Thursday, January 22, 2009

Once upon a time...

I made a lot of vintage style cloth dolls.
I had been making and selling cloth dolls for a few years in local shows and galleries when a friend e-mailed me and asked me to join a vintage cloth doll making group. The rest is history.

Below is the first vintage pattern (Butterick) doll I made for an online challenge.


Along the way, I became a doll collector, researcher, book & pattern collector, and an occasional speaker about vintage cloth dolls.

My special interest is the work of Edith Flack Ackley, but I enjoy all antique and vintage cloth dolls as well as dolls from other materials. I do collect and carve Hitty dolls upon occasion but wood is not my first choice to work with. This is the first Hitty I carved and I her name is Hitty Primavera.


The doll below I made from paper clay using directions from an old "McCall's Magazine." They called for bread dough but I think paper clay will last longer.



It's funny. I am an abstract painter but I also paint and draw realistic things as well as my cartoon-like little characters. When it comes to dolls, I have made my fair share of art dolls and contemporary dolls as well as art paper dolls.

At one point I spent a year making primitive dolls. Here is a very tiny primitive doll I made. That is a tablespoon, by the way, not a tea spoon.


Here is a poppet from a pattern by Christine Le Fever. I made it a little smaller than her original pattern.


It is an endless exploration. In the beginning, more than a decade ago, I was really into making money with them. Then for years I just gave them away. Now I do both--sell and give away --and also make them for myself!

What is your passion? What do you collect? Do you go from one genre to another like I do? I switch from paint and paper to cloth or wood and sometimes combine them all in one doll.

The vintage style/pattern dolls below are all made by doll makers who are still active (with the exception of Mary ) on the Internet and were in the group I belonged to. I have many more cloth dolls by known and unknown makers in my collection. At some point I will share some of my favorites.

I hope you enjoy looking at my dolls...and that you enjoy your day!


Made by Danna Banana


Made by the late Mary Vlasak


Made by Ike Putney



4 comments:

Eileen said...

I love all the dolls you made.. and the ones you've shown. Ike's Raggedy Ann really hits a spot for me because I love raggedies. And Mary was such a sweet and wonderful person.. I know you and many others miss her greatly.

April said...

I cannot choose a favorite doll! You are so talented, Helen, to make so many different style dolls. The TB. doll is a really incredible cutie and the paperclay is Amazing! And of course I love Eileen's precious old fashioned doll! You gals are The Top!

Mrs. Staggs said...

I've always loved old fashioned dolls, and I have a love for history and antiques. I especially love evoking the feeling of an old fashioned holiday, and making things that remind me of how I imagine those times to be. I used to craft a lot for holiday themed craft sales, and explored a lot of different crafts then. Now, I'd like to mostly focus on dollmaking, and perhaps applique. I'm still interested in collage too.

Lena

Couture de Papier said...

Your creations are so inspiring!One World One Heart Giveaway on my blog.Happy Creating!