Mrs Fox's has allowed us the freedom to start making things again. It's silly really, I shouldn't have needed to start a small business to have this freedom, but somehow I did. And it has taken two years for me to start making these dolls, because I was not sure what they would look like. I'm still not sure, but the above picture is of my first 4; "The Party Gang".
I've always made things, I loved art at school, I just wanted to make things all the time. I watch my daughter's absorbed, intent, crafting of hedgehog houses and wooden peg dolls (this week) with complete understanding. And when I was little I loved making things for my dolls. Playing with them was all about creating their world: Their clothes, gardens, suitcases, cars, animals, furniture, tents, houses, horses, boats, gypsy caravans, farm, horse drawn carriages, boyfriends... to name but a few of the remembered projects, the list is endless. I made their world, and that is only part of what is wonderful about dolls.
My mother in law always tells me proudly that she was not a 'girly girl' and never played with dolls. I always reply that, I am not, and was not, a girly girl but that I loved dolls and played with them a lot. And my son likes to play with dolls too. My children have beautiful dolls, often ones that I, or someone else, have hand-made. There is a story to every one they have and they are special.
I am still working through what it is that I think is so special about dolls. I know many people will not agree with me. That they are often seen as a bit boring, babyish and the culprits of gender stereotyping. They are not of course, it's people who gender stereotype. Even Barbie, who I despise, in the hands of a little girl can do all sorts of amazing things. My daughter's Barbie has been known to fight in intergalactic battles and clearly has super powers of some kind. (And also pink fairy wings!)
I make dolls - buy a kid a doll for Christmas - one made by hand. It doesn't have to be one of mine, there are some far more beautiful dolls out there. But, I think they are misunderstood and I think they can be the agents of enormous creativity. I make dolls with love and to be loved. I really do. For me, they are the repository of memories and emotions and they can be the agents of change and creativity. They can be comfort and they can help work out problems. Dolls are wonderful, wonderful toys.
I'm crafting 4 dolls at the moment for a little girl and her cousins:
|Dog steals leg...|
And from this point on it is mostly hand stitching... so I had better get back to it.