2012 Izannah Walker Dollmaking Retreat September 28th – October 3rd
Let’s try this again! Last year I offered a similar retreat, which didn’t get off the ground due to a lack of confirmed registrations. I had quite a few people call me who wanted to sign up for the class after the August 15th deadline. So I’m giving it one more try because I think that it would be great fun and a wonderful creative experience! If this is something thing you’ve been wanting to do, don’t put it off. If I don’t get enough people together to hold the retreat this year, then I’m not going to go to the trouble to plan another one.
When scheduling this retreat I asked potential students what dates would be best for them. I received a variety of answers that left me with no clear dates. So instead I consulted my calendar and decided that the best possible date would be Izannah Walker’s 195th birthday. Izannah’s birthday falls on a Tuesday this year, so I stretched a bit to begin classes on Friday September 28th. We’ll make time for some memorable birthday celebrations while you are here.
I’m offering two different three-day classes this year. You may sign up for just one, or both. Also new this year is the option for you to have me make a head and body parts for you prior to class!
An Overview of the Retreat
Part 1: Making Izannah Molds, Pressed Cloth Heads and Bodies
A three-day condensed version of my Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll Class starts on Friday morning, September 28th. Students will need to order my doll class and do some homework ahead of time. Once you get to class we will be making two types of molds, forming pressed cloth heads, and constructing the doll’s body. This is a wonderful class for anyone interested in antique cloth dolls and for those who would like to learn to incorporate pressed cloth heads into their own doll designs. Tuition is $300 for 15 hours of classroom time, plus $250 for the doll class.
Part 2: Painting Your Izannah, Constructing the Doll, and Reproduction Dressmaking
For those of you who are interested in learning how to paint and finish your reproduction Izannah Walker doll, I will have an additional three-day class on Monday October 1st – Wednesday October 3rd. In this class you may finish the doll you started in the first part of the retreat or you may paint, construct and dress a reproduction Izannah Walker doll using pre-molded and pre-sewn body parts that I will make for you prior to the class.
I will cover complete painting instructions for using traditional oil paints on your doll and we will also discuss the pros and cons of water-soluble oils. After your doll is painted you will learn how to assemble the doll and the “second skin”.
After completing your doll, the focus of the class will switch to the fine details of making reproduction mid 1800’s doll clothing suitable for Izannah Walker dolls. We’ll start with my Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll Clothes Pattern for an 18- 1/2 Inch Doll and move on from there to explore some of the intricate and exquisite techniques that make 19th century dress making so beautiful. You’ll have the chance to see and examine numerous garments from my collection of antique doll and children’s clothing. Attendees will need to purchase one of my doll clothing patterns and do some prep work prior to 9/28, so that we can make the most of our class time. Tuition is $375 for 18 hours of instruction, which includes painting supplies, plus $29 for the pattern (the pattern comes with the doll making class instructions, so if you are taking both classes, you do not need to buy the pattern for the second session). If you want me to make all of the parts for your doll prior to class, add $450 to the cost of your tuition.
You may take just one class or sign up for both. Both classes are intended for fairly experienced doll makers. To get the most out of them you need to already know how to sculpt, paint and sew. I need to have a minimum of 5 students registered (per class) by August 15th in order to hold the retreat.
If you already have one of my Izannah doll clothes patterns, or are currently a class member in my Class by Mail group, then obviously you would just need to pay the classroom tuition (and body parts fee if you want me to make them for you) when you register for the retreat.
General Information About Both Classes
Classes will be held at my 18th century farm. We will be working out of my studio building and a tent*, so that you can enjoy a bit of autumn splendor, if the weather cooperates.
Students will get a tour of my antique doll collection, which features cloth dolls including Izannah Walker originals, and early papier-mache milliner’s models (plus more), as well as my c.1790 house.
Classes run from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day, with the exception of Sunday, September 30th. On Sunday class will start at 1:00 p.m., so you will have a chance to go to church, sleep in, have a leisurely brunch, or go shopping at The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, one of the best flea markets in New England.
On Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday I will whip up something simple for lunch, using fresh produce from my gardens, or you may choose to bring a lunch with you. Tea and coffee will be available all day, because I work best with constant infusions of caffeine .
You will need to bring supplies along with you, as they are not included in the classes. A supply list will be sent out well in advance of September. The exception to this is that I will provide all the plaster you need during Part 1 and all painting supplies for Part 2. If you are flying in and weight is a consideration, you may make arrangements to have silicone mold putty sent here directly. I have numerous sewing machines that you can use; you are also welcome to bring your own portable machine.
Due to space limitations, class sizes are going to have to be kept fairly small. Sign up early to avoid being disappointed. If I do have to cancel, due to lack of registrations by 8/15, I will refund your tuition. Otherwise tuition is non-refundable. What is the reason for this policy? Once you book space in the class, it will potentially keep other people from being able to sign up and also will effect whether or not the class will meet the minimum number of required students. People need to be able to make their travel plans in advance, so if you register and then cancel it creates huge problems.
If you are purchasing the pattern or the doll class by mail and are sure you will still want them, even if the retreat has to be canceled, I will send them to you as soon as you register. Otherwise, I will mail them to you just as soon as I have five confirmed students.
There are several hotels and inns located in New Milford. The Homestead Inn is the closest to me, and is within walking distance of the town green. Restaurants are plentiful on the green and in the historic downtown area, although it helps if you like Italian food . If you don’t mind a short drive, Kent, CT, just north of New Milford on Route 7, has some nice places to stay. Last year Yankee magazine named Kent as one of it’s Top 25 Foliage Towns.
* I regret that the classes are not handicap accessible, because of the terrain and antique buildings.