Creating an Izannah Walker Doll Pattern

Original Izannah Walker Doll

(UPDATE  Wow - time flies. This pattern has been designed is available at the Izannah Walker Workshop site for more information. Now back to the post from 2007...)

It's the Holy Grail for many dollmakers. Can I create a doll with the timeless beauty of an Izannah Walker doll? I've received some e-mails from artists new to dollmaking (and that includes me) asking what pattern I used to make the Izannah Walker inspired dolls I've made. Well, truthfully, I started off with the torso of an Annie Beez doll pattern, made my own limb patterns and then added paper clay to the head. I used the pattern from Annie Beez Folk Art for my first two Izannah inspired dolls below. With each doll I make I feel I capture one or two things about Izannah's doll. It's through making them and studying her originals that I learn

For my third Izannah inspired doll I made my own pattern from start to finish and again used paperclay on top of the cloth head. Lots of layers and lots of baking in a slow oven.

Many patternmakers have made patterns that are good starting points for making an Izannah inspired doll. Some people love Sue Farmer's Izannah pattern, which I don't think is commercially available. Other people love to use Judy Ward's Emma Rose pattern as a starting point. Shari Lutz has a couple of doll patterns that would also be good starting points. Ike Putney of Pip Emma Creations has a pattern called "Matilda" that is excellent. And there are all those closely guarded patterns that dollmakers have made for themselves personally. :-)

Wouldn't you love to uncover some of Izannah's original patterns? The dollmakers in one of my groups were wondering where are Izannah's original molds for her doll heads? Wouldn't that be a discovery that would make your heart go pitter-patter?

My next step is to really study the pictures I took of an original Izannah Walker doll and try to make a pattern faithful to that particular doll.  So....stay tuned. I'm hoping to make my next doll with the newly developed pattern in the next month. And I'm hoping that she will be a larger size than my past dolls. But they are very labor intensive and it IS summer. ;-)


Chickadee Primitives said...

Beautiful post, Dixie. Your dolls are wonderful! I love reading anything about Izannah Walker dolls.


andraswhimsies said...

You have some wonderful information here!! Thank you! I'm doing some research to make my first Izannah Walker style doll, and this will surely help!! I hope i can do it justice!
God Bless!

Оксана said...

Thank you for your post. I like very much your dolls and all totally Izannah Walker dolls style.
Can I ask you about technique or may be you know where I can find same information. I know that usually on head put paperclay,then paint and then use crackle. For hands and legs also use paperclay?
Thank you.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden