Thursday, April 21, 2011

These Hands


These hands make Moonchild Dolls. They are sore and tired hands. They are happy and content hands. They are not the most beautiful hands in the world but they do beautiful work. The hours these hands spend making dolls are hours very well spent. These hands are sneaking up on their 49th year.


As I see it, I will spend at least 10 more years making Moonchild dolls. Maybe more. I can comfortably see making 1800-2000 dolls during this time. A very finite amount. It is my desire that the majority of these dolls go to homes that embrace some Waldorf principles in child rearing. Homes that do not indulge the children with large quantities of dolls and toys. Homes that lean towards toys made with natural fiber, wood, metals and items straight from nature. That the children in the home are given toys that generate the desire to explore and create. Toys that help them to learn to be caring and compassionate.


I would like these dolls to stay in a family even when the child does not immediately warm to it. The child/doll relationship cannot be forced. A doll placed within reach and left alone will draw the child to it in time. A parent that takes a moment to wordlessly tuck the doll in under a small blanket, whether on a chair, in an open drawer or a in toy cradle will be gently encouraging the child to begin forming his own bond with the doll.


I understand that some of these dolls will live with people that have a true love for Waldorf style dolls and want to have a variety of them. People that collect dolls because they appreciate the skill an artistry that goes into them. I understand that some people will buy my dolls just because they are difficult to obtain and get romanced by the "gotta get it now before someone else does" bug. I understand that some people want their children to have an abundance to choose from and to possibly be collectors as well. It is okay that some of my dolls go to these homes.


Because I can only make a small amount of dolls per year and the customer base for Waldorf dolls has grown exponentially, I am placing a maximum of 2 dolls a year per family. I will make exceptions to families with more than 2 children. I know there are plenty of people that have no problem scooting around the rules and do what they can to get the dolls they want. I know I will be snookered. I will do my best to make sure this happens a little as possible so that new families will have the opportunity to own a Moonchild doll. If I need to cancel a sale and re-list a doll then that is what will happen.


I am happy to have the fortunate life that I do. I have a wonderful and supportive husband that loves me. My children are happy and healthy. The baby turns 19 tomorrow. I get to make what I want and people will buy it. This was my answer when I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. That and be a forest ranger. I am grateful that people like what I create. I love to sew and I love to make dolls. Thank you all for being my patrons and appreciating Moonchild Dolls.




xo

29 comments:

Jenny said...

♥ ♥ ♥

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE what you said and how you think and what you feel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If ONLY a small majority of the other dollmakers felt the same way! BUT I know it's an individual choice!

You were our first Waldorf purchase! I messaged you a little less than a yr ago and then got a custom just like that! Boy have times changed! Although it took a little more time than expected, so well worth the wait! Athena is drawn to her Moonchild alot lately but it does come and go but we would NEVER send her anywhere else! She is a part of our forever family now! I would someday love to own one of your smaller dolls and I know someday that day will come but for now, I am overjoyed that we are lucky enough to have just one!

My greatest respect...Theresa

Anonymous said...

Oh Berrie, I couldn't read without commenting----especially since I feel like a little piece of you lives with us. :) You made Nora her beloved Molly a little over a year ago, and although she was amazing when she arrived, with her beautiful dress and matching bows, she grows more beautiful although worn to my daughter everyday. You do magical work. You create playmates. I remember my favorite doll from my childhood. I still have her. Nora will remember Molly.
Julie Yaklic

orangevanilla said...

Well said Berrie :) thankyou!!
Erin

Aimee B said...

Exactly!

IndieBambino said...

Berrie, I completely agree with you. We just purchased our first large size Moonchild (fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to buy) and it will go to my daughter this Christmas. Possibly getting one more for my son sometime this year would be icing on the cake. I love that you put a 2 per year limit on your dolls, I think that's perfectly brilliant.

Kim said...

I cannot wait to have a Moonchild doll! My 6 year old attended Montessori up to grade 1. and now my 3 year old is in Montessori, not Waldorf school but some similar philosophies... Anyways, maybe one day I will get lucky! Still in love with Violet Wren! :-)

Lauren said...

Berrie - I agree that the doll/child relationship cannot be forced but often the relationship (like any new relationship) takes time to flourish. My daughters have taken upwards of three months to show any interest in a newcomer in our house. When given the time I am amazed that there is always a turning point when a doll begins to be played with.

Akhila's Handblog said...

Please take care of those hands. They do amazing work and create lovely little 'people'. You are a great inspiration.
Akhila

Folky Dots said...

Great post. I loved reading it.
Your work is beautiful.

Brandy said...

I like it! :-)

Anonymous said...

We all can see the great talent, creative, love and perfection glowing from those beautiful hands,Now that I prepare mysellf for retirment from work I am going back to hand-craft espetially sewing dolls to mygransons/daughter's
frinds (allready made three)and all my insperation is coming from you berrie, I learn alot about the waldorf dolls and the Rudolf Stiner philosophie and I'm sending the massege since I also learn from your perfect explanations and photos,evry day I must visit you to see what's new, I love your beautiful dolls you are very speciall, if one day you will teach cors of how to creat awaldorf doll I'll be more than happy to come all the wat from the holly land of Israel,
I send love happines and helth to evryone on earth
ofri barzilay

endless13 said...

Wonderful post, loving hands, and honest ideals. Well written :) I, and many others, totally agree with you. Your dolls are beautiful and precious.

Debra said...

Love you Berrie!

Fabs said...

Bravo! You know how I feel and I support entirely this decision of yours, perhaps this is the only way. It makes me a little sad to think that there is a finite number of dolls coming out of your hands, it does, but it's a truth in life and I admire your resolution and your forward thinking in this matter. I love it.

cheryl said...

