Ravishing Ruth, 2007
Who Put the B in Ballyhoo?
By Carlyn Beccia
TAODA Storybook VI Exhibit
I have always wanted to make an overstuffed
doll, so when I saw this book I was inspired. As a child, I was
fascinated by circus
life and the sideshow attractions. Ruth Pontico, who weighed 16
lbs. at birth, was the Fat Lady for Ringling Bros. Circus in the
1930’s. She lived a very colorful life, but died at 37, falling
short of her goal weight of 1000 pounds.
Although she in only about 16” tall
(seated), Ruth seems much larger. I added the crackle technique
I learned in Christine
Shively’s class to give her a vintage feel. Her dress
is made from an old silk dress from the 40’s with vintage
lace. She sits on an “elephant stand” created by painted
canvas over a lampshade form.
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