Progress on the dolls has been much slower than I anticipated. We were all sick this month with something very persistent, and late nights were not an option. So, I've decided to cut myself some slack and open the shop Monday May 3rd instead of Saturday May 1st. There was something pleasing about the idea of opening the shop on May Day. When I was a little girl a neighbor and her two grand-daughters and I would make May Day baskets and fill them with flowers from the woods and garden to leave on folks' doorknobs. It's been a long time since I've celebrated May Day, but this weekend we will be attending the May Day celebration of our local Waldorf school. I'm very excited--it will be the first personal contact with a Waldorf organization that I've had. Excited, and curious. After all, I am making dolls in the Waldorf tradition, which I'll post about later. I was drawn to the Waldorf/Steiner philosophy by the consistent and pleasing design aesthetic I saw represented in print and online, and I'm slowly learning about it. The two Waldorf books I have on early childhood have been very helpful and encouraging.
In any case, the Robinsong Studio Shop will be open for business Monday next, with five dolls. I gave the studio a good clean--which is to say I rearranged it completely. So helpful--I really needed a fresh start.
Phew. That's better. There are two types of basic head construction, one that encases the wool head ball in tubular stockinette, and one that does the same with a square of cotton knit. Though my research indicates the dollmakers whose dolls I admire most use the stockinette method, I've gotten better results with the knit method. It looks sloppy as you shape the head with string, but when sewn in place creates a nice neat head. You can see here the difference in shape between the two methods.
Our prototype Robin, on the right, and a mostly assembled doll on the left. I've been fussing with the pattern I initially created. I wanted the doll to sit up better, so I made the legs a little more akimbo. I made them a little more shapely while I was at it. I've done several dolls this way. I like them, but in the end, I think I like the simplicity of Robin's style better. That pattern was drafted with reference to the pattern in Maricristin Sealey's Making Waldorf Dolls, which appears to be the universal pattern. I altered it to suit my own tastes, adding elongated feet rather than the turned up style, lengthening the torso and fingers as well. As a long-toed, long-fingered woman, it follows that my daughter is a bit long and lean herself. She's my vision of childhood, and that vision is naturally reflected in these dolls.
I think there will be one boy and four girls. Wish me luck in the meantime. I will be sewing and knitting in earnest this week! That's all the news for now. See you back here or at the shop on Monday.