Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Central Falls, Rhode Island

There is not one word about Izannah Walker on the Central Falls, Rhode Island website. Central Falls had a large growth in population in the 1800's due to the increase of the textile industry. It makes sense that Izannah might have settled in an area where textiles were readily available for her dollmaking business. One of Central Fall's claims is that it has been recorded in Ripley's Believe It or Not for being the smallest most densely populated city in the nation. They do mention Elizabeth Buffum Chase, an abolitionist and conductor in the Underground Railroad. But no mention at all of Izannah Walker? 

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Have Not Because You Ask Not Part 2

I know you're out there. You own an original Izannah Walker doll. What a joy! What a responsibility. What an opportunity!

If you'd like to share, please email me about sharing pictures of your Izannah Walker doll here on the Izannah Walker Chronicles. If you'd like to be credited, I'll post your pictures with credits and link to your site. If you'd like to remain anonymous, I will only post the pictures.

Thank you to those who have already shared anonymously and publicly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Books and Articles List

Hi, Friends -

It struck me the other day that there are probably some key magazine articles and books about Izannah Walker Dolls. These are copyrighted but it would still be good to have a list of writings about Izannah Walker so people could know about them. Cloth Dolls Ancient to Modern by Linda Edward has some great information and wonderful pictures of original Izannah dolls. The link provided is to the author's site where you can purchase books autographed by her.

If you know of other good sources please let me know!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Are You Thankful?

Hip Hip Hooray!

Izannah lovers are helping to develop a great list of museums and shops where original Izannah Walker dolls are available for a visit.

I have received two responses from museum curators that they will take pictures of their Izannah dolls for me to share with all of you Izannah Walker doll lovers. We will be very Thankful when that happens, won't we? ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thank you, Lone Pierette!

Original Izannah Walker Doll "Thankful"
The Doll Museum at The Old Rectory

Oh, what fun to get up at 6 a.m. and see an e-mail from Denmark telling me of an Izannah doll in a museum for the Museum and Shop list. You can see that the list has been added in the right side-bar. Thank you, Lone Pierette, for giving me the beginnings of this list! Lone is a wonderful dollmaker and a great encourager. Keep those cards, letters and e-mails coming, everyone! Together we can put together a great list of where Izannah dolls are.

The beauty above can be seen at The Doll Museum at the Old Rectory which is located at 50 West New England Avenue in Worthington, Ohio. Their site says, "The museum features a distinguished collection of 19th and 20th century dolls including Parian bisques, French fashion models, milliner's models, French bebes and portrait dolls as well as American dolls by Ludwig Greiner, Izannah Walker, and Joel Ellis."

Oh, be still my heart!

Original Izannah Walker dolls
at the Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum in Vermont
is another place where you can see an Izannah doll. The Museum reopens on May 18th.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Where Have All the Izannah Walkers Gone?

I googled "Izannah Walker dress" and found the picture of the doll in the previous post that I had never seen - the one in Wisconsin. Which makes me ask, "Where have all the Izannah's gone?" Are you humming "Where have all the flowers gone?"

If you know of museums that have an Izannah Walker doll, would you let me know? I'd like to have a list of museums and shops that have Izannah Walker dolls in residence where people can visit them.

So far I know that the Wisconsin museum has one, and I believe the Shelburne Museum in Vermont has three...where are the others?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Each time I've made an Izannah inspired doll
I try to include some new element of the originals.
The dress above is an inspiration for me in dressmaking.

The bodice is fully lined. See the hand stitching?
Hand worked buttonholes.

There are three rows of soutache braid on the dress.
I think the braid was once black, if the black velvet
sash is any indication of their color before fading.

Look at the pleats on the front bodice!

I lost the pictures of the back of the dress when my computer hard drive died. I'm so glad I had loaded these pictures onto Picturetrail before my crash. You can't see the black glass diminutive buttons that were sewn on. Recently I bought some on Ebay to use when I make a dress inspired by this one above.

But look what I just found on-line at the Wisconsin History Museum- what a dress and what a doll!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Three Izannahs - Shoulder Plates

It's interesting in looking at the three Izannah dolls I've seen how the cloth body and shoulder plate area meet. I will refer to the dolls by their dress color - Pink Flowered Izannah, the Red Izannah and the Blue Izannah. To see more pictures of each doll, click on the thumbnails of them in the sidebar.

All three Izannah dolls had an under body and a second skin over the body. The body was fairly hard (cotton? horsehair?). It appeared that the head and shoulders was molded over the first body. But the shoulder attachment of the body to the shoulder plate was slightly different on each doll.

