These dolls are a series of one of a kind dolls made using locally sourced British wools. Eacd doll represents a lost or dying part of working class folk.
The Whitby Fisherman
I think we sometimes forget that we are an island and fishing was a large part of our history. As a knitter I have been interested in the fisherman’s gansey and the myths surrounding these iconic jumpers. This fisherman is wearing a traditional gansey in a pattern found in Whitby. Although the photo was taken in nearby Scarborough. Although the jumper is a miniature version, it is still made in the traditional way.
The Terrible Knitter of Dent
Hand knitting has had an increase in popularity in recent years, it was once a source of income for poorer folk. The village of Dent in the Yorkshire Dales has a long history of knitting gloves and I used the traditional glove pattern to re-create these miniature versions for this doll.
The gloves took 6 hours to knit on 1.2mm needles. Here they are next to a full sized glove.
The Clog Maker
One of my favourite journeys is the A58 through Hebden Bridge. As a child we often stopped at the clog factory to watch the shoes being made. A second clog doll was made for the clog makers in exchange for my own pair of clogs. (www.clogs.co.uk)
I made my first pair of miniature clogs for this little fellow, now I make a pair of clogs for all the Northern Folk.
It’s not difficult to see the poverty and unemployment caused by the loss of the mining industry. I believe it’s the destruction of industries like this, decided on by the wealthy in Southern cities that contribute so much to the North/South divide and perhaps the belief that the government don’t care about those of us North of the M25.
This miner has a fully working miners lamp and modern safety gear
These four dolls were made for my final university project where I also won the first prize for wool innovator of the year from the worshipful company of woolmen.
The River Folk
Huddersfield university is built on both sides of a canal, which meant I got to see cannal barges most days.
The Morris Dancer
This doll was inspired by a local Morris Dancing group, the Briggate Morris dancers.