Author: DOLLS Magazine Contributor

Antique Q&A: Simon & Halbig Bisque

Q: I bought this doll at an antique store. The bisque head is marked only “979.” The seller had no information about the doll, and no one in my doll club could help either. Could you tell me what company made it? Is it French or German? Also, the body looks different from those on my other bisque-head dolls. Can you comment on that as well?

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Jazzy Puppets: MacPherson Launches a New Twist on Reborns

A couple of years ago, when my 2-year-old granddaughter Keira was visiting, my daughter said she was really intrigued by puppets and asked if I had any of the nylon puppets left that I sold many years ago. The puppets I made were popular in the 1980s, and I literally made and sold hundreds of them at that time. I knew I had one packed away but couldn’t remember where it was stored.

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Dianna Effner: Prolific creator influenced a generation of doll artists

The doll world lost one of its brightest lights Oct. 14, 2020. At age 75, Dianna Effner lost her battle against cancer and passed away at her daughter’s home in Rolla, Missouri. An undeniable force in the collectible-dolls arena, Effner was a talented artist, successful businesswoman, and valued mentor.

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Antique Q&A: French papier-mâché doll

Q: My neighbor found this doll, which seems to be very old, wrapped in a blanket in a chest in her grandmother’s attic. Knowing that I collect dolls, she asked me about it, but it seems older than any dolls I usually see. Can you tell us about it? Does it have any value? She is downsizing and wants to know if she should sell it, donate it to the thrift shop, or throw it away.

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Curious Collector: Ideal 1957 Shirley Temple doll

My mother, when downsizing, came across a doll she had bought years ago, a 17-inch Ideal Shirley Temple. She was still strapped in the original box, which I believe is the first box with the gold lid and white stars with Shirley Temple’s picture on the end. The doll is flawless — I am amazed at the condition of the vinyl, plus the hair has never been disturbed.

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Virginia Comish adds BJDs to her dollmaking lineup

Doll artist Virginia Comish has spent about a decade making baby dolls, first making vinyl reborn dolls, later switching to working on silicone baby dolls, including sculpting a doll for reproduction in silicone. Most recently, though, her enjoyment of collecting ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) has led her to make her own — not just the sculpts, but making the molds and casting the dolls herself.

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Aquatalis tempts collectors with high-end fashions, repaints, doll line

Impeccable style, effortless sophistication, and flair to spare are hallmarks of the Aquatalis brand. Over the past seven years, Vietnamese creative duo Alex Nguyen and Quan Pham have amassed devoted followers and dedicated repeat customers by offering a breathtaking array of doll fashions, faces and, most recently, their very own magnificent miniature muse, the stunning Lam.

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Artistic Expressions: Nefer Kane speaks through her doll sculpts

Nefer Kane was born, raised, and still resides on the French Riviera, next to the village where Picasso lived and about a mile away from Renoir’s house. “I am not in the big city of Nice,” she explained. “My place is more countryside, which I prefer, because I need nature around me. I hope one day I can have a house with more land near a forest.”

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Cissette: The Rise & Fall of a Fashion Icon

Once upon a time — in 1955, to be exact — Madame Alexander issued a 21-inch debutante doll with a full figure, arched high-heel feet, and a wardrobe the likes of which had never been seen before. Her name was Cissy, and she would forever change the way children and the doll industry looked at dolls. Previously most dolls were made in the likeness of a child, such as Betsy McCall, Ginny, and many others.

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Jiao Huadong turns collecting passion into JHDFashionDolls line

Jiao “Jason” Huadong’s quest for doll-design excellence is evident and undeniable. So is the artist’s commitment to dazzling doll collectors with the bold and beautiful Mizi and Adonis characters in his JHDFashionDoll line. Based in Huizhou, China, Huadong graciously took the time for an interview with frequent DOLLS contributor Wil Peterson:

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From Vinyl to Silicone: Making the leap to a new medium

If you’re a reborn doll artist, you will have no doubt become obsessed with every detail about the color and fine features of babies. You’ll constantly use that knowledge to create color and effects that make your work look alive. The good news is that everything you’ve learned in making reborn dolls is transferable — it will help make you a great silicone artist, too! The tough news is that Silicone painting is a more challenging medium.

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Grounded by pandemic, Ankie Daanen, other artists find teaching alternatives online

With a dollmaking career that’s lasted more than 35 years, Aankie Daanen has become not only an accomplished artist but a sought-after teacher. For years, she has held regular classes and workshops at various shows and other settings around the world. When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everyone’s plans for 2020, Daanen faced a choice: simply discontinue teaching for the duration or learn new ways to share her dollmaking knowledge.

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