My miracle baby, 16 inch Bru Jne 6 doll

Archive for June, 2011

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I started working on this doll in early March. It was an order from a Japanese doll collector.
The order was to use a Bru Jne 6 mold to recreate an antique Bru wearing a beautiful ecru dress with intricate design.
I was very excited but at the same time I was facing a challenge to recreate a certain “look” with this mold.
Then the earthquake and tsunami disaster hit Japan.
 After I confirmed the safety of my family and friends in Japan, I became very worried if my customer in Japan was okay.
Fortunately, I was able to communicate with her and found that she was safe. But her area was also affected by earthquakes and was suffering from after shocks every day, forcing the people to live inconvenient lives .
I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for us to continue working on this doll at a time when everyone in Japan was suffering.
I was also in shock for a few days. There was no way I could work on dolls.
It was a struggle for my customer to make a decision too. But she wanted me to finish making this doll because that would give her hope during a chaotic time and it would give her something to look forward to hoping Japan would be back to normal by the time the doll was completed.
I am not able to concentrate on painting a doll head if I am under stress. It causes too much pain in my neck and shoulders and I know I won’t be able to paint well.
I was very emotional for a few weeks after the earthquakes. Being tearful all the time, I was not able to concentrate or do anything.
But I couldn’t just be crying and depressed forever. I had to find ways to get out of this horrible situation. I decided to work on things I could do to help the people in Japan.
That would be making dolls!
The Bru Jne 6 mold I have is very tricky to work on from the beginning. If I don’t make eye cut and paint lips right, it comes out * awful * .
Even in normal circumstances I still have to make a few heads to come up with one satisfactory head. Working on this mold when I am an emotional “mess” was not easy.
So I don’t know what I did right to make everything work out, but she came out nearly ” perfect” when I set her eyes.
If there is a ” Doll making God” out there, he must have worked a miracle on me.
 Some of you may have noticed that her dress does not have any lace like my other doll dresses.
I love this kind of tailored simple and elegant dress. Instead of using lace or other decorations, it requires many fabric manipulation techniques which you often see on antique dresses from the 19th century.
Lots of piping and pleating and ruffling etc … all these manipulation techniques have to be done by hand stitching.
In other words, it requires many, many hours of sewing.
We have an old tradition in Japan of making one thousand paper cranes to wish someone’s recovery when they are ill or to give a soldier who is leaving for battle a piece of fabric with one thousand needle stitches wishing his safe return. I don’t know if I made one thousand stitches on this dress but I did put in lots of hope and love while I was making it.
She turned out much more beautiful than I had hoped for.
I am very proud that she is going to Japan to make someone happy.
After all, we love dolls because they make us ” happy” and give us “comfort”. This is universal no matter how old you are or where you live….
震災直後は、日本の家族と友達の安否を確認するのが精一杯でしたが、一息着いたところで ”そういえば、オーダーをくださったお客様は大丈夫だろうか?”と、とても心配になりました。

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