Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Composition Toddler-Notables, part 2

I have a few more details to talk about with my toddler doll. Sometimes it's difficult when doing a post to include everything especially when it involves repairs.


I call my composition doll a toddler because a toddler doll is defined as having half limbs, knees that stop after the knee, and arms that stop before the shoulder. The size matters when it comes to being a toddler, chubby legs separate this doll from a infant composition doll such as Bubbles. A bent limb baby by Effanbee.



Another know fact about the toddler doll, it's also referred to as a Mama doll and it's the reason I purchased her in the first place. Early composition dolls were made with a crier implanted in the stomach. Most criers, if found today, don't work. In it's time, and when brand new, the doll could be turned over and it made a sound like "mama". The crier is a whistle placed inside a hollow sliding tunnel. When the doll is flipped over and over it creates a sucking wind blowing within the whistle mechanism, thereby making the cry. Why almost all criers do not work today is beyond any one's knowledge, there isn't much to malfunction but they always fail. If you enlarge the picture you'll see the outline of my crier. I thought I would take the body apart but since it's in such great shape I've decided to not make this repair. I believe my doll is stuffed with a cotton byproduct which makes the torso very firm, I'll never be able to repeat that. The byproduct is called kapote, it's made into carpet underlayment today.


The other detail about this doll and my repair, it's an embarrassing one, I mistakenly discovered while doing the legs that my utility knife made marks in the white wood putty. Perhaps I could cut the wood putty down using the knife! It would shorten my sanding time! I should of known that from the early teachings of my Aunt Marion who did ceramic, she had us smooth the mold seams of the unfired object by using a bladed knife. (Boy, she was brave!) It was the first step before painting and firing, how could I forget! I did such thing with my doll and I'm progressing with the holes on the head.

For 12 years I have believe my girl doll was a boy, not true. I found while looking at her fingers, she wears matching nail polish, matching to her lip color. Early composition dolls were made from the same generic mold and were sold as either, or. For twelve years I had one vision for a outfit, beige, one piece, short set with white trim and a matching hat. I find myself researching dresses of the same period and it is soooo hard to decide.


I wanted to mention something about collecting these prize possessions, a seasoned doll person would look at the condition of the toes and fingers. The limbs hold an important point of collecting. Most older dolls have issues with the smaller parts of the body, most are missing toes and fingers, or at least, may be chewed on. My girl has one missing toe (my dog had to be in the photo!) and a hole in the back of the opposite heel. These are the area that do not do well when dropped. The toes can be reconstructed, and if necessary, a hole can be drilled in to the area to accommodate a toothpick. This gives a base for rebuilding any didget.


Lastly, at the time of writing this post, I have only the arms left to strip. The legs went well although lengthy, the bottoms of the legs (shin) was quite a challenge, we all know a doll sits and the underside was in good condition. I had to be fairly aggressive in removing the paint, took time but it's done. I have a suspicion the arms are going to give me the most trouble, although the flesh color has faded and the arms are deeply crazed the paint is "baked". That's my next goal, to get the arms striped without cutting a finger off. (Hers not mine)!


Keep in touch. C&G Design

7 comments:

tina said...

Who paints these dolls? Is it from the factory? Or owners?

Dawn said...

They are factory painted and have many layers including a base white (probaly to see imperfections) but the arms have been exposed ALWAYS. So even thou crazed, it's really on there.

Jean said...

Sounds like you are gaining very well on the reconstruction. She will be a true beauty!

Skeeter said...

Well, I hope no one looses a finger! LOL...
Looks like you are well on your way with this Dollie Make Over!

DP Nguyen said...

I hope she doesn't lose her finger. Wow, good luck with the reconstruction. Looks like a good journey ahead

Dawn said...

Hope neither one of us looses a finger, I'm being very careful! Thanks guys

Kat Lees said...

Hello Dawn,you need to add an email address on your site for yourself. This is the only way I can thank you for posting. Your site is fun also. I love the other site with the gardens, so pieceful looking. Connie is a dream friend, we are like sisters. Hugs, Kat Lees