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Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists - Book Review

Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists by Ray Slater is a fascinating addition to my doll making library. As it states in the title, this book is intended for textile artists. That needs to be understood to fully enjoy the book. Simple patterns and instructions for making ordinary cloth dolls are not here, although patterns are included for the three types of dolls showcased. This is a beautifully illustrated book for artists.

The book opens with an introduction, a list of Basic Tools and Equipment, and general instructions and pointers for using the patterns and doll making.

There are then three sections, divided by the type of doll: Stump Dolls, Wired Dolls and Stuffed Cloth Dolls.

Stump Dolls are simple shaped dolls that are weighted with sand in the base to keep them standing. Wired Dolls are begun with a wire armature and then wrapped with cloth, ribbon or cording. Stuffed Cloth Dolls are more the usual idea of a cloth doll with legs and feet.

As I stated above, the emphasis of this book is art dolls, there are a multitude of ideas for embroidery and very interesting uses of fabric. As a cloth doll maker, a piece of calico cloth always has me thinking about the next doll I want to make. The fabric ideas in this book are so much more than a simple piece of calico! I may never look at fabric the same way again. The only place where Ms. Slater uses plain cloth is in the hands and faces. Nowhere else is fabric just fabric.

The large, color photos, which fill this book, are worth the price of the book all by themselves. I especially enjoyed the close-ups of the different faces.

I highly recommend this book because while the dolls are definitely art dolls, they are all beautiful, you don't have to be an artist to enjoy these dolls.

Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists by Ray Slater
published in the United States by Interweave Press, 2008
ISBN 978-1-59668-087-6 Hardcover $28.95

Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.

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