Having a Hitty Fit

A few days ago, my husband and I went for a drive in the mountains of North Carolina to visit a very special lady. She’s a master wood carver with an international reputation and a long-time instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School. At age 11, she learned wood carving from her mother, as well as other famous folk artists.

We met several years ago, and I was excited to learn that she had also carved dolls – Hitty dolls – although she wasn’t doing them any more. She promised to let me know me if she ever did, so I was thrilled (maybe you could call it the happy version of a hissy fit!) when she called to say that while clearing out her workshop she’d found a couple, one was the first one she ever carved  – and was I interested? Was I? What a question!

Two pretty dolls in the hands of their maker!

The original doll was only lightly sanded and faintly painted with color, while her later work was more detailed and finished. But it was the first one that stole my heart. So Mehitabel has come home with me and is awaiting her wardrobe. It was delightful to visit and see the artist’s workshop and other examples of her carving. Sadly, she suffered a stroke earlier this year, so she’s not doing as much now. I did have the pleasure of seeing one especially stunning doll (it’s for sale! contact me for her info if you’re interested) which I’ve posted below.

Truly a work of art!

And here’s a glimpse of the beautiful work on a similar one waiting to be dressed.

And one last peek at a project that really took my breath away –

I’m so excited to have a new doll to dress. It’s not easy for me to sew tiny things, so I’ll have to take care that it’s one my Hitty fits!

9 thoughts on “Having a Hitty Fit

  1. OH! I am so excited for you!!! What a wonderful thing to happen! I can’t wait to see her clothed!
    BTW I suggest getting a hard cover version of the book as that green one has several printing errors in it.

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    1. Thank you for telling me about the book – I didn’t know that. I’ll find a good hard cover. I’ll have to keep this old one with her though, since it was the artist’s own copy. Is it ok to mine your site for clothing ideas? you might as well say yes, since I’m going to anyway. Ha! 😉

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  2. What a joy to visit with this person and to be able to get her first carved Hitty,…. I love that she has faded looking paint…. makes her more “real”. The carved lady dolls are works of art…. such talent this woman has.

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    1. How kind of you to comment and say such lovely things! Thank you. Yes indeed, she is a treasure and it was an honor to visit with her. I think I’m always drawn to the humbler things, which may be why I love plain sewing so much!

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