It was a beautiful experience to hand over the little man in the basket yesterday to its new minder.
The cloth doll is obviously not my most amazing work, but perhaps the most significant. It is the first ever doll I made at the age of ten. Nearly 50 years ago.
I had already made a few dolls clothes by then on the singer sewing machine and also by hand. Some knitted.
My parents were on holiday, not sure where my older siblings were, but in any case, I was staying with an aunt and uncle for a few weeks. Cycling to school every day. With the hep of my aunt I made this doll. It was the starting point of a life long doll making adventure. Initially using cloth, then paper mache heads, using a plastic mould and putting a nylon stocking over it. I started borrowing books from the library and learned more and more techniques. My mother following my lead.
I made the first puppet at age 15, following the instruction of the first doll making book I bought. And still have.
The puppet body template, and some of the starting process of making the base of the head I still use in my online teachings tutorials. I remember sitting at the dining table to cut the wooden body with tools my dad had given me for my previous year’s birthday. He passed away when I was 14.
Both these pieces are up for adoption. Email or message me if interested.
Again, all funds raised are for future support, both living, and creatively.
The first doll’s clothes have faded a little over time when she was sitting on the window sill in my studio. Enjoying the morning sunshine.
The clown puppet is a fully working marionette. Obviously my sculpting skills improved a great deal over the decades. But for a first attempt I am still quite proud of him. Including the detail in the clothing.