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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dolls or No Dolls? I Love Them...



Here are the Tudor children who currently populate the Market Hall. Children are not my forte, I do better with adults. They all have stories; the little boy in blue is the son of the seamstress, who re-uses parts of old garments to make nice clothes for her son. The child standing above the others in the back is the local lord's son, a very naughty but nice child who has a knack for getting himself and his friends in trouble. His best friend is the hatless youngster, the woodcutter's son - he needs a leather hat, but I have to learn how to work leather first. The youngster in the chamois waistcoat is the shepherd's son, who is supposed to be out on the hills helping his father.

The little girls are generally dutiful children, but they too have their moments. The little one in the green  print skirt is very shy. The child with the pink skirt is the oldest daughter, and her mother has many small ones at home, so she is mother's little helper. The girl with the green skirt is learning how to work at her parents' inn, while the oldest girl, in pale orange, is a merchant's daughter.

Dolls have appeared in my miniatures since the beginning. This group came into being on one day, while my son was visiting from Alberta. While talking with him, these little people just kind of came into existence. They are still waiting for their parents and other adults...

When I was a small child, I had a tiny cloth doll, made by a great-aunt who was a cloistered, Carmelite nun. At about age 5 or so, I visited Aunt Julia when she was dying, and the tiny doll she made for me was also called Julia. I remember her as having silk skin and embroidered hair in a dark bob. I probably made beds and the like for her, so perhaps she is the beginning of my fascination with miniatures. Sadly, Julia was lost not long before we emigrated to Canada - I suspect she was carried off by a cat.

Dolls in miniature settings are somewhat of a source of polarization with miniaturists. I really like them, as I feel they give life to my  miniature scenes. However, I quite symphatize with people who feel they detract from their wonderfully realistic settings. It isn't easy getting a 10cm sculpted doll on a bendable skeleton, wearing stiff fabrics, to look realistic.

Catherine Meuniere and Marie-France Beglan are two sisters, who in my opinion make the most wonderful dollhouse people in the world. I am totally in awe of their  mothers and children. Their dolls are stylized, beautifully dressed, and very, well, real looking....


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