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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Kensington Dollhouse Festival and the Dollmakers

I brought home a baby from the Kensington Show. She is wearing a white crocheted outfit, trimmed in pale pink silk ribbon, with teeny, tiny pink rosebud embroidery near the hem of the top. She came complete with a soother on a string. The baby is less than 3" or 7.5 cm long!

There were some very famous doll makers at the show; James Carrington, Gale Elena Bantock, Marie France Beglan, Jane Davies, Bags of Character, The Giddy Kipper, Crumpled and Rumpled, Georgina Ritson, Julie Campbell, Kate Pinsent, Le Coffre d'Emilie, Daniela Kiefhaber, Veronica Ann Pickup, and the lady who made this baby; Victoria Heredia Guerbos. She spoke next to no English, and Jose Gomez the luggage maker, who had the table next to her, did some translating;  the rest we did with sign language.

All of her babies are OOAK, hand-sculpted in polymer clay. I just loved this one's sprawled posture, and her arms and legs move! Before she packed up this little treasure, she kissed it and patted it, then put her in tissue, bubble wrap, more paper, and an outer covering of what seemed to be hand-printed card, all securely taped. Then she added a card band with her information on it, also taped on. The baby will eventually go into the English pram that I have to "doll up", for the nursery shop vignette.

James Carrington is a very pleasant, chatty man; we must have talked for about 20 mins. He doesn't teach in the US any more, but still comes to the major shows here - he'd flown the Atlantic 3 times in the last month or two. For teaching, he goes to a new school in Denmark, in a small town called Tune. James appreciates the smaller class sizes, and the fact that he gets enough time over lunch to take a nap; he had a serious heart attack a couple or so years ago.

And it is true, Marie-France Beglan has a lottery to buy her dolls; I didn't have much opportunity to look before that was held, but there were some display figures left afterwards that I was able to get a much closer look at. Like James Carrington, the tailoring and detailing of the clothing is definitely one of the things that makes their dolls so appealing; they are both masters of their craft. The fabric doesn't appear to be lined, the edges are mostly fray-checked, but invisibly so. And of course, the fabrics are all exquisite. Marie-France Beglan also knits for her little figures, and makes tiny straw and fabric hats for them as well.

I'll post another entry tomorrow, on some other things I picked up. As I went with a shopping list, there are some "things to make things with", along with some very neat finished items. What do you think of this little baby?


  1. Beautiful Marijke! When I went to the Miniature show in Barcelona several years ago I saw some of the most unbelievably real baby dolls that I have ever seen. This one is equally realistic. Great buy!

  2. She is precious! Very realistic! I can't wait to see her all situated in the pram!

  3. There were a lot of really talented doll makers on display this year. The lottery for the Beglan dolls seems quite bizarre to me but I assume it stops dealers buying them all.