Submitted by Gale Lyons of Gales Dolls
I started making dolls in earnest in 2003 with the arrival of a little niece who was being adopted from Guatemala. Her mom-to-be mentioned that there was not much to choose from in the way of international play dolls, and so it all began. After creating many cloth dolls, I moved to paper clay, then on to polymer clay, and eventually to wood. Here is one of my cloth dolls from 2003-2005.
In 2006, I found Hitty! I saw a photo of a polymer clay Hitty by Patricia Ryan Brooks and fell in love with that tiny doll. She had been sold, so I decided to try to carve a Hitty doll. I found an unfinished table leg and started removing wood. Approximately three month later, I had Honor Grace. Here is a photo of Honor Grace today.
Between 2006 and the end of 2009, I carved about 60 wooden Hitty dolls. Dozens of them now live throughout the United States, many of them having arrived at their new destinations via the adoption process. I find this very fitting, as my doll creation hobby began with an adoption of a wonderful little girl. Below is a photo of one of my 2010 basswood Hittys.
In 2008, I was asked to create a master prototype Hitty for a 2009 Hitty Retreat. (NCHR…North Country Hitty Retreat). That doll was duplicated in resin and there are now 40 copies of her residing in new homes. Here is one of the resin Hittys that stayed with me.
In November of 2009, I was asked to create an online Hitty carving class. That class took place in January of 2010 with about 35 participants. If there is enough interest, it will be repeated at some time in the future. We had a good time carving together and many beginning and intermediate level carvers completed adorable Hittys.
I am winding down now regarding the fascination with carving Hittys. I have moved on to some other activities, but will continue to carve Hittys from time to time. The burning compulsion to create Hitty dolls has dissipated, but the lingering desire to carve them remains. Here is a cloth Hitty that I made recently.
As long as there is an interest in my work, I will do my best to create special Hittys for special people. Hitty collectors and carvers are kind, thoughtful and creative people! I am eternally grateful for the support I have received from like-minded folks in the doll world.