Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Visit with Kathy Patterson

Since I was a child I loved dolls.  Later, when I was 18 I started to collect antique dolls and left no rock unturned!  When I was 21 I sold my collection and bought my first heritage stone home to restore.  After restoring 12 homes, I am not moving again!  Over the years I collected on and off and then took a huge interest in Antique Santas and holiday items from 1890-1910 that were made in Germany.  One day, I thought that I would try making “one” Santa for me…18 years later, and hundreds of my Santas around the world, I sold my Santa business to Two Sister’s Studio.  Many of my pieces have been featured in Early American Life magazine for the past 13 years.  Better Homes and Gardens also have done features in their hard cover books and magazines as well.   Although I have no professional art background, I do have an inner passion for trying to reproduce things of days gone by.   It has helped greatly to have inspiration and a push from a great friend, to encourage me to attempt these fascinating dolls and the continued support of doll lovers to get the technique figured out.

Queen Anne reproduction dolls by Kathy Patterson. Dolls are made exactly as they 300 years ago with careful attention to detail. 

English wooden dolls from the 1700’s have captured my attention and tugged at my heart strings for many years.  In the past year I did a lot of research and thought that I would attempt carving.  Well, I still have all my fingers and I can hardly put the carving knife down.  Who would have guessed? The dolls that come from my studio to you actually grew on our property, hence the name for my doll business…”Babes from the Woods”.

Theses dolls are made exactly as the old ones were 300 years ago.  Basswood (Linden wood) is what the English carved them from as well.  The eyes are antique glass pupil- less eyes just as the old ones were.

These dolls are very time consuming from start to finish and each one takes on a personality as I am working them.  When finished, each is named with an appropriate name for the period when they first were made in England.  They are each signed and dated as well.   No two are the same as they are all hand carved individually. Their costumes are typical of the period as well and some are distressed or made with antique fabrics and old trims.   

It is my hope to bring even more attention to these amazing dolls from the 1700’s of which so few have survived.  I hope that my English wooden dolls have a special place in collections and mostly in people’s hearts, just as they do in mine.

It is through the kindness of a friend and admirer of my work, I was encouraged to attempt to reproduce these amazing wooden dolls of years ago.
It is my honor to present to you “Babes from the Woods” by Kathy Patterson.
Enjoy and keep the spirit of the past alive.

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