She always did like playing with dolls.
When Erva and I got our first Barbie dolls, back around 1959, she made complete trousseaus for them. We woke up Christmas morning not just to the Barbies that we had coveted after seeing them in the Sear Wish Book, but all these wonderful clothes that Mom and meticulously made on her treadle sewing machine. She had made the clothes at night while we slept or during the day while we were at school. How I wish I still had those clothes, not to mention the dolls….
Years later Mom got into ceramics. That eventually led to her making dolls. She started out making ceramic dolls.
This is a picture of one of her first dolls. It’s called a Jenny doll and was popular back in the late 1800’s. She won a first place ribbon at a fair for this doll and the dress she is wearing.
But Mom wasn’t satisfied with the look of ceramic dolls so she moved into porcelain. She got so into it that she bought molds and had her own kiln for firing.
This is a picture of the largest doll she ever made. Stan calls her “scary,” because she has such an intense look about her.
This is a Gibson girl doll Mom made for me as a wedding present. She is dressed in a replica of my wedding dress.
In 1996 hurricane Marilyn, which wasn’t forecast to be a dangerous storm, ripped through St. Thomas with winds gusting to over 200 miles an hour. A terrible amount of damage was caused. Four out of five homes were damaged or destroyed. Our house on St. Thomas was not spared. Half of the roof pealed off and was folded back, coming to rest on the other half of the roof. Half of the 40 foot porch, the kitchen and living room were exposed to wind and rain.
On one wall of the living room there were shelves.
These dolls were sitting on the top shelf. Miraculously the dolls were not touched and survived the violence of that horrible night.
Mom’s dolls are a precious reminder of her creative talent. A force not even a hurricane could destroy.