My custom order options are changing! My new options better reflect the current techniques and materials I’m using in my doll-making, and give you a new option to purchase a personalized jointed doll like Blush or Rose!
My $300 option has changed to eliminate the possibility of purchasing an oil-painted cloth doll, which has been replaced by the option to purchase a cloth doll with a Paperclay head and hands. In addition, a $400 option has been added, with the option to purchase your own personalized jointed Paperclay doll!
You can view all the custom options on my Etsy site here, or under the “custom order options” tab above.
After over three months of work, Blush and Rose are finally finished! These are the first two dolls in my new Watercolor Series, a group of dolls based around a soft watercolor color scheme, with hand-dyed bodies and outfits. Blush and Rose are my two pink girls; I’ll also be making a blue girl called Skye and a purple girl called Lavender.
Blush and Rose are two romantics, throwing tea parties in the evening in the rose garden, and lying in the grass to watch the fireflies. At 24 inches each, they are very large dolls inspired by Victorian Bru and Jumeau dolls, and with their jointed limbs and removable clothing, can be gently posed, undressed and redressed, and played with. Their clothing has been tea-stained, painted, and weathered so that they resemble antiques.
In keeping with the pink watercolor scheme, Rose and Blush’s bodies are painted with pink watercolors and covered in free hand-embroidery done in rose silk thread, and their limbs are jointed with pink ribbon. Each doll has one upper arm and one upper leg sewn from rose-print velvet.
Blush and Rose’s removable dresses were painted with pink watercolors by dropping bright splotches and quick strokes of color that, when dry, would give the dresses the antique look that I wanted. Underneath their dresses, Blush wears a removable bralette and panties, while Rose wears a pair of bloomers. Rose’s flower crown is attached to a pink ribbon, and every petal of the artificial flowers was highlighted with more watercolors.Blush and Rose each also wear a removable pair of slippers. Blush’s are made from pink felt and lace, and resemble ballet slippers, while Rose’s were made using the remnants of the rose-printed velvet that makes up two of their limbs.
Blush and Rose will each ship in a special box which will include their original watercolor sketch and a certificate of authenticity. They will be available in my Etsy shop in just a few days, and I’ll soon begin work on Lavender and Skye!
Blush and Rose are the first two dolls in my new Watercolor Series, a group of dolls based around a soft watercolor color scheme, with hand-dyed bodies and outfits. In addition to these two pink girls, I’ll also be making a blue girl called Skye and a purple girl called Lavender.
After creating my September doll (who is too special to me to sell), I got a lot of requests from fans interested in purchasing a similar jointed Paperclay doll of their own. I decided to use my Watercolor Series to create a new group of dolls made similarly to September. Rose and Blush have cloth bodies and upper limbs, with Paperclay heads and hing-jointed Paperclay lower limbs, hands, and feet.
When making dolls, I often struggle with finding a balance between creating the handstitched cloth dolls which first got me involved in doll-making, and using Paperclay, which is a newer and exciting medium for me, as well as between creating a piece of art and staying true to the idea of making a “doll” which can be manipulated and dressed/undressed/played with. These were two issues that I really wanted to take on in my Watercolor Series, and I think I was able to find an interesting balance.
When looking through the work of other doll artists I admire for inspiration, I hit upon the idea of creating cloth upper limbs which can be joined in the same way as Paperclay limbs, and of using non-traditional patterned and colored cloth for the dolls’ bodies.
Rose and Blush each have one upper arm and one upper leg stitched from rose-patterned velvet, while their bodies (which I stitched, for the first time, from two pieces, for a more realistic look) and opposite limbs are painted with pink watercolors and covered in free hand-embroidery done in rose silk thread. Their Paperclay body parts have been sculpted, sanded and carved, and painted with more watercolors before being sealed. When their bodies were finished, I used pink ribbon and more of the rose silk thread to join them.
Finished heads and hands ready for painting
For this series, I decided to create removable outfits and shoes, so that the posable dolls can be dressed and undressed and gently played with. Each of Blush and Rose’s dresses snap in the back to easily be taken on and off, and were tea stained and dyed with pink watercolors after being sewn. Underneath their dresses, Blush wears a bralette and panties made from pink ribbon and tea stained lace, and Rose wears floral-print bloomers. I hadn’t tried making removable shoes since I was a little girl, so these were really a challenge. Each pair of slippers has red leather soles and pink ribbons which tie around the doll’s ankles.
Blush and Rose will be available in my Etsy shop by the beginning of next week, and I’ll soon begin work on Lavender and Skye! These two will be dark-skinned girls, and I believe will be a little smaller than Blush and Rose, who, at approx. 24 inches a piece, are two of the biggest dolls I’ve ever made!
I’m still getting settled into my new home (sometimes the unpacking and the boxed furniture that needs to be put together feels as if it will never end!), but my Etsy shop is now up online and my finished items are available to purchase. During my time away, Etsy rolled out a new shop format which I’m still tinkering with. Take a look and tell me what you think (and if you’re a fellow Etsy seller, let me know what you think of the changes)!
I have yet to unpack my art supplies or set up my workspace, so it may be a little while before I’m able to continue my progress on Blush and Rose. I’m so close to being finished with them, though, and I can’t wait to show you the final product when I’m able!
As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve spent the past two week on the road with my hubby and pup, driving cross-country and back through most of the US! During this time my art and Etsy shop have been on hold. We’re still settling in to our new home, but I’ll be ramping everything back up within the week. Here are some photos I shot of our amazing trip, from Wyoming to Colorado to Utah to Oregon to Arizona and New Mexico!
At the end of March, my husband and I will be leaving New York to move cross-country to the Pacific Northwest. During this time, The Free Folk will be on a break, returning in mid-late April. My Etsy shop will be temporarily closed starting today, and I’ll need to take a month off of posting.
While I will attempt to reply to Etsy conversations and Facebook messages during this time, please be aware that I will be spending a week or more on the road and may not always have access to an internet connection.
When I return, I’ll share some photos of our trip, along with a very special project which I’ve been working on and is almost complete!
I’ve been holding onto my Peter Pan and Tinkerbell dolls for a while now, but I think it’s finally time to introduce them to the world! Making dolls inspired by Peter Pan has been a project that’s very close to my heart – I devoured this book almost weekly at a certain age – and one that I hadn’t wanted to undertake until I was sure that I could get them right. After many, many sketches, and a lot of practice with Paperclay, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were finally born.
It was a girl called Tinkerbell, exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf…
Tinkerbell is made in the style of my jointed Paperclay miniature dolls, but at six inches tall is a little bit bigger. I wanted Tinkerbell to be pretty (she’s described as terribly vain!) while still retaining some of the rough, gnomish character of traditional English folktales about pixies and sprites. Tinkerbell is skinny with a pointed nose and chin, and her long feet and hands are proportionately very large for her body. She has windswept strawberry blonde mohair curls, and two large butterfly fairy wings.
Tinkerbell wears an “exquisite” fairy gown of leaves and magic and mist. Fabric leaves cover a bodice and skirt of hand-dyed silk and sparkling tulle. Pearl seed bead “dew drops” form a line of tiny buttons on her bodice and are sprinkled over her skirt. A belt of golden thread and red berries pulls her dress together.
Both Tinkerbell and Peter Pan will be available in my Etsy shop on Tuesday the 16th, but feel free to reach out with any questions about reserve, layaway, and pricing.