Friday, June 13, 2014

Izannah Walker Dolls

Izannah Frankford Walker lived in the nineteenth century, operating a cottage industry making pressed cloth dolls.  She first patented her dollmaking process in 1873.  Her dolls have the look of primitive folk portraits from the mid 1800's.  Previously, most dolls had cloth bodies with china heads, arms and legs.  They were beautiful but pretty impractical for everyday play.  I can imagine how difficult it would be to give a child a doll and then tell her that it must be kept on the shelf.

There are still original Izannah Walker dolls to be found, but they are becoming rarer and rarer.  These days there are classes taught to make the Izannah Walker dolls and quite a few contemporary doll makers make these dolls as replicas.

I fell in love with this simple face when I saw it and with the story of Izannah Walker herself.  So, I will be paying joyful tribute with a few upcoming dolls using the image of the Izannah Walker face.  My 'pretties' will be nothing like the original but it will be fun to put my own 'spin' on this doll of old.

"Even though you're growing up, you should never stop having fun." - Nina Dobrev


  1. Yay, dolls! I can't wait, Penny, to see how you capture the feeling of these dolls of old. I know they will be very special!

  2. I've always loved these dolls' dear, sweet faces and expressions. I cannot wait to see how you put a whole dolly together, but I know it will be awesome! You inspire others, every day. Thanks for sharing yourself and life on your blog!

  3. I've always found 'traditional' dolls rather creepy (I was a teddy bear child myself!) but these have wonderful gentle sweet expressions. So looking forward to seeing what you do with these images!

  4. I love to buy Prim magazine and admire the wonderful primitive and folk art dolls they feature. The Izannah dolls are always a favorite. I can't wait to see what you do with this idea!!

  5. I can't wait to see your dolls! I always love your work!



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