Doll talk with Marie Findley

I was always wondering not only about my Designs that I offer in my Shop, but also the personality who makes that things. Who are they? Why did they choose to make that pattern, that color, that fabric? I am trying to find out more information for myself and for you to better understand the World of Needlework!

And so I decided to ask couple questions to one of the best Designers of porcelain dolls, Marie Findley, who likes to paint her dolls for you. We are thousand miles away but I always happy to get boxes from Marie!

Let’s chat with us: 

1. How long are you doing your doll painting? 

I started making dolls in January 1990. They were small baby dolls and large reproduction dolls.
I did this for 10 years, then I nearly gave it away until I discovered the half dolls.

I was asked by a shop to make some half dolls for her and then 2 more shops asked me and so the business started in 2003 when I had to get a business name.
I supplied 3 craft shops who then did all the doll shows. I didn’t have time to do the shows myself as I was too busy.

2. What is the process of painting dolls and how long does it usually take to make one doll?

First I have to make the doll.
You get liquid porcelain and pour it into a mold, leave it for a few minutes, then pour out the porcelain so the doll is hollow in the centre. You leave the doll in the mold for the day and then take it out. It takes about 2 to 3 days to dry (depending on the weather).

You then clean the doll, take off all the seams and any marks and make the doll smooth.

It then goes into the kiln and fires at 1200 degrees which take about a day, then the kiln takes another 8 hours to cool so you can take the doll out.

If the doll needs to be shiny I then put the glaze on it and back into the kiln for another day.

Then I start painting.

I paint the pink flesh first and put the doll in the kiln.

I start with the face first.

I paint the eyebrows, then the cheeks, then the black dots in the eyes and then the lips and then the hair. I then put the doll into the kiln again.

I then paint the colour in the eye and paint what ever is on the head and back into the kiln.

I then paint the body, back into the kiln.

If the dolls needs another coat of paint on the body I do it, then back into the kiln.

The gold is last.

Every time the doll goes into the kiln that is a day, so sometimes the doll can go into the kiln about 7 or 8 times.

3. Do you see increase or decrease interest in porcelain dolls?

The increase for the half dolls overseas since Giulia  (Giulia Punti Antichi) started doing patterns and found my site has been good for me as the half dolls in Australia is just about finished. 

They mainly only do bead knitting out here as it has been going for so many years.

4. Do you have some special names for doll you paint?

I don’t give the dolls names I just use what ever the name is on the mold.

5. Are there any difference in interest what dolls order from US or Australia? For example I order lots of Maria Theresia and Norma June. What other favourites do you have in orders?

In America it is mainly Norma June. In Russia it is Carol grape lady, Debra, Millie, Grace, Renoir, Gretal anything really.

Thank you very much for answering my questions!

I was always wondering not only about my Designs that I offer in my Shop, but also the personality who makes that things. Who are they? Why did they choose to make that pattern, that color, that fabric? I am trying to find out more information for myself and for you to better understand the…

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