Friday, September 7, 2007

To Set About Becoming

Did you know that porcelain was once called "white gold" and was traded as a precious material? Back in the early 1800's the first china head dolls made their appearance. At the time these high quality elegant lady dolls were meant more for a display case rather than as a childs plaything. As porcelain became less expensive and the dolls grew in popularity, their faces became more childlike and very large quantities were produced. The production of these dolls came to an end around 1900 and to find one of these examples today is at once rare and costly. Being an avid collector of dolls all my life ( I still have most every doll I ever had as a child ) I truly relish the fact that I have the opportunity to actually create dolls of my very own, only let's say a little less tradtional...
Which brings me to:
Early one morning, tenderly holding a small porcelain head in the palm of my hand after having successfully painted a beautiful haunting expression upon her face and then ever so gently setting in the palest of ice blue glass eyes.

This is the point that the *Magic Happens* when a cold hollow lifeless face comes alive! It's really a very exciting experience (either that or I'm just easily entertained) none the less it's a thrill for me. It is at this stage I think "What shall she become?" I have a whole row of delicate porcelain doll heads, enchanting curious specimens, just sitting....waiting to BECOME.

A bit about the little wooden theatre that holds her, it is an antique frame I attached to a wooden box with hinges, small wood finials were used for the feet, and I drilled a hole in the top and wired it for light! (my grandfather was a professional electrician and taught me the basics) The back wall was a crumbling vintage party dress c.1920, curtains an old lace hankie, and the valance was created from cardboard and a remnant of an old wedding gown. The tiny chandelier was once a brooch, I added a few more dangling bits to.

The story will continue as each doll takes their full form.