Thursday, December 17, 2009
When I was a ten-year-old, I thought I would be a
Doll Maker, when I grew up. I remember checking out the book, Dolls to Make, for Fun and Profit, by Edith Flack Ackley. I checked out every make-it type book I could find!
About that time, my family visited my dad's cousin who lived in a remote corner of Texas. Leada, my dad's cousin, was married to Ward, a real cowboy. They lived in an adobe house at the end of a dirt and rock road over an hour's drive from the nearest paved road. Their children were grown so she spent her time making dolls and collecting arrowheads. (I was disappointed that I was not allowed to ride horses; the cowboys rode mules because of the rough terrain, and drove jeeps and trucks.)
I made lots of dolls and doll clothing as a child but only two, that I made as a teen, have survived (other than a few paper dolls that my mother saved.) My childhood technique was less than adequate. I made big stitches and used fabric that frayed too easily. My mom provided lots of drawing and painting supplies and inspiration. She taught me how to sew clothing but I probably didn't request help with dolls or at least I didn't accept it.
As a "serious art student" in the 1970, I would not admit my love of dolls or the vintage inspired books written for little girls and for those like me now who are still little girls at heart. Now, not so self-conscious, at least not toward the Art World, I am indulging in my doll and costume passion.
Yesterday, I ran across an my old pattern for a Holly Hobbie doll. I had never used the pattern because it makes a larger doll than I have wanted to make. Also, I have preferred to make my own patterns. I kept it all these years and may make it yet. The pattern uses a child's sock for the needle sculpted head which I am more interested in now than I was then. Having researched the cloth dolls being made these days and especially loving the cloth and clay dolls I have seen, I am now taking a more humble approach and want to learn from other doll makers and even, gasp, use a pattern!