Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy 200th Birthday, Izannah!

Izannah Walker would likely be surprised at the hoopla 200 years later on her birthday.  Being born a woman and orphaned as a child were not causes for celebration in the early 1800's.  But they were a part of life.  She grew up on her aunt and uncle's farm. Living on a farm she likely learned many of the skills which led her to become a property owner, an inventor and a businesswoman. That was quite something to say for a woman at that time! We know her because of her doll creations, but I have loved thinking about the kind of woman she likely was while studying and emulating her creations.

I don't typically promote my own creations on this blog, but I am blown away by many of the creations made by artists to honor Izannah on this day.  Many of them started their Izannah journeys with my pattern. So, to honor Izannah on this day, I will be offering the pattern at a sharply reduced rate of $10 from September 25th to September 30th. If you know of someone who has been wanting this pattern, now is the time to get it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Calling All Artists and Izannahphiles to Celebrate
Izannah Walker's 200th Birthday in September 2017

I'm bumping this post up which I did in January, as a reminder to artists working on something. We have a little over a month.

Celebrations take planning. On  September 25th of 2017, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Izannah Walker's birth. Inna Razuvaeva, Russian doll maker,  suggested in the MAIDA Dolls Group that we plan to celebrate by creating something for September 25th this year.

I created this blog as the resource I wish existed when I first started studying Izannah Walker's dolls. I had bought all the books that had Izannah Walker doll pictures in them. At that time, there were very few pictures of Izannah Walker dolls online, less than 10 dolls.  So I started traveling to document dolls and post them here as a resource for doll makers and those who love folk art. That's how this resource was created.

So, in 2017, let's plan to make creations to be finished by September 25th. I'll create in September which will allow us to post our special creations.  Here are some ideas to think about in terms of a creation:
  1. Make an Izannah inspired doll
  2. Make an Izannah inspired painting
  3. Design an Izannah inspired fabric through Spoonflower.  See mine here
  4. Write a poem.
  5. Write a song.
  6. Make a graphic.
  7. Make a doll sized quilt.
  8. Designs a new piece of clothing or accessory to go with your Izannah Walker Doll.
  9. Make a modern one of a kind doll which uses Izannah Walker's techniques but does not look like an Izannah doll.
These are just ideas to prime the pump. Come up with others and leave a comment.

Ready, set, go!

Izannah Walker in the Providence Census of 1870

This was an interesting tidbit to see!  Izannah Walker is listed as "homemaker" and her friend Emmeline Whipple is listed as "doll maker."  Hmmm.  Should I rename this blog?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Izannah Walker's Will

Two posts in one day!   ;-)

In searching online I found a transcription of Izannah Walker's Last Will and Testament.

Izannah Walker's Central Falls, Rhode Island Was a Happening Place!

The internet keeps adding resources.  In 2006I often would read  through all the pages that had Izannah Walker listed.  At that time there very few images and very little in the way of information. Genealogical research has provided a lot of resources for studying past decades.  It's my hope that someday there will be a photo of Izannah Frankford Walker uploaded by someone who bought a box lot of pictures at an auction.  It will happen, it's a matter of time.  There is an image of her brother, David Walker, online.

In the Maida Dolls Group we were discussing what it was like for Izannah to live as a woman in Rhode Island in the 19th century.  In the sidebar of this blog are links to articles by Monica Bessette, who has researched Izannah's life and her town intently.  Take the time to read those articles.  Here also is an article focused on what life was like for women in Rhode Island in the Industrial Revolution.

In trying to do a little more research recently, I happened on this information on rootsweb. Thank you historians and genealogists!  You can get a sense of the richness of Izannah's community by reading the descriptions of the area at the link below.

Pawtucket was a sister city to Central Falls.  Here is an illustrated history of the towns, published in 1897.

A map of Central Falls from 1877 can be found here:

And another map which can be zoomed in on:

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.  ...