Jun 6, 2011


I have been exploring the antique dolls of the 19th century.  Feels like coming home.  My favorites range from the superlatively ugly home-made rag dolls to the cloth and leather bodied china heads and paper mache heads.  I love Izannah Walker's dolls, Kathy Kruse, and all the "babies"--Alabama Indestructibles, the Presbyterian dolls, the Sheppard Babies.  I've signed up for Dixie Redmond's Izannah Walker doll workshop a little late, but still, I think I can meet the deadlines.

One recent doll I made is Clara.  I designed her cloth body and head, laid paperclay over face/neck/hands, and sewed an irritatingly small doll dress.  She's 17" tall, which surprises me because she seems so small for what I think of as that size doll.  Never the less, I am happy with how she turned out.  I know her proportions are all wrong--the Greiner dolls of the mid 19th century all had large upper body and shoulder plate areas compared to small lower bodies, but I like the "creative anachronism" of making my own version of an antique doll.    I still may have to go bigger though...

(Click twice to zoom.)


  1. Hey Jan... What is there about this intrigue with antique dolls, that you mentioned. I too, find myself fascinated in particular, with the Ludwig Greiner style. I have been studying the design of his doll body and the proportions. Regardless.. your "Clara" is charming. Daryle

  2. Clara is charming! I love her sweet face and pinched mouth … she has a sweet-n-sour expression that I recognize from countless photos of days gone by. :)

  3. Wow - she is amazing! I love her striped stockings and those bright blue eyes. Nothing gets past her, I am betting. :)) I love those old dolls, too. I would love to take that workshop some time. xo Pam

  4. Thanks,guys. Daryle, I have to laugh at her proportions...I really did set out to make her with a well-endowed belly and butt, but it sort of looks like I made a Greiner-proportioned doll body and put the head on the wrong end! :~P


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