My daughter had a birthday when she was five and I contacted you to make quite alot of moondrops...She is eight now and still has hers, that she tucks in her purse an overnight bag and snuggled with her other dolls at night. My five year old son has a dragon one which he feels the same way about. Thank you for sharing your talent...I hope we get to own a bigger one one day, I just love your color combinations they are beautiful!

marirob said...

Thank you for taking the time to write such an eloquent and thoughtful post. Your dolls are so beautifully constructed and I'm glad that you take the time to make them yourself - it makes them so special. I think this post should be required reading for everyone looking to buy a waldorf doll, it gives such food for thought in this crazy world we live in. Big hugs to you!!!

Barbara H said...

Hi Berrie! Even though we are one of those homes that have an abundance of Waldorf's and therefore a home that does "indulge the children with large quantities of dolls and toys", please be assured that this same home is one "that the children in the home are given toys that generate the desire to explore and create. Toys that help them to learn to be caring and compassionate." You may not agree with large quantities, but please know that each and everyone of the dolls that Willow has is cherished. She assigns them all personalities when she meets them- some are shy, some are sassy, some are fast, some are funny- they are whatever she needs them to be. Some of her dolls get along with everyone, some of them are best friends or siblings with each other. The older dolls are always jealous at first of a newer doll, but in no time at all Willow let's me know which doll was the first to make the new one feel welcome. They are her companions when she is happy, when she is anxious, when she is sad, when she is busy. She sleeps with each and everyone of them every night and notices immediately if someone is missing (No doll left behind!). I love to see which doll comes out of bed with her in the morning and after her nap and which others trickle down throughout the day. There was not a single day of preschool this year that there wasn't some doll tucked into her backpack- she can't get them out at school, but it comforted her to know they were there near her. Through Waldorf's we were able to introduce the differences in dolls and people as well... she has learned that some have chocolate skin or Asian eyes- some are thin and some are squishy- some are short, some are tall- some come with tiny imperfections that make them unique- and that all of these traits is what makes her dolls and people so incredibly special. These are her forever friends. Once a doll is introduced to Willow, it's not going anywhere. The thought of selling a doll that is part of her group would be like suggesting to her that she sell a member of our family... her attachment to them is unlike what she has for any store bought toy. So even though we have a small troop of wool friends, they are each and everyone loved with the pureness and fullness that a four year old heart can offer them. I cherish each and every doll whisper that Willow shares with me and nothing makes me happier then to see a new "love smudge" on a doll to show that it is part of our family. Thank you for playing a part in that magic as Ella is a very well loved member of Willow's world. :)

Berrie Hamby said...

Thank you all for your heartfelt and understanding sentiments. My husband reminds me that I do see my world through rose colored glasses. I like it this way. Sometimes he asks me about the unicorns and fairies and I have to tell him I can't see them they must be hiding behind the rainbows.
Just because I know what would be ideal for me does not mean it is ideal for all.
Barb it sounds like what you and Willow have works very well. I want other mamas to have an opportunity to see their child interact with a Moonchild doll. If the dolls get snatched up by the same people over and over this diminishes the opportunities for new customers and makes it VERY difficult for those that have been trying for a long time to get one.
This is why I need to put limits and have invitation only uploads.

Barbara H said...

Don't mind the limits at all my dear! If we would be lucky enough to welcome two more of your magnificent creations into our home, we would be very blessed indeed! :D

Anonymous said...

Very nice Berrie! I have one of your lovely dolls, I collect for my love of the beauty of handmade artistery. I have always preferred my children play with more tradional toys, less battery's better play, imagination and lasting. Our Waldorfs are for me as well as for my 4 children, my girl is young just coming up on 1! I play with the dolls with her daily, I do think of the Moonchild as mine a bit more than hers right now, she is often on my nightstand, but I share, I give my little ones anyone of our dolls to play with at any time, she smiles and greets which ever one I give her. My boys are just as welcome to them and I know some day my daughter will take more charge and I gasp a bit, but I will relingqhish Simmy to her! I can completely live with in your limit. I believe in having somewhere between a few and a bit of an over indulgance amount but everyone will be loved. I hope some day to get one more Moonchild when my daughter is a wee older so she will enjoy the arrival and then momma will have a moonchild and so will daughter!

Kimberly

Anonymous said...

But I do hope sometime you will indulge me with some more moondrops so we can complete the rainbow!

Kimberly

Anonymous said...

This really warmed my heart. :-)

regina said...

wonderful solution to a tough problem :)

Karen Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Sue said...

I just found you today through another blog post. She said her doll came from you. Then as I was reading, I though hmmmm I turned 49 in March, I have one that is 19 today....I also wanted to be a forest ranger when I was taking those high school interest tests. I made quilts for my kids and the 2 middles (19 & 16) still have them in their beds. Mostly rags, but made with with love, just for them, and they know it. My only daughter had dolls, but one special one that was around always. Someday I hope she has a daughter and she'll have a special doll, too, or maybe even her sons!
Nice posting from the heart. I'm shortening my first post and deleting it. I love what you do and you do it for all the right reasons.

Mélie said...

Great pictures, I wish my office will look like yours, one day ...
Have fun

Sapo Verde said...

Your hands create things that add more beauty and artistry in this world. Love this post.

Kicsiera said...

It is my favorite post! :) It is all what I think about dolls. When I was child my favorite was a monkey, Maki. It was made from cotton with button eyes and I got from my Parents. That time the dolls were usually made from plastic, and they weren't unique or lovable. Except Maki. Now Maki is about 30 years old, but he is in a good condition and he is still my Maki. :) I have a little Daughter and I hope I can give Her the same gift in the future.