The first day of the doll workshop went very well. The group is small, only seven children, but it will be to their benefit because that way, I can spend more time helping each child!
We started with an introduction of the history of dolls. Dolls have been around since prehistoric times and were made from materials that were on hand, such as wood or clay. Dolls constructed of flat pieces of wood, have been found in Egyptian graves dating back to 2000 BC. Egyptian tombs of wealthy families have included pottery dolls.
Europe became noted for producing the most beautiful dolls from porcelain at the beginning of the 19th century. These dolls were fragile and therefore became ‘collector’ dolls that were looked at, not played with.
Cloth or rag dolls were made by mothers for their children for centuries and were often their very first toy. They were huggable and withstood much more squeezing than the porcelain dolls!
Much has changed in the doll world with the invention of plastics but the traditional cloth doll is still being made by many people today.
Here is an example of a rag doll, a porcelain doll from Russia, and a small doll with clay face, arms and legs from Poland.
And the girls in the doll workshop had so much fun stuffing their rag dolls. We used chopsticks to push the polyester stuffing into the arms and legs. Some of the girls got a chance to begin sewing the openings closed. They are learning the ‘ladder’ stitch to close the openings.
Next week, the girls will be finishing sewing the dolls and begin painting skin color on the face, neck, arms, and legs. This was a typical way of making a rag doll look more like the expensive porcelain dolls. And they would be able to be played with without breaking!
We also will learn how to sew garments and design them as well!
Looking forward to next week! I’ll have more photos as well!