A special doll for Barbara ❤
Last year I had the opportunity to meet a very special person. Her name was Delores Smith. She was a quietly passionate doll lover, who not only collected, but created stunning clothing and accessories for her dolls. Many of you may have known her through her job at Withington Auctions, where she was the doll specialist for 20 years. ❤
Delores asked me to make a reproduction Izannah Walker doll for her, based on Ella, a c. 1857 doll that she purchased in 2008 and later sold to another collector. The original Ella is a wonderful doll! Delores and I had such fun discussing all the little details of the doll I created for her. Together we sat down and looked through a box of antique fabrics that Delores had collected, weighing the pros and cons of each piece and finally deciding which should be used for the new doll’s dress. Delores was such a delight to work for and I think she enjoyed our discussions about her doll as much as I did.
This is the finished doll I made for her ❤
There is a lovely article about Delores and her doll collection in the May issue of Antique Doll Collector magazine, which also tells the story of how she acquired the original Ella and a bit about the reproduction that I made for her.
On Thursday and Friday Withington Auction will be selling Delores’ amazing collection.
I loved the doll I made for Delores so much that I featured her in my ad for Izannah’s 201st birthday ❤
I don’t get asked to make too many black reproduction Izannah Walker dolls, so it is always a pure pleasure when someone requests one. ❤ This is Beth’s doll. She is a black version of my Hannah, with a vintage Tibetan lambskin wig, and bare feet. I’m just finishing her shoes, which was fine with this little Hannah. She told me quite firmly that it was too hot to wear shoes today, and if they had been finished that she wouldn’t have put them on!!! She definitely has a mind of her own…
- click on any of the photos to enlarge
- Photography is NOT my best skill & black dolls are often difficult to get good images of. She is so much prettier in person!
I’ve been working on an interesting project for the last few months. I was asked to make a reproduction Izannah Walker doll based on the wonderful circa 1857 doll named Ella, that was sold by Withington’s Auction in 2008. The first step was to determine which of the 16 different molds that I have of Izannah’s original dolls would most closely resemble Ella. My Ismay was made around the same time period that Ella was and has a similar, though slightly thinner face. Ismay has had many more active adventures in her life than Ella has, and is not in as pristine condition. So my second step was to make a plaster positive of Ismay’s head and carefully re-sculpt the most worn areas. Then I made new molds from the plaster head. For reference I used the stunning photos taken by Withington’s for their 2008 catalog. It’s been a lovely process and I have so enjoyed conferring with Delores about her new doll! She is not an exact copy of Ella, as she blends bits of Ella and Ismay together, but I think she has captured Ella’s spirit. ❤ Tomorrow she will be traveling to her new home. I’ll miss having her sweet company in my studio, but I’m thrilled that she is finally going to join her new doll family!
- you may click on any individual photo to enlarge it.
This little doll is turning into quite a traveler ❤ She just returned from the 2018 Early American Life Craftsman Directory photo shoot, and in the morning she is leaving for her new home… Safe travels ❤
This tiny Izzybelle is all ready to head off on her lengthy voyage to her new home. ❤ She is terribly excited, and simply can’t wait to meet her new family, especially her big sister Isabeau! Bon Voyage Izzybelle!!!
I just want to take a moment to say that one of the most rewarding parts of being a doll maker is the receiving all the lovely notes from the doll’s new owners. ❤ All of them touch my heart and make the many hours I spend working on each doll worthwhile. Thank you!
I’d like to share just a bit of Emmaline’s farewell note…
She’s gorgeous! The whole package works, I love the way all the colours complement each other. I searched long and hard before I ordered this girl, without really knowing which one, although Anna is a favourite. As this is likely to be the only one that I own made using original methods I wanted a very traditional Izannah. You have made just that.”
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