Tuesday, 16 June 2015

DOLLS WITH ATTITUDE–a talk by Kathryn Thompson 13th June

Report by Carole Sams – one of our Joint Chairmen and a Doll Maker herself -
“We had an entertaining talk from Kathyrn Thompson explaining her development of making cloth dolls.  Her historical perspective from the plastic shilling shop dolls that she decked out in finery, to the upside down Jean Greenhow dolls made for her children through to her current embellished figures, many of which she had on show.  Latterly she has worked with the American doll designer Patti Cullea and our own British designer Ray Slater, whose methods are quite different.  Kathyrn told a tale about stuffing and gave tips from doll making that can be utilised in other textile activities with the use of finger
turners and symmetrical drawing.

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Apart from her extensive textile work Kathyrn is a heritage tour guide in Blackpool and has been asked to give talks to promote the planned Museum of Entertainment which will open in 2018, and her dolls are proving useful in aiding her with this.
The ‘Buxom Babe’ doll figure (which unfortunately I did not photograph ) provides a popular image of Blackpool; the Pantomime Dame represents the Entertainment the resort is famous for and the Mermaid is a test to see who knows where in the resort the mermaid riding a dolphin is sited.
This was a very entertaining talk, even if the dolls were a bit spooky for some of our members”

From Sandra Kedzlie – a comment -
I am the one who has always thought these dolls were spooky” BUT after hearing Kathryn’s talk and seeing her wonderful dolls with their beautiful costumes, I must say I was amazed by the detail, colour and imagination put into this work and some of them – especially the ‘Buxom Babe’ – based on the artist Beryl Cook’s work I think might help me get over my aversion!
Thanks Kathryn – a great and entertaining talk -wonderful to see someone using their work to inform others in a different way.

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