Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Venus and Israel ( Izannah Walker style black dolls )

From left to right facing the picture  are Venus and Israel. These are an effort to make some dolls that are like the antique black Izannah Walker doll that was once owned by Richard Wright. These dolls are super rare and I have only seen the one from pictures. If any others are out there, they are certainly not being shown and must be owned by private collectors. My dolls are about 20 inches tall and are pressed cloth head dolls, made in the same way as the antique ones are made by pressing fabric and glue into a mold. They have on their under ware so far as I have not decided about the dress fabric. I had picked out a wonderful blue that was slightly purple, but did not have enough to make two dresses, so I will have to go back and re think the fabric. Israel has a longer face than Venus partly because her head was glued together while Israel's head was sewed together. This caused a lot of tugging and pulling trying to get the thread through the head. She also had a slightly misshapen head too. I like the dolls equally and  am not surprised they are a lot different, only sharing the same core features. I imagine there are more antique Izannah Walker black dolls in existence, I just wish they would make some pictures of them. Mor



e pictures will be put up when they are all dressed up.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Three Izannah Walker Style Cloth Dolls for the New Year

Actually Sadica was finished in December 2017, but I am including her here. She is a sweet doll and has a wonderful dress and bonnet made of antique calico fabric. She has shoes that slip on and are only made of faux leather, because I am learning to make shoes, but she is a hard size foot to fit, so these do fit her and look pretty too. Another doll I am showing has not been named yet, but she is another doll from the same mold as Claudia. She looks different, but they usually do. She is about 20 or so inches tall and has bare feet. She has no dress or bonnet as of yet, but I have been holding fabrics up to her and I think the antique Indigo blue and yellow designs is the best for her. She is sweet and probably looks more like the traditional Izannah doll than these other two. Last is my attempt to make the illusive black Izannah Walker doll owned at one time by Richard Wright. You cannot find pictures of any other black dolls made by the Walker family, I say this because it has been said that Jane Walker made the black dolls in the family, but I don't know if anyone really knows. I  am naming this doll Venus because she is so beautiful to me. She has wonderful rust colored hair made of lambskin. She is about 20 inches tall too, although she is not as heavy in the body. Looking at fabric for her is harder because she could wear so many things, but I want her to have a pretty antique Calico dress just the right color. Lots of dolls I made last year did not get put on here, but I will post them here because this is a good place to keep them. Keeping track of the dolls I made and what they looked like shouldn't be a problem, but I just cannot keep up with them to put real pictures in a book. Hope you enjoy seeing these new dolls.






Saturday, September 15, 2018

Two New Izannah Walker Style Dolls

Here is Claudia, the first doll pictured with bare feet. She is about 21 inches tall. She has a pressed cloth head and all the features of the antique dolls. This doll is being made for someone, and I hope she will like her. The fabric in this post is for her dress and bonnet. It is very expensive antique calico and is such a wonderful color too. Claudia was made using a photograph of an antique Izannah Walker doll that I really love. I have a plaster mold to make other dolls like her and hope to produce some more. The second doll I am showing is also an Izannah Walker Style doll made of cloth with all the antique doll features, such as pressed cloth head, second skin of cotton, stitched fingers and applied thumbs and painted boots. The second doll has painted boots as you see. I am still debating about dress color, but am leaning to a white calico. I do like both these dolls, but intend to make many more of the Claudia style dolls, as they represent to me the almost alien head the real Izannah's have. I have also worked on Sadica  alot and she is soon to get her first oil painting. We recently went on a trip to the mountains and I hoped to see some hand crafted things, but it has all turned to things, made in china practically and was of no interest to me. I ended up buying a bucket of river rocks to bring home for $10.00 and a vintage paint brush ( old style with wide thick metal holder for the bristles. that was neat and I might try my hand at making a head on the old handle like I have seen people do in magazines. The food was good and we visited the aquarium which was very nice too. My husband got me to go up in the chair lift to the top of the mountain which was very creepy, as I am afraid of heights, but the view of the mountains was very pretty, made me want to paint them. I am glad we have the internet to see other folks hand made items, until such time as I can make some trips to see special things of interest to me as a doll lover. Sadica will get to make another appearane soon when she can show off her new face and maybe a dress too.






Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sadica's Story

What you are seeing here is my poor mishapen face. My name is Sadica. My story tells the tell of why my  head should have come out of the mold, strong, beautiful and nicely formed, but as my name suggest, that didn't happen to me. Let me begin at the beginning and let you know that the person responsible for this tragedy is Martha ( the person who is making me ). Martha is kind hearted,  hard working, and is usually careful about waiting for the right time to do each step to create me, so I don't totally understand this flub up. This can't be blamed on  ( not knowing what to do ) Martha knows what to do, but sometimes I have observed, stupidity gets in the way. She isn't the brightest light bulb in the lamp, but certainly has a passing intellect. My only hope is her fierce desire to fix her mistake ( that's me ), and not only to fix me, but to make it up to me by making me extra beautiful, extra sweet and having the best clothes of all the other dolls that she didn't practically ruin from the get go. Do I sound a little peeved? Well, wouldn't you, if somebody pulled your still damp head out of the mold to early and caused your head to warp, and be weak, causing you to look odd and not knowing if you would survive. Martha has taken my head in her hands and promised me that I will be restored to beauty, that I will be her special doll and have the finest dress, the finest under things and special shoes too. She lamented over her rash decision to pull me out of my mold to soon and has lovingly been working to sooth my face and fix my boo boo's. Because I see her self recrimination over my condition, I will also help her too. I will let her put a special dyed stockinet on my head, and special paint to make me older and mellow.   Oh,  and she messed up the other doll on this post too, and I supposed she will fix her up as well. I guess it will be alright to let the other doll have a few goodies too, since she got pulled out wet as well. I have to rest now, get ready for another fix up session. When I am restored to beauty, I will write again and maybe my name will not be Sadica, but Gladica.



