A lifetime passion for dolls has led Kaye Keene from doll making hobbyist to a professional doll maker with a reputation for quality cloth dolls, suitable both as collectors' items and cherished playmates for children.
"When I was a child I spent hours with my dolls. They were my best friends and I took them everywhere I went. I loved dressing and undressing them, changing their outfits to suit the fantasy we were playing out. Wear and tear was an inevitable consequence".
Meeting the demand for a doll that could also be a regular playmate for children became Kaye's priority. With no models to work from, Kaye found a picture in an old book of her mother's. Using it as a guide she set about designing her own unique face and body patterns to create "doll children" that were both cute to look at and rugged enough sustain regular handling.
"I needed a strong body and a virtually indestructible face that would wear well for years," said Kaye. "After experimentation with many fabrics I now use a strong cotton knit specially dyed to a warm skin colour. Both body and head are machine sewn and firm stuffed with fibre fill. I embroider and needle sculpt the faces to give them each their own individuality and live expression".
The result is a doll that can be machine washed and dried several times without losing its shape or colour. Although the design is both simple and traditional they were popular and sold well. Now made in several different designs and always beautifully dressed the dolls resemble rich little rag dolls from which the name of Kaye's business was born.
Kaye has developed her art from a spare time hobby to a full time occupation as a professional doll maker with an international reputation for originality and excellence. Working on her own to produce her unique collection, Kaye now makes more than 500 dolls a year for clients all over the world.
"Each doll is quite unique in the colour of its hair, eyes and dress. It would be difficult to find two dolls exactly alike, so please order from the photos, and know that yours will be a "one-off" creation, although similar in colour and character."