Greetings and Welcome to Oak Hill Studio dolls. I create entirely hand made original dolls from various mediums inspired by the Victorian era, mourning, cemeteries, and 19th Century spirits.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Under the Sea

I was browsing the blogs of fellow doll makers, admiring their amazing talent when I saw a posting about an under the sea doll swap. I let out a little scream of delight before promptly covering my mouth to avoid the disapproval of my neighbors and contacted the swap organizer. I have been lusting after pictures of 19th Century Coney Island style side show acts like the one advertised above, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out with one of my dolls. I am so excited to begin that I already purchased the fabric for her clothing and have made a few sketches. I will be posting updates on my blog here and there.

Also, I have been hard at work creating two new mini dollies and I am happy with the results so far. I will be posting pics of them tomorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dolls Getting Dressed

Here is the Madame Marie Helene before she found her wig and gown. Please forgive the poor quality of the photo. I was working into the night without any light. When I began working on Madame I created a head, body and arms from paper clay and then applied her make-up with paint, pencil, and charcoal to give her cheeks a slight blush. Courtesans do need to be painted you know. Then she needed to have poseable legs which are batting formed over wire and covered with her white cotton pantaloons. You can see that my studio gets quite cluttered when I am working on one of my girls.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A New Blog, A New Post



Two New Dolls

Meet Eliza and Violet... Violet is a smaller girl, about 11 inches tall, and Eliza is a full size doll at around 18 inches. They were both created using paper clay, wire armatures and mixed media. Violet prefers the forest and Eliza is from the city. Read their stories below...


Eliza’s forlorn expression is to be expected. She spends her entire day in front of a sewing machine doing piece work for pennies. She lives in a tenement with her sister and eight other young women, all stitching away at all hours of the day. She secretly dreams of leaving one day to become an artist, selling portraits on the boardwalk to make her rent.


Violet is a sweet girl who ran away from home to live in the forest. Her friend, the White Stag, accompanies her wherever she goes, educating her in the philosophy of the forest. In the spring she sings her beautiful song for the creatures of the wood, ushering in Spring and the promise of new life to come.

The Life of Dolls

I have always been fascinated by Victorian dolls, the fanciful porcelain faces of the 19th Century always seemed to speak to me. I was inspired to begin creating my own versions of a Victorian doll, but I wanted to be sure that everything would be done entirely by hand without the use of molds. I really wanted to become engaged in the process, the work of creating a little form. I began experimenting, and with time began creating creatures that spoke to me. I soon created dolls as gifts and now would like to offer them to others.

The dolls I create begin to tell me a story. Here are a few to share...

Above is the beautiful Madame Marie Helene available now in my Etsy shop. She is entirely handmade and hand stitched with love.

The Madame Marie Helene is a famous courtesan favored by the royal family for her beauty and talent for stimulating conversation. She lost her true love, a village painter, to the fever, and now pines for him at the edge of the wood, their hideaway for secret liasons. She dons her most cheerful gowns in an attempt to disguise any sign of mourning that should interfere with the brilliance of her blue eyes and conversation.

This is Charlotte with quite a unique story to tell

Charlotte has always had the ability to see and communicate with spirits. At a young age she left behind her cruel parents and their small cottage to become a professional medium, performing at Barnum’s Museum in the bustling city of New York only to find that the majority of her colleagues were utter and complete frauds. She was courted by a famed lecturer, and soon was secretly engaged. Their marriage was never to be. Her fiancĂ© died, the victim of a weak heart, and she now finds herself alone once more, forced to compete with a city of charlatans.

May I introduce the governess Louisa

Louisa is forced to work in the employment of a prominent wealthy, yet cruel family as their governess. The children tease her for her passe style and mock her attempts at teaching them French. She dreams of one day becoming a great writer and even dashes off lines for her future female pirate novel late at night to stave off the chilling air of her small and damp quarters. Her only and most treasured possessions are her pen and ink well.