I have never really been a doll person. I appreciate them, but just never got that doll-bug as a child or as an adult. Looking back, I played with paper dolls and Barbies as a kid. Hmmm . . . perhaps that has something to do with it.
Until now, that is. Over the holidays, I was given a beautiful handcrafted doll as a gift by my sister-in-law, Lee Fried. She had created the most meticulously sewn, whimsical doll I could imagine – and she used my fabric designs, Capri, to create it! I was overwhelmed. What a wonderful gift!
This got me thinking about the art of handcrafted cloth dolls and the changes doll-makers have made over the years.
Here is a Simplicity Pattern with the basic doll shape. Wow! 35 cents???
I love these vintage dolls from Symple Tymes Cloth Art. They are lacking faces, but are filled with expression. Every wrinkle and crease is a story of their past.
Many talented designers and artists today have been able to evoke stories and expression into their creations without relying on the wrinkles of time.
Elinor Peace Bailey brings color and whimsy to the art of cloth dolls.
Patti Medaris Culea brings magical, fairly-like qualities to her creations.
Barbara Willis takes us back to yesteryear with her nostalgic lovely ladies. style.
Susan Else creates incredible sculptures using cloth doll-making skills. I was fortunate enough to see her as a guest artist at the Alden Lane’s quilt show, Quilting in the Garden, last fall. I was stunned at how creative her collection was.
But there is also a lot of wonderfully simple designs today. One look on Etsy or Pinterest is enough to inspire anyone. From the vintage style -
Visit Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/palomitaragdolls to see more of Jennifer Jarman’s work.
To the couture -
Even Raggedy Ann has entered the new millennium -
I am fascinated by how much character can be expressed with the slightest curve in an arm or a simple line movement in an eyebrow. There is truly an art to bringing these dolls alive.
Or in some cases, maybe not so alive?
Have a good week! See you Friday!