Tuesday, February 13, 2007
My Favorite Things: Waldorf dolls
Ever since I learned how to make Waldorf dolls when I was first married, I've loved these cotton wool-stuffed dolls with their basic faces. To me, the face is a modicum of perfect simplicity: not faceless, like the Amish dolls; not super-detailed like today's typical baby dolls. Since a Waldorf doll has only the simple suggestion of a face, the child can choose for herself whether the doll is happy or sad, instead of being locked in by the dollmaker's choice.
(Side note: these types of faces are wonderful for dolls representing the Blessed Mother or the saints, being subtle enough to represent solemnity and/or joy. In my experience, it's hard to make a "holy smile" without looking ghastly, simpering, or smug.)
I've made about ten of these dolls, but this year at Christmas, feeling the need to do something extra-special, I invested (once you see the price, you'll understand my choice of the word) in these finely-crafted heirloom-quality dolls from Nova Natural for my older girls. From a dollmaker's point of view, I have been delighted with them. These particular dolls, made with fair wages by a village cooperative in Peru, are button-jointed so their arms and legs can move, and the hair is sewn cleverly so to avoid the "bald spots" that usually plague dollies of this kind, and can be braided or hang loose. The price of the doll includes white underthings, a jumper dress, a handknitted hat and sweater and shoes. (You can see the jumper on the left doll, but the red plaid dress is one I made myself.) And I have to admit I have been enchanted with their sweet expressions. And they are just right for hugs.
And my girls love them too. Which is, of couse, the main thing. ;)