Mar 29, 2013

Miss Martha

I guess it's no secret that I love dolls.  (No!  REALLY?) I make them, collect them, and enjoy learning and teaching all the various aspects of them.  I belong to a group called MAIDA (Making Antique Inspired Dolls and Accessories, I think) where doll makers share their techniques, challenges, and progress.  One of the doll makers I've met through this site is Martha Bishop, who lives in Mississippi and makes wonderful folk art dolls.  She posted some really big dolls last year, and one... just got me.

If you have ever collected anything, you know what it is to exercise restraint. The talent and variety represented by MAIDA doll makers alone is enough to fill a doll cabinet.  But there is only so much space in a house, and only so much money in a budget.  A collector must--if she is not to end up penniless and featured on "Hoarders"--acknowledge these limitations.

But I wanted that doll!  Too bad, Jan, that doll is spoken for.  Not willing to give up, I asked Martha: can we trade?  Will you make me a doll like that Big Girl, in return for one of my Izzie-babies?  She said yes, and adopted the wee Izannah Walker doll below, dressed in yellow.  She called her Janet.  We're so original with these names aren't we?

And yesterday, Miss Martha (a.k.a. Gloriana) arrived--all 27" of her.  I am silly over this doll, and consider her to be a fine work of American Folk Art.  Sometimes you just have to tell the collection restraints to move over, because this one is going to fit, somewhere.


  1. Congratulations Jan, Martha indeed made a beautiful doll. Your doll in yellow is one of my favorites for sure.

  2. She is very pretty. I love Martha's dollies too. You are lucky to have her!

  3. She is a beauty! Even with my limited space I would want her too.

  4. Jan, This is so sweet. I love the gown and that precious bonnet she has. Every dolly needs a night gown and some night bonnets, and I know you are planning on lots of dresses and such. You are a wonderful person and I love my doll Janette, you made for me. She is a beauty and has the sweetest face and the finest pair of hands I have ever seen. I learned a lot from you when Janette got here. The fine sewing and careful sculpting of her features, and did I mention those fabulous hands. Dollmaking has lots of benefits, and one of these is sharing and getting to know people, finding out how talented and generous they are. Thank you for all you have given me.


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