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Jim Handmade Art Doll ADE

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One of a kind, created July 2012

Height 47cms/18 ins approx.

Jim is a companion to Tipi. Even more elusive and unknowable than my Grandmother, my Grandad slipped in and out of my childhood like water, evaporating whilst I was still too young to be curious about him. Years later, I make a doll that draws together the threads of his story: a career in the RAF that meant a shifting life, capture by the Japanese during WW2, separation from my Gran and the young son they lost during their evacuation from Singapore, their inevitable divorce in the aftermath. Then, his love of jazz music, radios and a photo from the forties of him laughing in his shirt sleeves and pleat-front trousers, somehow effortlessly casual and smart in the way people were. I wrack my memory for the way he looked in the seventies, when I met him, but I can’t remember what he wore. Just the trousers and the shirt, mixed up with the drama of images of POWs: stick thin, ragged and yet somehow still themselves. Suffering so visible and yet buried deep you’d never know…

I wish I’d posed in my wigwam and Indian outfit with him, like I did with my Gran, but the dashing young man was just a shadow by then. So I’ve made him a pair of trousers I think he’d have liked, to reconnect him to my Gran and to me. Many stitches make him a senninbari doll, to protect the him that’s still back there in the War. Maybe sometime during my seventies childhood, when I was making cross-stitch and french knot samplers at school, I was doing the same.

Jim is hand stitched, embroidered and painted. He has a flying hat decorated with woodpecker feathers.


Jim Handmade Art Doll ADE


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: calico stuffed with wool, mohair, vintage kimono cotton, stockinette, acrylic paint, pencil, chalk, ink, embroidery, buttons, paper, latex, woodpecker feathers
  • Ships worldwide from United Kingdom
  • Feedback: 22 reviews
  • Favorited by: 62 people