These two said their good byes yesterday, as we are taking Hettie Gray to the post office so that she can catch her plane all the way to the other side of Canada, where she will live on a magical island surrounded by gardens, fairies and the ocean. What a life Hettie, what a life!.
I think my oldest gravitates towards the larger dolls as she grows up. I happen to notice a lot the things my two girls are inspired by, because it not only sparks motivation within me, but it also inspires a lot of the direction in my doll making work. It is after all the reason I started creating dolls, because I wanted to make toys for my own children.
We started with small little playful dolls, with simple clothing made out of refashioned fabrics and crochet pieces. As the skills improved and the children grew, I added more detail to the dolls' pattern, created several different sizes, experimented with hair styles and needle-felted sculpting, added ears, belly buttons, bums, knees, longer feet, curved arms, necks, bellies…the list is quite endless but it has always been motivated by the growth of my children and my needs as a doll maker.
It is very fulfilling to see how my journey as a doll maker has evolved from simple playful dolls to a more artistic approach. While I always try to make the dolls approachable, not something you feel is so fussy, dainty and precious you want to put in glass covered shelf; it is worth noting that the dolls keep growing their personality traits. Maybe a big part of that is because I have always seen them like their own little people, like children, not like toys. I don't think of my dolls as static items I am working on, but as a collaboration with some sort of energy on the other side of the cloth, and together (that energy or passion) we bring forth little beings made of imagination and meant to be nurtured and played with. That's how I see my dolls, as little people who love to play, to be hugged, taken for rides, meant to be eventually smudged and dirty. I know they bring comfort to those around them, I know they encourage silliness and a playful approach to life. That makes me happy.
So off to take Hettie Gray to the post office, so she can spread around her stubborn self. Good luck little one!