Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When It Rains It Pours - More Izannah Walker Doll Pictures!

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.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thank You, Mary for Izannah Walker Doll Pictures!

Mary, of Bertoia Auctions, was kind enough to send these additional pictures of the Izannah Walker doll that will be auctioned on April 19, 2008. Thank you, Mary!

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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Izannah Walker Doll to Be Auctioned April 19, 2008

Original Izannah Walker doll

to be auctioned
on Ebay
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.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Making Izannah Walker Inspired Dolls - Response to Reader's Email

I receive the following e-mail today...


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.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thank You and Congratulations to Mandy Broome!

A big thank you to Mandy Broome for searching and finding the link to the pictures I asked for. That was fast work! If you go to this site below you can see an Izannah that's seen a lot of love - scroll down to see how the bottom legs are somewhat separate from the upper legs. My theory is that the lower legs were stuffed and part of the 2nd skin which slipcovered the torso.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Izannah Walker Picture Scavenger Hunt!

The First Ever
Izannah Walker Picture
Scavenger Hunt!

Somewhere out on the web there is a picture of an Izannah Walker doll. This picture shows some tearing on the fabric covering the torso, and what I loved about it is that it gave some real clues as to construction. I have searched high and low and I cannot find the picture. I thought I saved the link, but I guess not. Sooooooooo.....are you up for a scavenger hunt? I need help. Want to help search for the picture I'm looking for and send me the link to it? What's in it for you, y'say?

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.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
start your search engines!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Izannah Walker Dream - Part 4 - The End

If you'd like to read the first 3 parts of this story, then click on the links below....




Izannah Walker Dream - Part Four
It's days like this that make up for the horrible times - like when you have an infant and your husband breaks his leg playing hockey. Yes, that really happened. And after that the cellar flooded, and after that the sewer backed up. And your laundry room is in the basement.
I go over to the table to write the check for my treasures I won that day.

"Well, ayuh - you got a good deal you did on that trunk of clothes, " says Sally, as she writes up my bill. "You could sell the clothes and keep the trunk and come out on top, y'could."

"OR you could sell the trunk and keep the clothes and come out on top," I counter.

"Yup. You could probably sell 2 of those dresses and come out on top. What'cha gonna do with that they-ah stuff?"

"Well, for now, I'm gonna figure out how to get it into my van by myself."
She turns and calls out, "Sheh-man! Harry! Load that trunk up for this lady instead of standing there doing nothin'."

Tall Man must be Sherman, because he turns, as does Harry and they lift the trunk to take it to my car. It's not huge, but would be heavy for me at 30 inches wide, 22 inches tall and 18 inches deep.

"Oh, thanks so much - it's the old maroon van over there."
They lift the hatch and tuck it into the back, then give me a smile and a wave. Mainers are great people.
I drive home, thinking about how I can cover the $500 expenditure. I know my husband said to have fun, but I spent much more than the $500, most of it for resale. The trunk is beautiful, with some crackling in the paint, and the stencilling is outstanding. I could see 6 little Izzy dresses that they pulled out, but haven't had a chance to look through it all. I want to save that for home. It's about 7 o'clock, and I'm about an hour away from home. The sun is setting and it's getting dark on this country road. I come to the end of Old Washboard Road and turn onto the good state highway to head home.

I get home about 8:30 and call to my husband, "Hey, honey, can you help me haul in my treasures."

"Yup, just a minute."
Out we go and bring in the trunk - I decide to bring the other treasures in later. I excitedly open the trunk and begin pulling out dresses. Inside the trunk I find

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."

The End

Ida Mae: An Izannah Walker Doll

Back in the fall I visited with a wonderful lady, who shared her antique Izannah Walker doll with me, and allowed me to document her doll.  ...