When I was a young girl, I had a mother that would do anything for me and she did.
One of the ways she showed her love was to hand make porcelain dolls. She would pour the porcelain into the molds, let it set, clean off the seams that were created with a sharp little blade and then smooth it all down with a water logged sponge. When she was ready, she put the doll into the kiln in our basement and let it heat up until the clay became hard a a rock. After that was done, she had to paint each individual feature on the dolls face and fire it each time. If you didn’t do this, an eyebrow that could have taken 30 minutes to an hour could be easily rubbed off.
I remember walking past her craft room and seeing her bent over those dolls for hours on end. Not only did she make the dolls from scratch, she also sewed the clothing that would adorn their little bodies. I know for a fact she enjoyed the process or she wouldn’t have done it over and over and over again, but the patience it must have taken is beyond me.
I remember making ONE doll myself.
It took me a long time and I remember getting the eebie geebies from sitting so long. My a.d.d. overcame me at one point and I actually remember feeling excited when I had to get up to go to the bathroom! It wasn’t for me, but I loved watching the process and seeing the end result. My doll had ringlets in a sandy blond color with cute little pink pajamas on her. She had big green eyes because I always wished mine were green, and it was only after countless times of painting and wiping off the lips and eyebrows that she was pure perfection.
I should have been proud enough to keep her, but by the time I was finished I was so sick of looking at her seemingly annoying face, I decided to sell her. My mom tried to tell me that I would regret it and I’m still not sure if I do. I made $120 and that was a lot to a little girl, to me. I wish I could remember what I spent it on, most assuredly not worth all the hours I spent painting her fingernails and face. Probably something like hello kitty trinkets from China.
Over time I acquired several dolls from my mom.
The first was named Mary and I got her for my 8 year old birthday. She had a long green velvet dress and a lace bonnet to match Not long after (I think Christmas) I was given a baby doll that I named Elizabeth who wore a long hand made blessing dress. She came in a cradle and I loved her too. They were both special to me. A while later she made me a doll named Pamela that I still have sitting in Bug’s room with auburn hair and a rust flowered colored dress on with big brown eyes. And eventually I received a porcelain doll for my wedding that was complete with my wedding gown.
She sits in my room still.
Yes, it is true…my mom is talented and in so many ways that I am not. She can cook homemade bread and rolls better than you have ever tasted. She is a seamstress and can procure anything she can dream up. She is great at yoga and horseback riding, snowboarding *still* and water skiing.
This grandma is HOT.
The many dolls she made for not only myself but numerous others made a lasting impact on my life. I remember a lot of good, but there were also times that the dolls freaked me out. I recall a time when I was about ten years old. It was dusk and I was falling asleep. I was watching Mary as I drifted into dream land and I kid you not, I saw her flippin’ arm move. Now, this easily could have been my imagination but it scared me so bad that I ran into my parents room and couldn’t go back the rest of the night. I’m thinking her arm could have fallen at the joint, but either way I was scarred. She still is in a closet turned backwards and the funny thing?
I didn’t even put there, Mack did. I think my fear was passed down into her genes.
I have had dreams of doll heads talking to me when I walked into that craft room, and lights shining out of their eyes as their turned toward me. The worst was a dream where I was sitting at a dinner table full of porcelain dolls and the one sitting next to me turned and said,
“I am doll number 342265, DON’T YOU REMEMBER ME?! YOU BROKE MY ARM AND LEFT ME TO SIT ON THE SHELF FOR YEARS!!”
I have let my mom know of my issue with them, so she is well aware that I have a love/hate relationship with them. That’s why when I came across this Pixar short film, I had to share it. It embodies my fear of dolls in a way I’ve never been able to describe.
So pull up a chair and laugh slash cry with me through tears of joy and pain!
Are you scared of anything? What things freaked you out as a kid that you still haven’t been able to shake? Please share, so I don’t feel like such a wimp! 🙂
My sister had porcelain dolls and they creeped me out like crazy. The eyes would follow you.