Santa Claus

Modern closed mouth, shoulder head (circumference 9 inches, doll height 20 inches) from Seeley mould SC300 (Axel), on soft body.
Reproduced as Santa. See below for further construction details.
Original sculpted by Faith Wick as a Grandpa with moulded hair and moustache, and painted eyes. This doll has particularly finely sculpted hands and fingers, and optional moulded boot styles for his feet.
Santa's sack contains various purchased items, as well as 3 small reproduction porcelain dolls: Gigi, Joanna, and Sugar Lump; and a miniature cloth Golly. The Christmas mug and cat (teapot) are from a range of original miniatures by Sue Britton.

I made this Santa while on an extended business trip to San Jose in California in 1994. I joined a "free format" class at Adopt-a-Doll in Willow Glen, a great doll shop, which is now run by Susan Knott. It was excellent to have the opportunity to work with a different teacher and on a modern doll; everyone in the class was very good and friendly towards me, lending me items as I did not have all my equipment with me. However although often I have a lot of free time in the evenings when on these trips, this was not the case and I had a hard time completing the doll. I finished the porcelain painting, purchased some fabrics, and then left him tied up in a box with friends in San Jose for about 5 years before he finally made it home, and then after about 8 years in total I finally completed him.
I had a particular vision of Santa as a serious chap with "normal" clothes under his cloak. I used the cloak pattern from Seeley's MP32, but it has him wearing a tunic, which I did not use. I started using a synthetic crushed velvet in dark red (from New York Fabrics in San Jose) but in the end, used this as the lining for the dark green velvet cloak that you see him wearing in the picture; the trim is rabbit fur which I acquired in Canada. He has a cream cotton shirt, a dark red ribbon bow tie, and a red waistcoat and black trousers in a synthetic felt-type material. I wanted him to have a fob pocket watch; this is how I first found Kathy's Kreations on the web where I was able to purchase exactly what I had in mind (FOB1 at $5.25). I have to make sure it is not quite in the pocket so we can all admire it...
The three porcelain dolls in Santa's sack are Gigi, (mould S448 by Seeley, but no longer available), Joanna, (mould by Recollect Studios), and Sugar Lump, (mould by Boots Tyner). I tried to dress them all in suitable Christmas colours.

Gigi, with her grumpy little face, is not one of my favourite dolls; I have not helped her here by dressing her in what should be gold but, like many interpretations that are not metallic, is a mustard colour. The dress and hat were made in DMC cotton No 80 using Anne Lim's crochet pattern for Gigi in Knitted and Crochet Dresses for Dolls by Joan Nerini. She has red leather shoes and lace socks, (both glued into place).
Joanna however is one of my favourites. I have made her several times, with both glass and painted eyes but prefer the latter. She is a mould from an original doll made by Recollect Studios in the UK. She is about 4 inches tall and I have dressed her in dark green silk dupion using a pattern from Sue Atkinson's Making and Dressing Dolls' House Dolls: In 1/12 Scale. I had to alter the pattern slightly as I find many of her 1/12th scale patterns a bit too big but the result is very sweet. She has painted brown boots.
Sugar Lump is a really simple little doll, with painted closed eyes, painted hair and bare feet; the painting is not difficult despite the small size. The body and clothes are "all-in-one" but the body contains a little insert to be filled with sand to provide a nice weight for the doll.
The Golly is a minituarised version of a golly in the excellent book Classic Gollies to Knit, Sew and Crochet by Marjory Fainges, (who is also the author of one of the best reference books I have for porcelain dolls). I found it hard to make a fabric golly so small, despite making all his accessories from felt, as I am not used to making miniatures and dealing with fraying fabric.