Saturday, April 20

Of Shoes and, not ships, or sealing wax.

I am trying to renovate my life. I am realising I need to be shedding much of what I once enjoyed and loved, and moving on to new 'nakedness', as it were.

A sort of Less is More idea. These dolls I made gave me much pleasure, in their creation, and much pleasure in designing and sewing,  their clothes, and making many of their shoes, using leather and glue and trims and cork, or leather, for the soles..
I loved cleaning the greenware, firing the porcelain, painting the faces and firing the paint.
Then the construction of the bodies, if they were cloth. Many of them have plastic armature, which acts as a skeleton, so the dolls can be posed. The full porcelain dolls required some skill to 'string' and that was an art in itself...heaven forbid you shatter a limb!

I did not sculpt the dolls myself, but enjoyed choosing which artist's dolls I would make. I loved the variety, and the differing styles of dolls. I really enjoyed the wonderful friendships I made, with fellow doll enthusiasts, and the many laughs we shared in classes, and at Doll Shows.

The time and season for porcelain dolls now seems to be past, and I have sold my kiln, as I can no longer life heavy weights. 
In fact, since moving to where I live now, I have not made a doll, and I discovered the joys of quilting and that took over my life for a period of years.
I did manage to knit some dolls clothes, for my 'babies' and also a little sewing of clothes, but there are still naked dolls, and sadly, I know now I will not get around to clothing them.
For me, their season has ended.
(Incidentally, for most people the season has ended I suspect. They were a fad/craze that has run it's course, and the hundreds of dollars spent on greenware, eyes, armatures etc will never be realised in monetry ways) The pleasure, however, was priceless.

I initially began my dollmaking career at a Studio. I was quite good at constructing the bodies, and soon became 'employed' so to speak, for the students who did not care for those chores.
I loved working with electrical conduit pipes and joints to construct skeletons for the really large dolls, and the Man of the Studio and I, could often be found working out problems together, amidst tools and glues in the garage of the Studio..
The Lady of the Studio was all about painting, so my love of construction and 'working things out' became a benefit to their business.

Once I had my own kiln, I did not attend so many classes, but was on call for the construction of dolls- Christmas was rush hour, as doll makers raced to complete gifts. It was fun, and I would spend evenings with Gom, watching TV and sewing the dolls together. Better still, I got paid for my skills, so it was win win.

For a number of years, I was not ready to part with my 'family'. I loved each one, and had happy memories of the process of making them. We used to have cabinets, in our living space, filled with my happy dolls.
Then the time came that they were banished downstairs and I did not see them so often. Guests would stay in that downstairs room, and I wondered if they really liked the dolls staring at them.
Everyone has differing tastes, after all.

I still love most of the dolls, but in a practical world, I need to quit them now.
When my son became ill, he was living downstairs, with the dolls. He had intended to make his own life and move away, so we had not worried about the dolls.

Once he became ill, we decided to let him have his treasures and art surround him, and so the dolls have been banished, and I realise the time has come to part with them.

My daughter actually dislikes this doll, but I love her attitude, which I think the sculptor captured very well. I made jewellry for her, necklace and earrings, and was so happy with her suede shoes, which are not visible in this shot. She is posable, so she can assume several positions.

I have been reading many of my old blog posts, and cannot help but think about how much my life has changed in the last few years.

I so loved my patchwork and quilting, and miss it in my life, but the paralysis of my present life, prevents it, somehow.
I know, if we could see round corners, we may not continue this journey.
People say, life is all about the journey... well my journey has become almost unbearable.

It has reached the point of "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!!"

On a lighter note, as I was sitting in the Doctor's Waiting Room, I suddenly noticed this huge Orangutan enter the room!
She was cunningly disguised as a Leopard!, in a huge, bright Leopard skin sort of tent. With matching handbag! "Goodness!", I thought."Quite dramatic!"
Then, entered a mother with a small boy child in tow, plus a babe in arms.
The boy child turned, and was suddenly arrested, at the sight of the Leopard! He was so startled he gasped, said OH,  and then he pointed, at the Leopardess..
The beautiful Leopardess smiled at him, and asked him his name, then she asked how old he was?
He held up five fingers, and his mother hastily said he is Two.
More children came into the waiting room. All seemed enchanted by the wonderfull Leopardess! She was so delightful to the children, and they all seemed drawn to her wonderful disguise.
I could not help but smile and admire her wonderful boldness. Her smile lit up the Waiting Room!

When I look back on the music I have posted, or listed here, I am happy that I have such a wide-ranging taste in music. Over the years it has given me so much joy and pleasure, I constantly think I want to thank all the musicians of this world.

Bob Seger, Against The Wind.

Tried to post this video, failed dismally. Am I "Losing It?" haha. or not....

It has rained, dismally, all day.
I hope tomorrow has some space for sun.


Jennifer said...

Meggie, your dolls are beautiful! I hope they go to homes where they are loved and appreciated. Love that sassy lassie!

ancient one said...

Your dolls are beautiful. We are now going through my mom's "stuff" and dolls are coming home with us... those we had given to her through the years. Lots were still in boxes with our names on them. She had two curio cabinets in her living room with dolls in them and all the rest were hidden under beds in two of the rooms. Such a sad time for us. You are smart to want to do something with your dolls now.

I love how you describe the doctor's waiting room with the leopardess. Some people can draw children to them just by smiling.

I think of you and Bret often. ((hugs))

Ali Honey said...

The dolls you made are lovely . It's strange the way things have their season.
Although things look only bleak for you just now perhaps there may be something new and bright and happy lurking around that corner.
I hope so. Hugs from Ali.

Digitalgran said...

Hi Meggie. I've just re-found your lovely blog this morning. I lost interest in blogging for nearly 12 months, but am back again. I've only read the last couple of posts to find you have had a rather bad time of it. The dolls are beautiful and I hope they find good homes. As usual you find something to cheer you up, as someone else said there will be something bright and happy for you around the corner.

quiltmom anna said...

Your dolls are going to make someone very happy- they are beautiful - Perhaps your daughter will keep a couple that she does like as mementos of your talent. We have a friend who has miniature houses that she made with great details. Not sure what she will do with hers but they are treasures made with love. As for me, I quilt and bead and blog and there is never enough time for it all. I tried pottery and candlemaking and other stitcheries but I go back to quilting, beading and knitting.. I best get quilting as there are many boxes of fabric there to play with..
Thanks for sharing your beautiful ladies.

Pam said...

I feel I must get rid of stuff too... but always decide it's not quite time yet. Difficult. Your dolls are works of art.

I hope you get some pleasure from things still in this sad time.

Pauline said...

Such beautiful handiwork! I am still learning things about you after all this time reading your posts. I hope you can always find a free treat somewhere in the difficulties you face.