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27 September 2017

Sasha Doll Inspiration

Hello, I'm Susannah and welcome to my doll blog.

 
I've played with dolls all my life but Sasha dolls had escaped me for the longest time.  They fascinated me for years and at first I couldn't decide whether I liked their minimalist expressionless faces but they certainly were intriguing.  Well after finding myself drooling more and more over the enchanting images of different Sasha dolls on Pinterest and how sometimes they were customised and noticing the little quirks of Sasha's evolution, I could resist no longer.  So this summer I took the plunge and decided to find one.  

I knew the right girl would pop up and talk to me on the computer screen as soon as I saw her and sure enough it wasn't too long before SHE did.  My girl screamed out to me and said, 
"I'm the one for you, please buy me!!".  


I knew straight away when I saw her dark shiny skin tone and hand painted eyes and lips that were ever so slightly wonky.  She had blonde hair and only wore a vest on top, but I loved her immediately and placed an offer.  Oooh it was accepted, she felt right, it all flowed and she was coming to me in just a few days!!!  Her parcel was too large to be delivered without a signature and I remember walking eagerly through the village where I lived to the delivery office, it was a beautiful mid summer day and I couldn't get there fast enough!  

I didn't know what to expect having never held a Sasha doll in the flesh before but had seen them at a doll show once before in London.  Actually I probably had seen them as a child on regular trips to Hamley's in London but have to confess my young 70s/80s obsession to Barbie clouded my eyes to most other dolls available at the time.  

My Sasha is an early Gotz girl with grey slate eyes. I think I must have got a pretty good deal on her as her 'Buy it now' listing occurred on a mid week morning when not a lot of people had spotted her. Oh it was meant to be!, I justified to myself.


My immediate impression when I unwrapped her was just how heavy she was and most of all the high quality of her structure.  Sasha Morgenthaler the creator had gone to great lengths to get her doll moldings just right and even though she was never entirely happy with the early Gotz moldings, I think this early era of Sasha series dolls are beautiful in their imperfections and quirks.  No two ever seem to look the same, each with their own little personalities and ways of standing and posing all by themselves without support.


So this was my introduction to the wonderful world of Sasha.  For anyone who is fascinated by them too, there is a wonderful friendly Sasha doll community on Facebook where you can interact with fellow Sasha doll kindred spirits.  They're a very friendly bunch.
Here is the link to the group: SASHA MORGENTHALER DOLLS

Now another reason for the next few blog posts I'll be doing in the coming weeks is to show the doll making steps of how I created Liesel...


Sasha Morgenthaler was again the inspiration behind this project.  Let me explain for those less familiar.  There are some amazing books available that chronicle the production history of Sasha dolls and also help with the identification of production dolls.  I won't go into any detail as Ann Chandler, Susanna Lewis, and Anne Votaw have done that beautifully in their series of books. (http://www.sashadoll.com). 
Here are some page snippets from their first book: Sasha Dolls The History...


It was the section on Sasha course dolls that I was inspired by.  These were cloth dolls made by students of Sasha Morgenthaler and her assistant when they ran doll making courses back in the day.  They somehow seem very accessible to the home crafter and I wanted to get closer to the process.  


I'd seen Glorex doll kits available for a long time (website: http://www.glorex.com) and kits available at: http://www.waldorfdolls.co.uk/doll-making/cloth-and-glorex-doll-supplies.html)
and even had a lot of Glorex doll making supplies at one stage a decade or so ago but unfortunately due to space had to sell it all on. Well if you know what a Glorex doll looks like, it's not far off a Sasha studio doll (they're both Swiss).  I did a search and then what popped up!! NOT  a Glorex doll kit but another doll kit by Swiss firm Bernina! Apparently it's quite a rare find.


It was even better because in this vintage Bernina doll making kit, the doll's head was already made (something that had always put me off starting a Glorex doll) and it included a real hair wig (the thought of that freaked me a bit but I actually love it now), real leather shoes and quality Swiss tricot fabric and limb inserts.  


Her face was beautifully painted too, how exciting!!  
 

After negotiating another offer she arrived and I was ready to get closer to the experience of what it must have been like to make one of Sasha's course dolls.


So in the next blog post (here) I'll begin to show you how I made Liesel.  I hope it will inspire you to maybe have a go at making your own doll too or at least fall in love with Sasha dolls as I have done and also if you are feeling inspired, don't forget to check out my own mini doll making kits from the link below:


Thank you for visiting my doll blog and do come again,
Susannah x



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