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