Dec 15, 2014

Is it restoration or just a Do-Over?

I've always wanted a Boudoir doll.  Sultry, daring and evocative of an age in which women were stepping out and making a little noise.  I did find one, but she was in pretty bad shape.  Luckily I have a doll restorer friend who taught me how to repair the old composition dolls, and I was able to do what this girl needed done.  She sat on a shelf, painted only with the flesh tone color, for several weeks.  To be honest, I was afraid I'd botch the paint job.  (I know, we can always repaint, but...)

Today I was painting commissions and doll-show dolls, when I noticed her.  I'm sure it was all in my head, but it seemed like she said, "Hey love.  As long as you've got the paint and brushes out, can you give a girl a little help?"  So I painted her.  She still needs a body, and I've got another red wig for her.  The fabric she's wrapped with in the photo will make her a set of pajamas. 

My friend Dorothy held the doll head while I took a photo--so glad she reminded me to get a "before".

Is it my imagination, or do I look a little like a mad scientist here?

I have named her Joan.
 

13 comments:

  1. Oh wow! She looks great.......100% improvement on the original

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    1. Susie, I didn't know you read this blog. Glad you don't think I ruined her! :~P

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    2. You're on my blog roll, Jan - I always read your posts!

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  2. Wow Jan!!! She is stunning! Great job on her!

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    1. Thank you, Valerie. I was scared to start, but glad I did.

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  3. Gorgeous eyes, she has an air of sophistication about her. I can see her with one of those long cigarette holders & speaking in a gravelly Bette Davis voice. You remind me of a crazed dental hygienist!

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    1. I hear that voice too! I call her Joan because the shape of her face reminds me of Joan Cusack...but her character is more abrasive than that. :~)

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  4. She's wonderful, but there is nothing vintage or original about her now. I'm not sure how I feel about that. :) But you did a wonderful job.

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    1. Jane, I know exactly how you feel. But I can assure you if the doll had been valuable or even slightly rare, I'd have had a professional restorer take care of her instead of painting her "my way". Dolls of this type were cheap factory productions of the 20's and 30's, and if you look closely, you can see that her pupils aren't even on the eyes, but drop down on to the eye lids. She was a "type", and there are a gillion of them still out there to maintain the history of this type doll--I promise! Her head and shoulders were coming apart--a process that only gets worse once it begins--so it was vital to at least take care of that part. The painting of her face was in line with how I "saw" her, and definitely not trying to reproduce the mass-produced factory paint.

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  5. She is a beauty. Very glamorous. Amazing change. Beautiful painting. It will be great to see her outfit.

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    1. I'm excited to sew her a body and clothing, but now I really have to get back to work on commissions and doll show dolls. I think I made it worse by painting her!

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  6. She's beautiful and doesn't have that jaundiced I lived with a smoker for 50 years look now. ;-).

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    1. Thank you. Her flesh base paint was a couple shades lighter than my restorer friend wanted for her, but as it is, it's still darker and pinker than the original. Being accustomed to Izannahs, maches and chinas, I tended to paint with off-white, whereas Dorothy works with the early and mid-century dolls which were really tan! When she took my class, she said, "No, I couldn't use that color. I'd feel like my doll wasn't finished." :~D

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Thank you for taking time to comment! I love hearing your perspectives and ideas.