Friday, September 25, 2009

Changing Directions

This past week I thought about what I am good at and what I am not in terms of my doll making, mixed in with a good portion of what I love to do and what I do not. I think my doll faces are coming along nicely. The painted flat faces seem to be something I pull off pretty well, and I like doing them. I guess it goes back to my years doing portraits, though then I did them in bits of cloth and they were 2 or 3 feet high at minimum! Scaling back to the 3-inch size required for a doll face has it's own challenges, but I enjoy them.

I also like making my own fabrics from what starts out as white silk. And I love making fancy costumes, though sometimes the challenges inherent in that send me about over the top.

What I decided I would really like to do is make Victorian ladies. I love the long, highly ornate dresses and gowns of the time, especially the very latest point in the Victorian era. So, this week, I began and finished my first Victorian doll. I don't have a name for her yet, or even a real story. She brings to mind for me the Thomas Hardy short story, written in 1894, "An Imaginative Woman". Mrs. Marchmill, waiting for her elusive and yet unseen poet crush.

"It was about five in the afternoon when she heard a ring at the door and the editor’s brother's voice in the hall. Poetess as she was, or as she thought herself, she had not been too sublime that day to dress with infinite trouble in a fashionable robe of rich material, having a faint resemblance to the chiton of the Greeks, a style just then in vogue among ladies of an artistic and romantic turn, which had been obtained by Ella of her Bond Street dressmaker when she was last in London. Her visitor entered the drawing room. She looked toward his rear; nobody else came through the door. Where, in the name of the God of Love, was Robert Trewe?"

I have posted pictures here of my first Victorian lady. You will have to let me know what you think.


  1. I think it is beautiful! her face reminds me of a very young Princess Anne! You go !

  2. She's beautiful, Cindy...I love what you did with the fabrics for her dress, and her face is gorgeous (well, everything about her is perfectly done!) I think you should continue with more of shows off all of your skills and passions.
    Stella xxx

  3. your faces are amazing, it looks like it is sculpted, but it is flat, that is so cool

  4. Thanks, Karey. I can't sculpt for beans. Wish I could, though. Just making a round pot in polymer was almost too taxing for me! I think flat painted faces may be the thing for me -- I can manage the materials far better than with clay. They do look a bit odd in sideways view, though, but perhaps so do a lot of us :)

  5. i love her! i love her gorgeous gown! i love her face and her lovely updo! i love her jewlery and her fan! love, love, love her! fantastic!

  6. Thanks, Merle-Girl! How the heck are YOU? You amazing thing, selling everything -- how will you have things ready for your upcoming show? I can't imagine. You must work like lightning!

  7. Thanks, Stella -- appreciate the vote of confidence! I may be needing some tips on Edwardian hats at some point. I know who to go for for that! :)

  8. Hello. So nice to meet you! Love this doll..she's great! Her gown is just gorgeous!

    Wonderful job.
    Doreen (from W.Pawlet, VT)

  9. Thanks, Doreen! Hey, another Vermonter, yay!


  10. Hey Cindy:
    Kelly here from the IOLCC San Diego...just wanted to send kudos your way for the fabulous doll you submitted at our Dimensions Show. She was definitely a favorite of mine!
    I was amazed at the face painting - really amazed.
    I'll put up pictures of all the dolls on our blog as soon as they're passed on to me....

  11. Hi Kelly, thanks for the kudos! I am enjoying the face painting quite a lot, actually. Hope to do a lot more. Can't wait to see all the pictures of the dolls from DID. My friend, Deena, won in a category! Very exciting!