Archaeological evidence suggests dolls date back to the Egyptians and that they have been fashioned from a wide variety of materials from clay to wood. Modern dolls continue to be made from traditional materials as well as more contemporary mediums such as resin. Many a child has received a handmade doll from a relative and cherished it, perhaps even handed it down to a new generation. The process of crafting a doll can be very rewarding not to mention allowing for boundless imagination. If this sounds appealing, the Abilene Public Library is ready to help by offering a wide range of books that will both guide and inspire you to create your own ono-of-a-kind doll to keep or give as a special gift.
Nothing compares to the charm of a simple doll made of cloth. The Making of a Rag Doll by Jess Brown provided simple instructions and a pattern to allow for a personalized rag doll with quality craftsmanship. She also utilizes natural materials and vintage fabric for a truly unique doll. Barb Moore in Purely Primitive Dolls: How to Make Simple, Old-fashioned Dolls also provides guidance to make a completely individualized doll but utilizes more involved techniques.
The Complete Photo Guide to Doll Making by Barbara Matthiessen is a reference and technique guide for both beginner and seasoned dollmakers. Color photos and detailed instructions are included for 30 different dolls made from everything from corn husks to polymer clay. Included are images of artist created dolls sure to inspire with their creativity and detail.
For those interested in employing several techniques we have books for you as well. Marina Druker’s Enchanting Art Dolls & Soft Sculptures demonstrates how to build wire armatures as well as how to adorn your doll with such techniques as embroidery and paint. Embroidery also factors into “Gingermelon’s Embroidered Animals” by Shelly Down. She provides instruction for making exquisite animal dolls and a wardrobe of clothing to dress them in that require only small amounts of fabric.
Whether you want to pick a new hobby or looking to create a gift for a special someone, making dolls allows you to explore many techniques with no limits except your own imagination and the supplies you have on hand. Visit any of our locations and allow staff to match you with the right book, then get started on your own doll making journey.
Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Librarian I, South Branch Library