Yes, I spent many hours and much effort learning the Izannah dolls, and getting my sculpts to where I was happy with them. Looking back over the last several years I realized just how many I've made! From first to last there is an interesting progression, and I love seeing them all lined up. Here is a good cross section of the ones made since I began in the summer of 2011.
|My first three, taking Dixie's class.|
|My own pattern designs in 2012. (The one on the right is one of the first three above.)|
|Study, study, study. Sculpt, sculpt, and re-sculpt.|
|2013 Izzies...give us limbs, please!|
|She was hard to let go of...still my favorite of all the ones I've made.|
For the last six months or more, the limitations required to make these dolls correct for their period have me longing for work to be play again! Color, shape, texture...so many other factors to create with! I said as much to the hubs one evening, and he looked at me like I was stupid. I thought the look meant, "Why spend so much time and energy getting Izannahs the way you wanted, only to complain when you get commissions?"
But then he said, "Seriously? That's a pretty easy fix. You still like to make them, once in a while, right?" Right. "So raise your price enough to make it worth the hours you put into them, and let it stand at that."
Now I've always known he was the business brains behind our cooperative venture, always has been. But my inner scairdy cat shot off little flares of caution--oh no! What if no one buys another Izzy--ever? So I had to look far into the future and see what I'd be happiest doing. And I came up with this: if making these Izannahs keeps me from working on original Jan-dolls, then I need to give it up, or at least take Phil's advice and the inherent risk. If I never make another Izannah, I would be sad (and might have to make one for me, once in a while), but if I stop having time to work on my own dolls, I will have to stop making dolls--period. And that ain't happenin'.
I have learned so much from these babies with their sweet homely faces and odd little bodies. And much of what they've given will be part of new ideas for Jan-dolls. Maybe only doll-makers who have been badly bitten by the Izzy bug will understand the vague worry of disloyalty. At any rate, once I told the scairdy cat to shut up, I realized that this was a concept I must put into practice.
So this commission I'm working on might be the last. It might only be the last of the frequent orders, and I only make one a year or so from here out. Either way, I'm glad she's turning out as the customer wanted. I believe I've gotten her almost-smile just right, along with her little bare feet.
Pictures of finished dolls soon, but for now, here's an in-progress photo. Hope your week is going as you would wish.