Matty and Rene have quite the story 😀
I think I ordered Matty’s hair about six months ago! I saw it and thought at once ‘oh I know someone who will adore that hair’ 🙂
I emailed my customer to see if it was a good idea to go ahead and order and yes, she loved it!
As I’ve spoken about in previous posts, I really love making custom dolls and find the input from people can be really creatively nourishing but for sometime now I’ve been leaning towards wish dolls.
Wish dolls are when people let me know what sort of a doll they would like me to make….this can be literal or abstract, a picture, a poem or just hair and eye colour.One particular customer just said do what you feel….now I know some doll makers shudder at that concept and it can be hard as people don’t realise they do have a set of subconscious expectations which sometimes the maker doesn’t quite fulfill ( because they didn’t know them 😉 ) and this can lead to disappointment on both sides.
I had known this particular customer for a few years as she has collected my dolls from quite early on and has been a wonderful supporter, so I felt quite confident in getting on with it.
Matty’s hair is corespun alpaca from cricket thicket on etsy. It’s amazing! So soft without the delicate nature of locks. And really it’s where she started.
I’ve been playing about with eyes recently. I think I was getting itchy with the idea that I had a signature eye….I mean how many kids have the exact same eye ? And expression is so much in the eyes……I understand that the principle of a Waldorf doll is to be expressionless…..but I think really my art has moved past these ideas a little now. Sculpting has become so much more prevalent in the cloth doll community and I really just see myself as a doll maker rather than pigeonholing myself …I digress 😉
So I roughly sketched in Matty’s eyes. My first sketch was like 98% there….but she really looked quite worried sitting on the table ( I had to laugh at her funny little expression!) I knew I needed to tweak them but really just couldn’t decide how…
I started on the clothing. I knew Monica ( the name of the customer), adored some knitted overalls I had made for a pervious doll Fionn so it was a given that Matty needed a pair and really the idea of her in a dress made me laugh!
I started on a pair and with poor planning on my part didn’t check if I actually had enough to yarn to complete them…which I didn’t. I ordered some online with the same batch no. and waited and waited……very very very long story short, we waited nearly six weeks……oh yes you read right lol ! The yarn did two trips to Australia and back, I even began to wonder if my rather large order of yarn had burnt in the rather large postal fire a few weeks back !!!!!
So during this wait Matty and I lived with each other in the studio. She sat very patiently as I made a start on some other projects ( I was also making a few micro pips for Monica in exchange for a mariengold baby for my daughter <3) I was also involved in a wonderful project with a very talented bunch of dolly ladies #minimesleepover. I can’t go into huge detail right now.
I had made a 12″ doll for the project but she was ‘off’…I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so she joined Matty while I started another….it soon became apparent that Rene (as she is now named) was in fact meant to be with Matty.
I decided to let Monica out of her misery during this rather unusual wait and sent her some sneak peeks ….
Now things get a little strange and nice and lots of other stuff 🙂
Monica sent me this picture.
She was totally spooked by the resemblance to her mother whom she had lost a long time ago…and I had to agree Matty and her mum did share a similar essence….ok I was kinda spooked lol especially as I’d inadvertently made a mini Monica a little while ago a well!
The pressure was on! Monica had bonded and seen something in Matty and I didn’t want to lose that for her…….but I still was not happy with her eyes…..so I changed them……oh boy…..I KNEW it was for the best.Matty was not not complete in my eyes and I took a massive gamble….and I think…..I hope ….it paid off ( there is of course a little more to the eye story and I gave poor Monica an emotional few days)
So the story gets stranger here. I knew that Matty would never be the lace and blush type of girl; she’s loud, she’s happy, she’s active ….but she s also gentle and caring and thinks of how other are feeling…a girly name was not going to cut it…Matty was perfect for her :D. I told Monica that’s what I was going to call her and she totally lost it ! It was her fathers name! Spooked?
The very well travelled yarn had finally arrived and Matty and I were at peace with her expression, which had,I thought, turned from worried to loving and I got busy knitting the beautiful cotton and linen yarn which has a wonderful weight to it and drapes beautifully. The burnt orange really reminded me of a wonderful landscape I had seen some years back. I can’t seem to find the image anywhere to show you :(. So I knew I had to use the teal velvet for the boots!
After weeks of waiting Matty was finally finished! I was so excited and a little apprehensive about showing Monica.
Now there are a few more details to the Matty story which I’ve decided not to share, as I feel they are between Monica and I but I will say that I get freaked out by the impact one of my dolls can have on a person; it’s also what makes me want to create more and more. Dolls are so emotive to us I think more so than many other types of art; they are enriching in so so many ways and never ever just a doll.
The journey to Matty for Monica and I will remain one of the hardest and most wonderful to date.
Thank you Monica for letting me share the story.