Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dollmaker on Thursday : E J Taylor

Some time last Millennium I bought a dollmaking book from a charity shop (That's a thrift store to you) by
  E J Taylor.  That book became one of the wisest things I have ever bought and I kept it with me through financial trouble, homelessness, divorce and emigration. It is one of the very few books I made sure I brought with me in my suitcase when I left the UK.

 The Miss Pollys and the others  wouldn't have been possible without this book; not just because of the instructions and the patterns, but because Mr Taylor inspires you to have a go.  

In the introduction he says:

 " don't have to have professional aspirations to create beautiful dolls Anyone who understands the basic techniques can succeed." 

He goes on to say that if you run into problems, fabric is cheap enough to start over,  but that mistakes sometimes look better and give character to a doll. The freedom this gave me, just to plunge in and try stuff, meant I was less frustrated by mistakes and am more prepared to try something new.

E J Taylor is probably best remembered in the UK for his Ivy Cottage series,  which he wrote and illustrated with gentle images of charm and sweetness.

His own dolls are gorgeous creatures, with expressive faces full of character. They clearly have their own past, their own story.

 They wear clothes of rich texture and subtle colour. The gowns themselves have an identity, narrating the tale of the doll who wears them.

If you're interested in artists, in costume, in dollmaking or in the fabric arts. please pop over and see some of Mr Taylor's dolls. They're worth the trip.


  1. Holy dolls.....These are amazing!!! See...that's what I love about blogging....I meet people like you - and you introduce me to people like EJ Taylor...and my life is full and rich. Thank you my dear Rabbit....May I call you Rabbit??? ;o) Happy Friday ~ Robin

  2. Miss Crow, you may, indeed, call me Rabbit. And I'm so glad you liked these wonderful dolls. Yes, this is the best part about blogging, new sights, new crafts and new friends.

  3. What an inspiring story! I can see why to book means so much to you and the encouraging words from the author, I looked back over some of your older posts and I love your skeleton dolls!!


  4. Rhissana,
    I had to come visit you and I certainly glad I did!!! EJ Taylor is one of my most favorite
    artists!!! I have his dollmaking book, I collect
    many many books , I just enjoy looking at his dolls , he is definitely an inspiration.

  5. Oh wow, these are completely amazing--they looks so life-like!!!

  6. These dolls are quite engaging. Almost hypnotic.

  7. hi Rhissana~
    I am not familiar with him, but love what you shared. Now, I will go and look him up. If I could, I would do nothing but creating dolls - I just love them. Thank you for the share. Your blog is such a calming and pleasant place to visit.

  8. Hi Beverley,

    I just wanted to come over and say "hi" and hope you're having a good weekend!!

  9. My goodness, what an amazing artist. I can see how anyone could be inspired by his amazing gift.
    Thanks for sharing.


Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive things you say! I'm thrilled to read them and I reply to each one.