Inspiration and Trust

19 Mar 2010


When I make a doll I draw on something deep inside me.
Sure I have certain handwork skills that I have developed and honed over time that make the process flow more easily.
But it's more than that , the impulse for the character of each doll comes from a part of that deeper me, my soul energy if you like. 
Most dolls have to incubate until it's their time and then I know how they are going to look.
Even custom dolls that I work on in collaboration with a client still have to go through this process.

You can see this essence of soul in so many Waldorf/Steiner dolls.
The mere fact that they take so long to make , that they can't just be thrown together, means that they will possess part of the makers soul energy. 
So each doll maker has their inherent style, you can pick which dolls belong to which dollmakers, you can see part of them in their dolls.
This style develops over time but if you were to put their dolls on a timeline you would see the progress  from beginner to skilled artist.


When you teach people to make dolls, in my classes, they all start with a doll body that I have sewn and the student has to stuff. 
They are all lead through the same process with the same materials to craft that perfect little head.
Every time I take a class I am amazed by how different each doll is.
Not the outer differences like hair and eye colour but the little bodies and heads all turn out so different from one another.
They have taken on something of their maker.

Early on in my doll making career a much more experienced  dollmaker said that  we tend to shape the doll's head to be the same shape as our own children.
May be so. 
Maybe we are making our own doll children.


It has taken me all these years, 13 years , to feel that I am a doll maker, a doll designer, an artist.

I am confident  in my skills and trusting of my ability to make the doll I dream of , to craft her and dress her and  make  a doll that can speak to the heart of others.

I trust that my soul energy gives an unmistakable little jenny wren warmth to my dolls just as I see the individual energy of other doll makers in their dolls.

I love what I do and I love being a part of an international doll making community.

I am so grateful that the internet has allowed me to join them. 
We trustingly share our dolls on our blogs, in Flickr as well in our online shops so that we can enjoy and draw inspiration from each others work.

We are inspired by the way another person's work makes us feel, we can see their essence in their dolls, we are inspired to keep on creating.
It really is a joyous freely given thing - the joy of inspiration and creation.

I want to share some of my current favourite dollmakers with you:

Fabiola, of Fig and Me

Meike of Starry Sheep

Micha of Puppenleisel

Maria of Mariengold

Penelope of  Happy Doll


13 Responses to “Inspiration and Trust”

  1. the dolls are beautiful Jenny. You might enjoy looking at these ones as well, if you haven't seen them already.

  2. Hi Naomi, I do love Penelope's dolls and included her on my last list. I will add her to this list as well.

  3. Jenny your dolls are exquisite and you have inspired me to share the craft of doll-making with my community too - although I am definitely still evolving in this art myself. I have lots to learn but I do enjoy the process of making mistakes and perfecting my skills and ideas. Doll-making is a lovely medium for this personal growth.

  4. A wise doll maker once reminded me to keep the inner stitches as beautiful as the outer ones. The doll needed me at my best and awake to all the various bits of her. I loved watching my dolls take on their personalities bit by bit.

  5. ooh, jenny, some of my favorites, too:o)

  6. Jenny, it is so evident to me that your dolls are made not only with skill, but deep affection and artistry. There is no doubt in my mind, everyone is born of love. I have made several Waldorf dolls and strive to imbue such caring in the dolls. Your will to produce such beauties is astounding. Thank you for all of them!

  7. Bonjour Jenny - Voici deux blogs allemands www: / / - Et deux Français / / / Vos j'aime beaucoup poupées. Brigitte - France

  8. Your dolls are just divine Jenny, and it is obvious that there is a little bit of you in each of them - you can just tell they are made with a loving heart and skilled hands.

    Im looking forward to exploring the links in your post.

    Nic xxx

  9. Hello Jenny,
    I am so moved by this. Mentioning my name alongside yours and the other amazing doll makers on this list means so much!
    Making dolls is a lonely process. Just me and a pile of wool and string. I am sure you know what I mean. We draw everything from within. The doll's movement, it's facial features, her 'soul,' the expression- and so much more.

    This post is simply beautiful and I absolutely relate to every word. Being part of this community is wonderful. I am constantly in awe at the work of other artists, and their humility.

    Thank you!

  10. Lovely post, Jenny. You know how I feel about your dolls, I love them so.
    Thank you for the links, it is fun to look.

  11. A great post, it pretty much sums up how I feel about doll making too. To answer your questions re: the craft circle - yes she does online orders, it was already an online business before she opened the shop, and yes, some of her prices are cheaper but others are not - at least the shop is fairly close to me so I don't have to pay postage.

  12. That was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and some favourite links.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.