Finding miniature dolls for your dolls' house

Thursday, October 4, 2012

If you want a doll what do you need to consider?

A dolls' house doesn't have to include dolls. Some collectors believe that it takes away the illusion of a perfect miniature scene. But others think that it brings a scene to life. As dolls' houses are a totally personal creation - the choice is yours! Make sure that your doll's scale matches that of your dolls' house. So, if you want a doll what do you need to consider?

You need to decide if you want to buy a ready-made and dressed doll, a naked doll, a doll kit (with or without a clothing pattern), or whether you want to fashion your own doll out of polymer clay (Fimo). You may even want to commission a maker to make a doll for you - a copy of a family member perhaps.  

Ready-made and dressed dolls can be made from polymer clay, porcelain, or plastic. Those that are hand-sculpted (usually out of polymer clay) tend to be 'one-of-a-kind' (OOAK), as often termed 'character dolls'. One of the longest established artists in this field is Jamie Carrington, and his book, 1/12 Scale Character Figures for the Dolls' House is published by The Guild of Master Craftsmen.

Dolls made from porcelain are made using moulds of body parts. These are constructed around a wire armature giving a little flexibility when it comes to posture. If you are dressing the doll yourself you will need to decide how you want your 'naked' doll to be ie: if you want full arm / leg / torso or standing / sitting. Some doll makers also provide 'elf' heads with pointed ears if you want to make a fantasy character.

Resin figures are inexpensive (around £5) and readily available from dolls' house shops, fairs and mail order companies. They resemble dressed figures, but can vary slightly in scale being chiefly made abroad. They can be re-painted.

You can even have 'teddy bear' figures in your dolls' house instead of human figures (see the work of Josephine Parnell).

If you intend to populate your dolls' house with a number of figures, you may want them to 'match'. Both character and porcelain dolls can vary from one maker to another. Check out all the options before making your decision as buying all your dolls in one go can be an expensive purchase.


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