I have thought quite a lot lately about where I am right now with my artwork and my dolls. I feel the need to write this babble here. Sorry, this post may be long, but I promise to have pictures at the bottom of this post (little Juliette; and don’t go peeking before reading all this). I just have to spill my guts here for a bit.
Twenty years ago I had made a few cloth dolls, it was short lived hobby as back then there was no internet, and not too many books to find either. However, there was this really quaint quilt shop across the bridge that I would visit for my quilting fabric and supplies. At that time in my life I was doing quilting. One day I will post here my quilts I have made. Very tedious work and when you’re done, you realize you cannot sell this beautiful quilt you made. Too difficult to part with such a labor intensive piece. So they are stored away to be handed down to my daughter for her to always remember me. My first quilt I made I sewed entirely by hand while I was pregnant with my daughter. It was her baby quilt.
Anyway …. during my quilting days, I managed to find some very nice doll patterns at this quilt shop. So when I was not quilting I would make a few dolls. I am going back to my mid 20′ here … so long time ago :-). The attic babies were big back then, and other strange looking primitive type dolls. They fit in nicely with my home decor and I was enchanted by them. So off I went, making my dolls and quilts, filling my house with my handmade quilts and cloth dolls…..see that… I have had a love for dolls for a very long time now 🙂
Cloth dolls were always something I enjoyed. I found that when I would walk into a store with dolls I would first reach for the cloth dolls. My favorite doll as child was also a cloth doll (I still have her today). This was also confirmed recently on my trip to the Princeton Toy & Doll Museum. Oddly, as I walked around and pointed out my favorite dolls, I didn’t even realize it until the museum curator told me … “You seem to be drawn to cloth dolls”. I was surprised when she said this because I didn’t even take notice that those were the dolls that were catching my eye. As I look back things are making sense to me.
My re-visit back to cloth dolls started with my spirit dolls. They were cloth bodies, stuffed, with a polymer clay sculpted face. These dolls were starting to trigger my passion for cloth dolls.
So…. I went from quilter, to cloth dolls, to polymer clay dolls, and here I am back to cloth dolls again. And in between all that I was a jewelry artist (more on that on another post). Did this all sort of happen by accident?? or was is this my ultimate my path? Cloth dolls???
I can feel a real passion is awakening in me again for cloth dolls. Because here I am today, on my 7th Izannah Walker doll, and I find I am very very happy with what I am doing. This is somewhat of inside struggle for me though …. because I do hear the beckoning of polymer clay dolls, fairies (ohhh how I miss glitter), babies, etc.
Gosh, why can’t I have more hours in my day, my week, my month and my year to do all I would like to do.
I suppose I can manage both and return to polymer clay at any time. However, these Izannah Walker dolls are literally SCREAMING at me right now. I can’t seem to control myself and I know I need to continue making more.
Am I missing my days as a child and wanting the warmth and the cuddle aspects of cloth dolls? Is it because they make me feel secure and happy in this tumultuous world right now?
When I look at my little Izannah’s I feel warm, safe, and peaceful. Is it due to the history of these dolls and they are of a long time passed? What was it really like then? Was that a time of less pain and hardship in the world (and less overbearing taxes LOL)? Is today’s world more harsh than those times???
The economy has certainly been a challenge …. and lately, everywhere I turn, I hear so many hardships. When you read history from the 1800s (when Izannah was making dolls), I feel like people in that era had more time… did they? It feels like their lives went slower than ours? Is it because of our hectic lifestyles now? Izannah obviously wasn’t blogging, logging into facebook, etsy or ebay back then. Was she content and felt she had enough time to make each doll?
Strangely, I feel I have more time in my life making these dolls. I have not yet really figured out why. Maybe it is because their creations feel more natural for me. Whatever it is, I feel at ease with them. I move along at a pace that doesn’t feel so hectic. I like it … I am enjoying it. I am comfy. Comfy brings peacefulness. The little Izzie’s and big Izzie’s seem to be keeping me calm and peaceful. I am hunkering down, avoiding the stressfulness of this economy, and enjoying the stitching of these little dolls. I am content.
If you made it through this long post that didn’t even have some exciting photos, you are a patient person! LOL
What I think is happening for me is that I am taking a much needed break from polymer clay. A break from those metal wire and foil armatures feels good. I need to follow this cloth doll art right now. I need to spend time with the Izannah’s.
I will get back to the polymer at some point. I just need a bit more time here. I am feeling the jive, the sweet mojo, and all that good funky excitement right now with my new dolls. I love these little fabric dresses too. Searching for all the pretty fabrics and patterns has been a nice change of pace. I think it has been fun to go back into those quilt stores and search for that perfect fabric again.
Life has also been a tad stressful (eh em.. when is ever not) and I think the humming of the sewing machine and hand sewing those tiny little stitches, is just soothing my soul…..
To all my customers, buyers, and fellow bloggers … I hope you journey with me and find my new line of dolls pleasing.
“With having said that” … I introduce to you Juliette. My latest 7″ Izannah doll.
Please visit her at my Etsy Shop. “Heart her” to make her feel loved even you do not intend to purchase her, make her feel loved. 🙂 I love her!