The child who loves a doll has a friend that becomes a vessel for deep affection and wild flights of adventure. Playing with dolls teaches sharing, kindness, and the permanent consequences of giving bad haircuts. For the unlucky, they teach about loss. Oh, the hours I spent searching for my beloved Cookie Moore, the little pocket doll my grandmother made for me. That doll held the magical possibility that tiny people could actually exist. Her replica never had the same resonant power.
[Clockwise from top left: Folk art sewing and craft doll from ARTinBOXES; Antique African American doll from yeoldewish; Vintage Hungarian doll from CitySparrows; Mexican folk art doll from myclosetshelf]
Some dolls evoke a bittersweet nostalgia for hours of long forgotten play.
The constant companionship of a tiny friend provides a dependable playmate.
Baby dolls can ease the coming of an actual brother or sister.
When dolls cross into the realm of art, they still inspire imagination and creativity.
Not every child loves dolls, but some of us have vivid memories of a special doll and times spent together. Do you?
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.