About the Dolls
My dolls are designed and handmade by me, in my country studio, which overlooks a beautiful mountain range and is surrounded by birdsong and Australian bush. I love hunting for unique treasures to add to my creations and only ever use the most delightfully wonderful fabrics and laces. My dolls tell a story, and they are so much more than just a simple cloth doll.
One of the first things I ever made was a shabby little dress, hand stitched crookedly and without much patience for my poor Barbie doll. I was six. Since a young age, I have absolutely loved fashion, clothing, drawing and story-telling. What does that have to do with a doll? Everything. I created my first ever rag doll at the age of 16, I was so excited to see this raggedy little creature come to life in my hands. She might have had crazy yarn for hair and mismatched button eyes, but she was a character, an individual in her own right.
I started my own business at that point, making and selling dolls. Each was given a name, and a story. I sold several of my creations in local boutiques and on my market stall. When I grew tired of stuffing all those limbs I moved onto fashion and quickly forgot all about my doll making days! From then on it was all about clothing and accessories. And I loved it!
In 2015, I was forced to close my fashion business due to an injury and it was through the time spent healing and reflecting that I accidentally rediscovered my love of dolls. I created Hazel on a whim, a wonderfully quirky Deer doll and she became my first pattern. Suddenly I found that all my previous experience with the doll making of my teen years, and the huge array of skills I had gathered while running my fashion business met and fell together at my feet. I was no longer getting enjoyment from making and selling the clothing and felt continually drawn to the dolls again. So I made a decision in July 2017 - I was going to give doll making a whirl again. But this time, it was a little different.
Along with sharing my designs through my patterns, I wanted to create a boutique collection of beautiful dolls to warm the hearts and homes of others. It was if the love I poured into each little doll, was passed onto the new owner. It seems crazy but it's true. The joy came full circle. I would spend hours and days working on one little doll, and when she went to her new home, magic happened. Seeing the joy brought into other people's lives with this simple act of creation made me so happy. It was satisfying.
I admit I had another ulterior motive to making dolls again and that was my love of yarn. After starting crochet in 2015 as creative therapy, my love for beautiful fibers was growing, taking me down new creative avenues such as hand dyeing and looking at the ecological impacts of craft. I adore using pure wool in, on and around my dolls whenever I can. It's warming, it's delightful and it just has good vibes!
I'm only at the beginning of my second doll making journey and I hope you will enjoy the ride, whether you are a fellow doll maker or wish to embrace the beauty and joy a Dolly Henry doll can bring into your life by purchasing a bespoke doll from my collection.