Thursday, July 5, 2018

Making another Vestal and other new dolls.

Here is Vestal's picture. She is the second doll like Vestal I have made. She is not an exact replica of the first doll, but rarely do they look just alike. She has Vestal's head mold and shares features with her, but this doll has her own look and personality. She will have the same outfit that the first Vestal had. I have made several other dolls too and will show them to you. All of these dolls are fair size and some have the special Izannah bare feet and others the standard boots. If you have made dolls from molds then you know that when the dolls come out of the cloth mold, they do certain things that make them different. they warp, they develop air bubbles, the mold changes do to cleaning or sanding between making doll heads, so when you get a doll, either antique or new, these are the reasons your doll is unique. It is hand made and subject to many problems and also the painters hand on any given day. A few brush strokes make a huge difference in how the doll will look. I have learned no amount of experience will ever make me be able to duplicate exactly an original doll, not antique or new, so each doll becomes what she and you ultimately create together. The clothes are a little different. Color and fabric choices do make a big difference in your dolls final look. Hope you enjoy seeing these dolls in the making.






Wednesday, June 27, 2018

working on the house

For about two and 1/2 years we have been re-doing our house. We had a gas fireplace soot up the house and we had to clean out the house and re- paint all the rooms, so we decided to re model too. along with this, my mother decided to live with us after her husband died, so we had to expand her room to include a bathroom, so that has taken alot of time and money. We are down to the kitchen and are repairing the floor now and will be laying a new heavy vinyl floor. I made a few pictures of our progress in the kitchen. It might be hard to tell what is going on, but you can see a little of what we have done so far. You might say, well why has it taken you so long to just finish the inside of the house, because we still have the outside to go, but building on a new bathroom, doing all the work yourself and all the work on the entire house yourself, and trying to look after mama and my husband who have medical issues, plus tending to her house, ( just takes time ). We added a new walk in bath tub in the big bathroom, and as you will see in the pictures, mama has a single person step in jet tub. It is the cutest thing. She also got her own washer and dryer. We tried to make her room a grand retreat as she spends alot of time in her room here at her house and she will want to do that at my house too, I am sure. The kitchen is pretty big, but it will shrink down when everything is added, such as cabinets, table and a hutch. I wanted to go more modern through out the house, but it hasn't worked out that way. The kitchen is the only room that will be more modern looking and I will post pictures of all the rooms when we get ready to move back over. I am not a horder, but after doll collecting for 30 years, and now making dolls, I have alot of dolls and supplies. Could I down size, probably, atleast some, but when I think I want to do that, I ask myself if I want to part with some of the dolls, or if it is the smart thing to try to sell off dolls, as I might not get a good price for them, and as for as making the dolls, I love to do it and it is a happy place for me to retreat to, after doing all the other chores. Being a Libra, making a decision is extra hard.Here are a few remodel pictures.















Saturday, June 2, 2018

Primitive Izannah Doll

Today I am showing my new Primitive Izannah Doll that I made. This mold was made about two years ago, but for some reason it didn't turn out right, but I tried again and I didn't have any problems and the head was in good proportion. It is funny that it takes a long time sometimes to think of and make a special project. I was making this doll and I thought to myself, why not make a limited edition doll. I was able to buy a piece of antique fabric which was over 7 yards long to make the identical dresses for each doll. I figure I can make at least 10 to 12 dolls with that much to work with, so my doll would be limited to 10 or 12. If I make the patterns to fit this doll, which I call my model, it won't be as hard to make so many. I hope to make the special bare feet on these dolls, as well as the stitching around the top of the head and around the neck where the head would be sewn on. We will see how this turns out. Along with the primitive doll, I have been making a few other dolls too. Margeurite, who I named after the wife of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a good show I like, is very pretty and a large doll. She has ringlets on the sides of her head and around her neck. I must pick something super pretty for her to wear. Another doll I am making is Sylvester, a boy who I named after Sylvester Stallone, I like him too. I think Sylvester would like to have a black calico suit with a fine white shirt and bow tie. We will see about that too. All in all I have 6 large dolls to make, plus my limited edition ( 10 to 12 ) plus 4 tiny Iz dolls to finish, and this is not counting the sheet rock sanding and painting the kitchen that I have to do as well. I better eat alot of  turnip greens tonight for supper to strengthen me up, HaHa  I hope every one is well and busy with their special projects a





nd most importantly enjoying them.