Saturday, June 19, 2010
I haven't made dollies in years. I used to make them regularly, and sell them on Ebay...I enjoyed making them but they were incredibly time consuming. They had long arms and legs, and I made their bodies myself, stuffing them and painting the muslin and sanding it, and then making their dresses, complete with sleeves and an apron. I adored them, but once I opened the shop, I just didn't have time anymore.
Over the past few months I've had a compulsion to make them again, I still have lots of paperclay and wool for hair, everything I could need. But I still am always caught for time and didn't see how I could make it happen. But I had a brainwave after seeing the proliferation of matryoshka dolls on Etsy...sure, weren't the shawlies I make just Irish babushkas? And couldn't I make dolls like the matryoshkas, and cut out the process of making the long arms and legs, which were half the work?
So I got out some clay and started sculpting, actually intending to make more stylised faces than I used to...but out of the clay peered the little face, and it was the same shawlies back. It was as if they were saying 'hello! there you are!'. The little wrinkled smiling faces were just the same girls as always. So I made their little bodies and their dresses and their aprons, and even though it was easier not making the arms and legs, the process was the same, the same needle-felted hair and wool shawls, and they hold all the same magic for me, the same little people in the room with me. I missed them! I can't wait to see who else turns up.
Both of these dolls, Mrs. Dineen up above, and Mrs. Motherway (named for the corner shop in our village!), are listed on Etsy, if you'd like to see more!