Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally, my little 'papier mache' is done!

Here's Hannah, finally all done!
Hannah is a new departure for me. I've been salivating over the fabulous Izannahs, Queen Annes, Primitives and Milliner's Models I've been seeing my extraordinarily talented sisters in dollmaking creating! My style tends to be different, although with a historical bent. I decided that I'd like to try my hand at something more primitive, antique and 'loved'. Not sure if I achieved that, but I gave it my all on this first shot. I really enjoyed the difference and would like to try some more styles, such as the Milliner's models with the hairstyle's a'la giraffe...and maybe I might even try to attempt an Izannah (my personal favorite!)

I made Hannah with a paperclay head, shoulderplate, and lower arms. Her body is cloth, as well as her legs and feet. I used a crackle medium to age her, and a paler shade of skin tone, with extremely dark (almost black) brown hair. I have to say, I really, really enjoy making the hairstyles with paperclay. You can pretty much do whatever you want! For Hannah's hair, I was inspired by the old Currier & Ive's lithograph prints of little girls in the 1840's and 50's. My absoloute favorite Currier and Ive's litho is 'The Little Sisters'. I've got an original and adore it.

Hannah's eyes are paperclay, but I painted them to resemble the old glass eyes often seen on the early papier mache dolls. Those glass eyes originally only came in one iris color: black. So Hannah has black 'glass' eyes, clouded with age to go with her little cracks. I used a high gloss medium on them to give them their glassy appearance. I am a @#$%^& photographer, so you can't really see that detail as well as I'd like.

Hannah is wearing a dress in the style of the 1840's, of reproduction cotton fabric in a print used from the 1840's to the 1860's. The dress is completely hand-sewn, and has the gathered bodice, with narrow sleeves, sleeve caps and self-fabric piping at the neckline, armscyes, waist, and sleeve cuffs and sleeve caps. Her skirt has a 'false hem' in another reproduction fabric. Hannah is wearing a tucked petticoat and drawers made of old fabric. Her stockings and shoes are painted on, white 'stockings' and black slippers.
I listed Hannah on ebay yesterday (robinseggbleu) so if anyone should decide they cannot live without her, please, feel free to bid away! Otherwise, she'll be relegated to living in an abusive home, like all my other dolls who don't escape. Stuck in a drawer and forgotten, or worse, incarcerated in deep storage under a freeway overpass.


  1. Wow...incredibly well done!

  2. She is exquisitely beautiful! I too own and love The Little Sisters and have copied that painting, and even made dolls based on it.

    Surely you must feel guilty for abusing those dollies. Pull them out and display them with price tags and perhaps buying guests will drop in? it's just an idea. But of course, if space won't allow...


  3. You and Hannah are awesome! Just awesome.

  4. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and compliments! I truly appreciate them. Fortunately, little Hannah was adopted at the 11th hour by a wonderful lady who no doubt took pity on her. I know she'll be extremely happy in her new home!

  5. Robin, She so beautiful, love the eyes, wow your talent is amazing!! Your zest for history is not to be out done! WOW!!!!!!

  6. She's amazing! Your work just amazes me!


  7. Where can we find you on e-bay? I looked under "Robins Egg Bleu" and nothing turned up!

  8. My ebay name is 'robinseggbleu'...just all the letters run together.

  9. She is so gorgeous! You achieved the look so well. Amazing!


  10. Wow, this is amazing! I love 19th Century china dolls and you have captured their essence perfectly. She is breathtaking. I am really glad that I happened to surf onto your blog and I am excited to see what you come up with next.

  11. I just stumbled along your blog. It's funny because I previously read the posting that you were referring to regarding "cutting".

    I, too, would be called a cutter, and am proud of it. I believe in reusing everything and consider it to be even more valuable in it's new life.

    I love your creations! Much more than the inset glass eyes, Your's look so much more like the old fashioned dolls. Keep up the good work!
    Mustard Seed Originals
    by Sharon Stevens