The Pink Flowered Izannah

In the Pink Flowered Izannah, the second skin was glued on top of the shoulder plate. There may have been stitching underneath, but of course I couldn't see that.

The Red Izannah

This doll had seen some repainting and repair work, so it's hard to tell if the way the shoulder plate is attached is original to the doll. I think it is. You can see stitches where the second skin is attached at the shoulder plate line.

The Blue Izannah

This was a fun doll to see because her face was different in shape than the first two. Also she seemed a bit more primitive overall. Her hands were less refined than the previous two dolls. You can't see it very well in the photographs, but you can almost seem stitching lines at the top of the head.

Another second skin glued on at the shoulder plate.

Look below at this picture - you can see a different colored body underneath to the left of the center stitching lines. I couldn't tell if this is a third repaired body covering or if the lighter cloth there is the original body covering.

Well, that's it. I'm hoping to intermingle observations about original Izannah dolls with what's going on in the Izannah Inspired World, so keep checking in.

Friday, January 4, 2008

You Have Not Because You Ask Not

A couple of years ago there was a discussion on the Yahoo Vintage Cloth Dollmaking group about museums and shops to visit dealing in antique dolls. One of the members from Maine mentioned they had gone down to Lucy's Doll House in Camden, Maine. I decided to go down, and brought my camera along, just in case. I went in, looked around and at the doll and talked with the owners saying, "I represent a group that studies old dolls and was, um, wondering, um, if I could take pictures of the Izannah Walker doll you have?"

Said doll was in a glass case all locked up. But the owners are so gracious and allowed me to take a few pictures of this Izannah, which had recently been purchased at the Skinner auction. They took her outside where the light was really nice and sat her on a nice cart, draping her clothing underneath. I remember my hands were actually trembling because I saw the price tag on the doll. I took a few shots, trying to get good angles that dollmakers would appreciate.

Later in the year, a friend traveled down with me again to Camden. We visited the Izannah doll above, and then we went to lunch with the plan to go back and look again. All during the lunch I barely focused on my food and talked about how I would really love to be able to take pictures ofthe doll without clothes to see how she's constructed. I said to my friend, "It's said, "You have not because you ask not." So I determined that I would go back to the shop and ask if I could take pictures of the doll's construction. I was really, really nervous about asking.

Well, it did work out that I could take pictures of her construction details (Thank you, Sue!) If you click on the picture of this doll in the right sidebar you will see an album of detailed pictures of her.

Here's what I've learned from that experience. Sometimes something that you dream of is only a question away. And what if I had given into my fear that NO would be the answer? I wouldn't have been able to take those pictures. Other than family highlights, that has been one of the funnest moments of my life.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Izannah's Call

Izannah inspired doll on left
CLC dolls, Cindi Ciampa

Black Folk Art Doll on right
The Blackberry Briar, Michelle Sylvia

Almost every dollmaker will get there. Someone will tell you about Izannah Walker and you will be struck by the beauty of her dolls. Or you will see a beautiful doll made by a modern dollmaker and find out it was inspired by Izannah Walker. The above dolls were made for a swap - aren't they gorgeous and wonderful foils for one another?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Calling All Dollmakers

I would like to include a list of commercially available patterns that are appropriate for a new dollmaker to make an Izannah inspired doll. If you have used a pattern that has worked well in making an Izzy, please email me.

I'm developing a pattern based on my visits with three original Izannah Walker dolls at Lucy's Doll House in Camden, Maine (see photo links to the right). I want to do a great job with this (like Claire Pruitt does with her patterns!) so it will probably be April or May before this is ready. In the meantime, Annie Beez has many patterns that have that wonderful hourglass shape that works well for torsos. Annie Beez' Mae pattern is what I used for my first Izannah inspired doll.

Also, I am putting together a list of links to modern dollmaker's Izannah inspired creations. I have a beginning - but need help. If you would like to submit a link to a picture or an online album of your Izannah inspired creations, please email me the link and be sure to include your name in the e-mail.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This is a new venture on the first day of the first year for me, Dixie Redmond. I hope to put links here to all the Izannah sites out there - pictures and writings - for dollmakers and Izannah lovers everywhere. Happy New Year, Izannah!

A Pictorial Directory of Dolls<br> Featured on the Izannah Walker Chronicles

My mission for this blog in 2008 was to create the site I wished existed - a site for doll makers and collectors who love Izannah Walker dol...