Getting requests like this one, is one of the most exciting parts of creating custom dolls, because you just never know exactly who is going to come out of the wool.
A long, long time ago, one of my favourite people in the world asked me to make her a doll based on her muse, Frida Kahlo. I wrote about my reticence working with such woman in my heart, due to Frida's history, but so glad I took on the challenge as Frida is one of my favourite dolls in the world, and her mother loves her to bits.
That last post, Amaranto y Anís, is like embedded in my skin. I need only to recall the blog title, see the rainbow yarn or hear those words, to remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, the warmth of the light on my skin, the afternoon fading away. I guess I am so present when I am working on my dolls, so absorbed with the task at hand, that those little bits become like memory chambers and they transport me back with swift wind under my feet.
This time around, another very favourite person in my doll world, asked me to use the same inspiration to create a newer version of Frida. Although both dolls, and both doll mothers, are so inspired by the same artist, they are different. Years in between helps to revisit this person, with newer skills under my belt, but above all, they are made for such different people. Albeit with many things in common: both mothers, both transfixed by Kahlo, both love handmade, and above all: the cherish their dolls.
I have been thinking a lot about my doll mothers, especially since both Fridas are made for such wonderful people, who go way back to my humble beginnings of dollmaking.
The mom of this Little Frida is actually one of my very first customers, back when my dolls were made with more passion than knowledge, and back when you would never catch me saying I was a dollmaker. That was a term used by people who actually knew what they were doing, I was just having fun and hoping to provide little kids with a handmade doll in return.
The night where she bought her first doll from me is like it happened yesterday. I remember seeing the doll sold and wondering what on earth had happened. I had just listed her. Thought I had made a horrible mistake, only to realize the doll was actually sold. My shortest sale ever. One day in my shop and gone.
Over the years, this beautiful human got to support me many more times and I got to give back to her when she won one of my clothing giveaways. I still remember making all the clothes, years later after she had bought that initial doll, and giggling away at the fact that people, still after quite a few years, were still with me, buying things for their children and talking to me.
Many more years passed. My dolls evolved dramatically, but very slowly I have to say. Now I got the chance to actually read her life story, to witness the progression from buying dolls for her children, to buying them for herself (I mean, they all play together, but let's acknowledge: the doll is for herself).
I have witnessed this happen so many times. It happened to me too. I started making dolls because I wanted small children to have wooly friends. Little by little I realized that I was making dolls for me. To feed my creative fire, to heal me from childhood traumas, to love them over and over again. Because making dolls is the funnest thing in the world, the only thing that comes close? Playing with them.
Nowadays I make all kinds of dolls, little ones like Frida, and real big ones (like the first Frida). I make toys and also art dolls. It is a pleasure for me to say that people who met me at the beginning of my journey, are still very much here with me. It is not only a pleasure, but it is a testament to their love for handmade toys and dolls, and for putting up with one of the craziest dollmakers ever.
Thank you my dear, I am so very happy you gave me the chance to create this little firecracker, this time for you!. More pics for you all tomorrow, where Frida will get a chance to say a word or two. We shall see.