Anyone who is looking for a hobby but doesn’t think they have the necessary skills or talent, take not of this quote from author, Henry Van Dyke: “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” Why no try some different crafts until you find one that really absorbs you. Have you ever considered making dolls or miniatures for instance?
For several years I worked on a magazine dedicated to dolls, teddy bears and miniatures. The publication featured some amazing work by equally amazing people who started out just looking for an enjoyable pastime. A few years earlier I didn’t even know such crafts existed, believing dolls, teddies and doll’s houses were just toys for children. Not so. These are some of the most popular crafts around the world and the items created are for the enjoyment of adults and children. In fact many of the craftspeople have turned their ‘hobby’ into very lucrative businesses.
Consider porcelain doll making. You do not have to be a sculptor to create dolls. Find a teacher in your area and attend a beginner’s class. The teacher will have moulds for a number of dolls, and you can choose which one you would like to make. You are instructed week-by-week until your doll is painted and assembled. Then it is time to dress it. Many doll makers are not skilled in sewing and will always welcome adept seamstresses who are interested in turning their skills to doll costuming.
Not all porcelain dolls are alike. You can make modern porcelain dolls, or you might prefer recreations of the exquisite dolls of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Modern dolls offer more scope for creativity, whereas antique reproductions require a deft hand to recreate the beauties of the past, as close as possible to the originals.
While all the crafts mentioned attract mainly women, some males have also made their mark, and when it comes to miniature doll’s houses for instance, many are constructed by men. During my time on the magazine I encountered several talented men heavily involved in miniatures. One built elaborate doll’s houses, as well as the entire contents. Another preferredroom boxes, similar to the world famous ‘Thorne Rooms’ now housed at The Art Institute of Chicago. This particular gentleman created rooms in 18th and 19th century English and French style. His tiny furniture pieces were works of art, and exact replicas of the full-sized items, with fully functioning drawers, doors etc. He even turned his hand to miniature painting.
If this information has left you wanting to find out more, a good place to start may be your local library. You might also enjoy a visit to my website where you’ll find information and wonderful photographs of dolls and miniatures, plus there will be items for sale in The Gallery. There is also a fantastic, hand-picked selection of books for sale on everything to do with dolls, miniatures and collecting. This may be your first step to finding a challenging and immensely satisfying new hobby, and so much more.