Finally, I have finished this smaller ( about 18 inch ) boy doll I have been working on for awhile. A very sweet lady I know and have made other dolls for wanted a boy to go with her other Izannah dolls, so here he is. This doll is slighter and smaller than the stockier Izannah girls I have going on right now, but he is perfect in his size to me. This doll is the first one to be finished of the three new molds I made. I am making pictures of three other girl dolls that are being made now, and I think will be very pretty. Two of these are new molds, one is a older mold, but I think she will be nice too. In the past, I have showed the first stages of the dolls development ( past the mold making ) starting with before the gesso is even applied. It is fun to me to see their progress, so I thought I would do the same for these three girls. It always surprises me to see what the final doll will look like, because, the white serene face will change so much. You see the face and say ( I know what she will look like, but when the first coat of paint goes on, she will probably, no, make that surely, look different than you thought. the shape of the head and features determines alot, but the paint has just as big an impact. I made a black calico doll dress out of a antique dress and it is super hard on the eyes, and I had a good bit of this, so I made the boy's suit out of the same fabric, plus I used the dresses brown sleeve lining to make the shirt and bow tie. The brown color is so pretty, wish I had a bunch more. I love the dark colors, but they will just about blind you trying to see the stitches. The new molds were copied from pictures of antique dolls, and if the likeness is not exact, the resemblance is seen. I don't know how Izannah Walker got her molds made, but in a time when metal was used more and plastic didn't exist, it is probable that she got metal molds made, as I have seen pictures of other metal molds not attributed to her, but if they existed in the same time as she was making dolls, it makes sense to me that she could have had them, and that many of her dolls have the same features because they were pressed in metal. I say all this, because when you use a plaster mold, over time the molds can deepen from cleaning, and this would not happen with metal, thus the slightly different faces. Come back and see these girls develop
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Recently I have taken an interest in trying to make a high collar Dress and a interest in making rags dolls out of old flour sacks. As you know, anything old in fabrics is costly, the old flour sacks are no different. Winning a bid on 27 old flour sacks has provided me with lots of fabric to test out dolls with. Some of the sacks are smooth, but don't have any stains or writing, several of them have lots of staining and very faded writing and pictures, but you can make your dolls, or animals, as I have also make some standing rabbits with the sacks, to be posted later. Not only are the dolls made of flour sacks, their body suits, and some clothes are being made out of the sacks as well. The dress I am showing is made out of civil war reproduction fabric, but the bonnet and shoes are flour sacking I have dyed, These particular dolls have a very long neck, and I see I can shorten the neck on the dress a little. This pattern is very old fashioned looking, but the dolls are super light weight, even though I did use real rags in the bodies, arms and legs, not all rags, but some. As I have said before, the faces are a problem for me, but I put on the dolls the best simple face I thought looked good, it is very easy to go to far with color, or pencil, or ink. Once you have gone to far and are not happy with the look of the face, you can turn the doll around and start again on the other side, but I didn't, as I knew I would not be happy with that, and you would have to cover the back of the head. Right now, cloth dolls are popular again, especially antique ones, but to costly for me. If I was going to make a more classical old cloth doll with a pencil face, I would choose strong smooth muslin and probably a different color or material to make it look old. It is my thinking that some folks are using real dirt to stain the dolls, as I can see no other way to get the look of dirt, as grunge doesn't look that way., but for now I am happy with my experimenting and the dolls are very pretty just sitting around. If there is any way to use antique fabric for these dolls, or atleast a fabric that you have dyed yourself, or aged I would stay away from new or even reproduction fabric, it doesn't suit these dolls. They need older, not necessarily ragged clothes, but definitely clothes that look like they have been around a long time.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Things have been slow in the posting. I imagine everyone is busy, either working on their dolls, plus everyday work, or trying to recuperate from health issues, or just things that come up that require all, or so much of your time. I have had alot of that, as we are continuing to work on our house, and take care of problems and up keep here at my mama's house. While not working on needful things, I have been devoting all my available time to working on my dolls, which included some flour sack rag dolls, which I forgot to take pictures of tonight, but will post them soon, but here are a few of the dolls that I have been spending time with. As you know, I made some dolls out of old doll heads to use as mold makers for new doll heads. I completed this., but as I worked so long and hard on these models ( for that is what they are, as the heads are a tag to heavy to sell, I wanted to finish them out to keep, plus I might need to make some more molds of them eventually. As I went on with them, I have lavished much time and good antique fabric for their clothes. I have made a black calico dress from antique calico and a set of so pretty vintage lace Chemise and panty loons for one, I liked this so much, I went out and found some more lace to make several other dolls the same unders. My model is my little odd doll which I have kept to consider some more. Also, I made a girl doll in the likeness of the Izannah antique picture that I have had for a long time, but not sure of her fate as yet. The new molds include the small boy doll, who is the first cloth head out of the plaster mold, I did make a cloth head out of the other two new molds, but they are just in two pieces as of yet, so I didn't show them tonight, but they show great promise. It is hard to tell all that a person is working on, but I hope the summer will prove fruitful in making some nice dolls for people. I meant to make improvements in my new dolls, and I think I have in several ways. Lighter cloth heads, a better body with good weight distribution, better feet, barefoot or with shoes, which I also hope to make improvements on. Also the hands need to be slimmed down, as I make them to fat. I wanted to talk about my observations on the paint jobs on the real antique Izannahs, but I will run out of time,so a discussion for another day. Thanks for coming by. Come back and we will visit and learn together. Martha