Back in July I had finished this beautiful doll and wanted to write a blog explaining more about this art form called reborning. However as my last blog stated the birth of my precious granddaughter had me distracted and I just didn’t get the chance until now. Perhaps this sweet doll just wanted a little more time here with me before heading home to a forever home! Plus it turned out so perfect that I wanted to give her a proper photo shoot!
First let me state that this beautiful doll is the first ever reborn kit released portraying a baby with Achondroplasia Dwarfism. As you will see the head is larger and the limbs are shorter than a typical newborn baby. From the moment this kit was released I fell in love with it.
Now for those not familiar with reborning, we begin with blank vinyl kits, so the features are already there. This kit was originally sculpted by the incredibly talented artist Vincenzina Care. From the original clay sculpt a factory creates the kits. Some kits like this one are limited edition. This kit has now been sold out. My job as a reborn artist is to paint the doll with many layers of translucent paint to give it that realistic skin tone appearance. You will see just like a newborn, this sweet one also has the skin mottling we often see on babies. Once the painting is done I then seal it with my special blends of matte and satin varnish. Next is rooting the hair. This is how I learned to work with felting needles. I use a 46 gauge crown felting needle. I root 1 to 2 hairs at a time from the cut end of the mohair in a directional pattern in order to achieve that sweet newborn swirl. Next is glossing the lips, eyes and nails. And last is assembling the doll, first I weight it paying close attention to where I put the glass beads for weighting, so the end results is the doll feeling like a real baby when its held. The head even needs supported like a real newborn.
These dolls were my first venture into the art world. I started to create them 16 years ago. When I began my goal was to be able to teach myself to be good enough so that I could offer affordable memorial dolls to other mothers that had also experienced a loss of a baby like I had many years ago. Very quickly after my first two dolls sold I began to receive custom orders for memorial dolls. For the next 14 years the majority of my work was then focused on memorial dolls, and it truly was an honor. But last year as my life changed with the coming of my granddaughter, I made the hard decision to stop taking custom orders so that I could just freely create from my heart. And to explore other types of art, like my spirit dolls. I am sure in time I will once again open up to custom orders but for now I will continue with just creating when I have time and listing the dolls then on Etsy.
Again for those that are not familiar with life like dolls like this, they are not for children. Unless of course you have someone like myself that can do yearly makeovers. These dolls are true works of art and with to much play the hair will fall out and the vinyl will begin to shine. They also are not cheap, materials alone are so costly and then the time to create just one doll is at least 45 hours. Creating these special babies are a true labor of love. Even more so with my work, because I also knit and crochet their outfits and toys that they are sent home in. These dolls are meant for the collector, or like I mentioned above for a grieving mother that wants something special to remember their angel by. Some folks see that as unhealthy, but I can assure you, as someone that not only has a memorial doll of my son, but has also made over 150 memorial dolls, they are not used as a replacement, instead like a 3 dimensional picture of our babies. With that said, I like many women also love to just collect these gorgeous works of art. Men have their hobbies, like trains, cars, sports, action figures, etc. So why can’t we women also have hobbies and collections? My doll room is my favorite room of our home, seeing the beautiful artwork just brings me so much joy.
So if your ever interested in perhaps adopting one of my beautiful reborn dolls sign up for my mailing list and you will be one of the first to know when one is listed. This sweet girl will now be listed on Etsy, and if you by chance need a payment plan, just send me a message and we will make arrangements.