Obscure craft book Thursday, Making Dolls

Making Dolls , by H. Witzig and G.E. Kuhn is a treasure of mine. It is a "top five" craft book for me, and I don't even know what the other four are. (That would make an interesting blog post- top 5 art/craft books, maybe next week!) 

I found this book at the fabled Mennonite Reuzit thrift store Laura and I often refer to, it's in Epherta, PA and it's a must go when we visit our folks in Pennsylvania. I paid $1.50 for it. The Amazon link above has a few used copies for $11.00 and it's a steal. Here are some more from Alibris, there are a few that are cheaper. The book was published in the US in 1971, translated from an earlier German edition. You can see the German doll making "look" right away and the book is a rich introduction to doll making. I have not finished any projects from the book yet, but I am going to really focus on making some dolls after Christmas. 

It is a wonderful reference because it has directions and photos for dolls made from all types of materials- 

Like these little bendy guys which remind me of the pipe cleaner flower fairy dolls. It has patterns for knitted dolls, directions for soft foam dolls, sculpted, carved, cast dolls- a lot of techniques are covered! 

It has a section on how do design a well proportioned doll and devotes lots of time showing how to make a charming doll face- a super important feature of course! 

It gives recipes for a newspaper and sawdust modeling 'clay' that you can use to form 'hard' doll heads. It also shows how to make a mold for a head that you can use to make multiple heads. There are directions on making a sewn, jointed doll and a hard modelled jointed doll. My favorite type, like the one on the cover, are hard modelled heads with soft linen bodies. Sometimes, the authors cover the hard head with linen and paint the face on- 

I had a difficult time choosing pages to share because I love so many of the projects in this book. Both for technical skills and creative inspiration, this book is a must-buy (or must check out from the library, don't forget about Inter-Library Loan!) if you are interested in doll making. I Googled around a bit to find out more about the authors but came up short. If anyone has any links to other books or doll work by these folks, please share in the comments! 

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