Gillian Trotter from the other side of the pond in the UK emailed me that there is another Izannah Walker doll being auctioned by the Withington Auction, Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire on April 10th and 11th of 2008. Thanks, Gillian!
So I emailed Withington's and asked for additional pictures and Larry of Withington's kindly sent these photos along. Beautifully done, I might add. Thank you, Larry! New Hampshire is just one state away from Maine and I will have to see about traveling down for this auction :-) Hmmmm. Why not make a 10 day trek of the Northeast visiting museums and going to auctions? Click on any of these pictures to go to the Withington site.
I am so happy to be able to get some new pictures of an Izannah Walker doll. The dress is sooooo beautiful! I've never seen an Izannah picture with boots that are scalloped at the top edge.
to be auctioned
through a Live Auction
on April 19, 2008
Click here to see the Ebay listing.
My birthday is later in the month. Do you think a subtle hint to hubby would work?
I asked permission of the Bertoia Auction company to post Izannah pictures...we shall see what comes about.
How do you make your Izannah Walker doll heads. I have only made fabric dolls and china dolls. I am use to working with molds. Izannah used molds to make her dolls. Do you know anyone who has taken molds from original dolls? How do you learn to mold fabric or work with paper mache?
The answer is really quite simple. I make a cloth doll, then I gesso (artist's primer) over the head and shoulders. Then I add paperclay in thin layers. I bake it in the oven at 200 degrees after I add each clay layer. With each layer I build up areas by hand sculpting. When it's where I want it, I sand and prime it with gesso again. Then I paint the head with many layers of underpainting and overwashing with thin glazes. I've been doing this now for about a year and a half and I learn something with every doll I make. I also learn by looking very closely at pictures of original Izannah Walker dolls - looking at the profiles, etc. That's why when I took pictures of the dolls at right I took pictures of how joints come together, profiles, tops of head, feet - how the bottom is constructed, etc.
So it's that easy and it's that hard. My own dolls are hand sculpted one of a kind works. It would be very hard for me to make replicas, because I'm really not that disciplined ;-) You learn by doing. As you learn by doing you will begin to develop a kind of vocabulary that makes your work unique to you. There are so many people who make wonderful Izannah inspired dolls out there - some of them really come close to catching the feeling of an original, and others are more "inspired by". I put my own dolls in the "inspired by" camp, and I'm fine with that.
I haven't heard of anyone who has taken molds of an original Izannah Walker doll, but it's possible that someone has.
The First Ever
Izannah Walker Picture
The first person to send me the link of the picture that I'm looking for will get a brand spanking new, still in shrink-wrap copy of the book German Papier Mache Dolls: 1750 -1850. See pictures below.
Now, speaking of pictures - some of you out there who own one or two or 16 Izannah Walker dolls must be feeling the collective angst of dollmakers who would love to see new pictures of Izannah Walker dolls. Let the compassion of your heart cause you to take up your camera and e-mail me with attached pictures. (Smile). I will credit you or not, as you would like. You will get a hearty thank you from those who love Izannah Walker dolls.
start your search engines!
- a red wool hooded cape,
- a white calico print dress
- and numerous undergarments
- a coral necklace
- striped stockings
- doll sized boots that button up the side
- and a little doll sized rocking horse.
Wow. Finally I get to the bottom of the trunk. Something's a bit wierd here. The interior of the trunk is about 6 inches less deep than the outside of the trunk. I pick up the trunk, thinking maybe there's a hollow spot underneath. Nope. I look inside again and notice that there's a little gap at the back of the trunk. So I turn the trunk on it's side and pull at the bottom with my fingers - it swings out and there underneath the false bottom is the most beautiful black baby Izannah Walker doll. She's about 18" tall and is unlike the black Izannah dolls I've seen pictures of - she doesn't have the wool hair attached to the top, but has painted hair in little ringlets all over. The curls are painted with layers of umber and black and golden browns.
"What'd you get at the auction, dear?"
"Only the most beautiful Izannah Walker doll in the world." I answer. "And her wardrobe. And her trunk. For $500."
Please email me if you have information, pictures, sources, etc. about original Izannah Walker dolls. The goal of this site is to be a free clearinghouse of information for Izannah doll lovers. Copyright of pictures published on this site are retained by the collector, museum, or artist etc, who took the picture.