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. ;)

5 comments:

Charlie Chautin said...

These are so incredibly cute! Where did you get the pattern for the ones you made?

teresa said...

I second Charlie's question. And do you have a picture of any dolls you have made?

regina doman said...

Magic Cabin Dolls sells doll patterns of several different sizes and types, and, if you call them, you can order an entire kit with everything from skin fabric in the shade of your choice to wool stuffing to curly or straight wool hair. I have used both their patterns and their kits, and I really enjoy them, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy, when I usually find myself making some sort of doll while waiting for baby to come.

Here's a link to the pattern:

http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin/product.do?section_id=3&bc=1004&pgc=170&sv=333476&cmvalue=MCD|3|ARTS%20%20%20CRAFTS%20DEPARTMENTS|333476|333476-P1

regina doman said...

As for the dolls I made -- when I locate some of them and properly dress them, I'll try to take some pictures. I've usually made patron saint baby dolls for my children and friends. Thanks for asking!

violet-and-moss said...

Your home and ideas are full of warmth and life. Makes me want to jump right in and join in the celebration of everday living! Heartwarming to see a living, breathing house that isn't dressed up like a museum. May your projects, works of color and texture and loving detail, prosper, and continue to nurture the scrumptious children they enfold.

Love and Blessings, Joan et al