive! Below are Posy and Flora. Posy has one motif repeated, and Flora has several different ones. Three of the four floral etched Twelvemos have been sold (£325 each) and the remaining one is not for sale at the moment.

 

 

These figures have been etched with flowers and various motifs. I worked out a way of doing this, motif by motif, using my laser cutter! A whole world of opportunity just opened up... Got a few ideas now!

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, below (from the book of the same name by Rumer Godden. Loved that book as a child.)

  

These clear cast figures (there are only two, and a few spare parts) were cast for me by Steve Cole of Articole Studios some years ago. It's a fair bit smaller than the kind of objects they usually make. And I think he didn't like the clear resin. It was too unpredictable.

The shiny clear figure above is Clara.
The frosted figure below is Lucida.

 

This silvery jacket was made from a few inches of beautiful metal lace that belonged to my grandmother. (I used the whole length, which was very satisfying given that there was so little of it, and it is precious to me.)

 

The figure here, Negrita Plumbago, has been coated with graphite. She is kind of shiny and slippery to feel, though the coating has worn away on certain parts a little (nose, toes, and ears!). I could repair the coating but it's quite cute like this. The cloak has a hood and is made from a scrap of old silk gauze with tiny black glass beads stitched around the edge.

 

I have painted up a couple. The figure above, Kid Glove, is dressed in dungarees and a bomber jacket made of old kid gloves. The gloves are cut so the fingers make the trouser legs and the jacket sleeves. Other seams in the gloves were used as part of the styling. This figure is out being animated gently for a short (creepy) film. I may not have time to do much animation myself but it's pretty cool that some one else is doing it with the figure!

 

The blond figure is Lady Godiva. She is not guarding her modesty that well to be honest. The figures are the perfect size for a twelfth scale dolls house setting.

These figures are not all listed on the Esty Twelvemo Shop so get in touch if you see something here that isn't on there. We can work it out!

(sarah.beare@googlemail.com).

 

About the Twelvemo Project

Twelvemo has been made as an incarnation of my own idea of 'Everywoman'. The model-making was rooted in the need to work physically with and master the materials, while simultaneously humbling and submitting one's own self to them. So working the way I do can be a meditation, an act of faith, and a marathon of self absorption. The work is human, figurative, female. It is autobiographical, fictional and narrative, obsessively produced, driven by compulsions to make, play, handle, examine, and re-arrange. 

Twelvemo is a pocket mannequin, a lay figure that can be manipulated to evoke... who knows what? Real situations that you or I might find ourselves in, or impossible scenarios from dreams and nightmares. It's like Jungian dream analysis - a person posing the figure reveals a certain amount about themselves in the postures they cause her to take. Her postures can suggest sorrow or joy, fear or freedom, sleep or death.

Part of my interest in the Twelvemo Project is seeing the reactions and interactions of people that handle her. The strange thing is that she is of course utterly and entirely passive (it's just a model after all, an elaborate doll) and yet so eloquent and expressive that it's hard to be convinced that some of that doesn't come from her. It comes from whoever is using her at that moment. Please click here for images made by customers of their figures: Others Twelvemo

The term Twelvemo comes from an old term for a book, made from a printed sheet folded into 12 instead of eight  pages, making the book a small one. The word came to mean a small thing or person.

Both Angel and Harpy, this little Lilith is in my control entirely. Historically female form has been arranged, modified, decorated, worshipped, whipped, beaten and buffed and used to sell anything from to sex, to concepts of liberty or justice. I've just made my own woman to objectify. 

The future of the project lies in exploiting the new technologies available today, and the plan is to digitally re-create the figure using modelling software and use a 3D printer to produce the figure better, stronger, and in greater numbers. I have ideas for artwork that can only be achieved if I have more figures to use and the flaws in the joints are ironed out. It would be possible to make all kinds of interesting special editions and variations of the features, as well make the figures in different sizes and ethinicities. In short there is a whole new world of possibility, creatively, out there and a fair distance to travel in terms of learning new software. I'm excited.

 

Significant Reading Material
Monuments and Maidens, Marina Warner

Oh What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me, Edmund Carpenter
The Case for Working With your Hands, Matthew Crawford
The Hand, Frank Wilson

Childhood Reading
Gullivers Travels
The Borrowers
Five Dolls in a House
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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