Vashon Feature: January 2003
Amazing dolls with Nan Caskey!
We here at KotaPress are thrilled to introduce you to Nan Caskey's FAB dollmaking skills! We wanted to share as many of her works with you as possible, but we couldn't really overload this one page with photos. So, you'll see a few "linked" words here and there in Nan's descriptions below -- well, if you click on those linked/underlined words, then you'll see more photos of her cooooooool studio space and her dolls. Check it out!!
Notes from Nan:
The all white "Muslin Quilter" that's sitting on a rocker in front of my other window (on the wire crate) is another version/adaption of Jill Pollard"s "Rainbow Woman".
Both "The Seer" (with her crystal ball) and "Grandma Bliss" are made from a pattern by Julie McCullough called "The Secret Keepers". They are basic stump dolls, meaning the body is simply a rounded form with a flat base that has a head attached to the top of the stump.
The "Rune Messenger" is my version of a pattern by Ellise Peeples called "Mystical Magical Marcella".
And "Rainbow Woman" (pictured above and to the right) is a pattern by Jill Pollard. As printed it's not a hinged, or jointed doll, but Iwanted to experiment with that technique, so she has a lot more mobility.
"Miss Kitty" (pictured to the left) is a pattern called "Geo" that was published in Soft Doll and Animals magazine, and it is another pattern by Julie McCullough.
How I got interested in dollmaking: About 6 years ago my partner Lin and I attended the Vashon Quilt Guild's bi-annual show at the Fireman's Hall. Tucked away in the back of the second room of quilts was a table filled with all these marvelous little cloth beings (also called dolls). Two women were sitting at the table doing demonstrations of dollmaking, Lorraine Kimmel and Barb Trenary, and I probably asked questions and bugged them for a good half hour. They finally invited me to go with them to a doll club they belonged to over in Kitsap County called The Radical Cloth Doll Club and my love affair with dollmaking started to blossom. Since the last time I had touched a sewing machine was in junior high school (I'm 52) I needed a lot of guidance but Barb, Lorraine and the other women of the club welcomed me and have been helping me learn new skills each time we get together.
The most amazing skill I've learned so far is to stop and listen to the little cloth beings themselves. Strange as it may seem they begin to "tell" you who they want to be, how they want look. Most of the time I'm totally surprised by how the finished doll looks.