Oregonian Adventure 2

The blank face of what will become “Z”.

Constance and most of her sisters went to Oregon last week to attend a carving retreat taught by Janet Cordell and hosted by TC Vollum. From the point of view of the Hittys, it was very alarming to see the large number of sharp implements wielded by somewhat inexperienced woodcarvers. However, no Hittys were harmed, and because of Janet’s amazing talent and teaching skills (and with much help and encouragement) each class participant was able to add to the small wooden doll population of the world.

“P” partly done (end of the first day!).

Fortunately at this stage, the dolls are oblivious to carving, slicing, gouging, and all other methods of wood-chip generation.



Various doll parts, drying out after a first coat of spray.

The Hittys-to-be contemplate the collection of limbs.



This is the point where modesty kicks in.

“See, now the doll has a face”…just like Phoebe’s mother in the book, I am amazed that such a small bit of wood can have a real nose and even a pleasant expression. The wooden doll-carving  was inspired by the book Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field with Illustrations by Dorothy Lathrop. It was first published in 1929, and won the Newberry Medal, a US American award for excellence in Children’s Literature, in 1930. Read the book if you want to get a fictional sense of the world through the eyes of a doll through the 1800’s, though beware of the green paperback, which contains a number of unfortunate errors.



Zipporah and Patience, in borrowed dresses.

It will be fun to sew for the newest members of the Quimper Hitty household, but new patterns will have to be generated as they have more delicately proportioned figures.


If anyone out there would like to learn how to or perfect their carving of a little wooden doll,  I can’t recommend Janet Cordell’s carving workshops highly enough. Encouraging and talented, she also has an uncanny ability to take a half-carved monstrosity, and with a few flicks of her knife, repair something that seemed only good for kindling. I am very happy with the results, and can only hope that I can do half as well without Janet’s shoulder to look over, and her encouraging comments.


12 thoughts on “Oregonian Adventure 2

  1. What special memories these gorgeous dolls will hold for you! They are truly exquisite…congratulations on a superb job! Big smiles to you always…Kimberly

  2. A doll has to speak to you – I think both the dolls I see here seem ‘alive’. I know Janet Cordell is very talented. What fun to be in one of her classes.

  3. You always have such nice names for your hittys and yes, they are all ‘alive’ and talk to you. My favorites are still Constance and Min, but they must be thrilled with their new sisters. Congratulations to all !!

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