Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Very First Izannah Walker Doll

I joined the Izannah Walker Dolls Group and decided that I finally would challenge myself to attempt to create my own version of the classic Izannah Walker Doll.
I finished her on 09-09-09. Thought that was kind of neat.
I took a poll on names for her and was offered some very good examples, and almost named her Annabelle. But last night, my little dolly told me that her name is Araminta. I named her after a member of one of my favorite historical San Diego pioneer families. Araminta was one of 10 children and she died as a toddler circa 1832. She's buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Her family owned much of the land which became New York's Central Park. She is dressed in antique mourning fabric. With a string of coral beads for good luck in her next life.
My dollies can never just be dollies. They insist on being somebody.
Araminta is made of paperclay and cloth, and handpainted to look a little aged.

She's about 15 inches tall, the smallest size of doll made by Izannah Walker. Her clothing is all antique fabrics. No antique garment of historical importance or significance was mutilated in the creation of Araminta's clothing. She is wearing the classic child's dress with gathered bodice, bell sleeves, tiny self-fabric piping at the neckline and waistband. Her dress has tiny black hook-and-eye closure. Her false hem is made from antique brown polished cotton.

Araminta's underpinnings are made from one very stained and hole ridden antique petticoat. She's got it all: chemise, drawers and petticoat.

She's wearing the striped stockings so popular amongst the girls back then; no plain jane white stockings for this gal. Her little boots are the early square-toed type made on a straight last. Meaning, no actual 'left' and 'right' shoe. Sort of Balmoral style lace ups. I added paperclay to her feet to create her boots.
Most folks in the Doll Making World know who Izannah Walker is. For those who don't, Izannah was a single woman who made a career of dollmaking in the mid-nineteenth century. She received a patent for a special set of metal dies/dyes (sp?) to form an indestructible 'soft' doll. She was a woman ahead of her time, and wished she'd been born a man to enjoy all the priveledges that came with the luck of being born a Victorian male.
Her dolls are very primitive and unique...they have their own soul. They are my favorite of all historical dolls. No two are alike. Izannah put her three sisters to work painting the faces of these dolls so they are all just a little different. Like sisters themselves.
I'd post some photos of original Izannah dolls here, but most, if not all of the images I found on the web are copyrighted...I don't want to get into trouble for posting them. But you can look her up and discover her yourself, if you are not familiar...but will probably fall in love with them!

I have listed Araminta on ebay today, so please stop by and check her out! If you are interested in giving her a home, stop username is: robinseggbleu.


  1. Araminta is lovely! What a beautiful doll!

  2. Ahh! So THIS is what you have been up to, Robin.
    She is really gorgeous.

  3. She is beautiful, and I love her name!

  4. Very, very nice! She looks so antique. Wonderful work!

  5. Beautiful doll, Izannah would be proud!

  6. I love her Robin!! Hard to believe she is your first Izannah!! You've really captured the look and style!!!!!


  7. Oh, how beautiful!!

    Her wee clothes are perfect. I dont know how you can create such lovely, perfect tiny things. Newborn size stuff gives me fits since it is so tiny! I can't imagine doing anything smaller.

    I love her dear face and her name and story. . .she is a beautiful doll.

  8. My goodness! She is just exquisite! Beautifully done from her head to her toes.

  9. Thanks everyone for your wonderful compliments! Little Araminta just flew off to her new home in Hawaii... I was lamenting that I had made her skin tone a tad too 'tan'...but perhaps it was fitting considering where she was destined to live!

  10. Hello! Why did you stop making dolls?
    I like your style of work. very like.