Yesterday I took Astrid’s beautiful doll back to the dollmakers to have her arms upgraded to fancy buttoned on ones after Edith pulled them off. I had also asked Mopsa if it was alright if I photographed her house, because it is the most divine house – a rambling, naturally chaotic original victorian terrace house in London Fields. Whenever I visit I find myself staring all around the place at the details, the floors, the walls, the garden and so Mopsa very kindly allowed me in to photograph while she and Sevim sewed.
The discovery that Mopsa and Sevim made Steiner dolls was one I made two years ago – the first time we went to the school fair after Astrid had just started Kindergarten. I’ve been looking for years for really good Steiner dolls and I saw this doll and just ran over, picked her up and knew she had to be Astrid’s. She’s a beauty with her headband and lovely soft almost greying brown hair.
Every week Mopsa and Sevim make their dolls and the time and energy and love they put in to their dolls became even more apparent to me yesterday, watching as they operated on Rosemary together like a team of doll surgeons – but it was surgery with love. The smiles on their faces once she had her arms and legs back on – we were getting a free upgrade to their new buttoned arm attachments. Astrid was thrilled to have Rosemary returned – “She has buttons!” – the delight of a happy and satisfied five year old.
Each doll takes over fourteen hours to make by hand – they retail at £95. They source their materials from the UK – their wool stuffing from Yorkshire, Welsh wool for the hair, British woven and up-cycled cottons for the dolls clothes. I’m looking out for some blonde wool when we head up to the Cotswolds next week.
Mopsa and Sevim are taking their dolls to a few Christmas Fairs this December. You’ll find them at St Paul’s Steiner School Fair on December 7th and 8th at 1 St Paul’s Road, London N1.
If you would like to learn how to make your own doll they are running a dollmaking workshop on four Sunday evenings from November 4th for four weeks. 7-10pm at That Place on the Corner in Newington Green. The cost is £70 plus £25 for materials.