Getting creative with English and doll dressing

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A special guest introduces a whole new area of English language and creativity

Colleen Crookes is a doll-maker who creates amazing porcelain dolls. She visited our Palmerston North centre’s Roslyn English Language Group to share her skills.

Colleen used pictures to show the learners how the half-dolls we were using had been made. ‘Slip’ is poured into a mould then poured out again, leaving a thin layer which, after drying, comes out of the mould in the shape of the doll.

After being carefully smoothed, it is fired in a very hot kiln so it becomes hard. It is then ready for painting, before being fired again – these last two processes may be repeated several times.

Colleen helped the learners to make their own doll napkin holders, which were very popular during the Art Deco period. They pushed skewers into a base, then folded pretty-patterned paper napkins, placing one around each skewer forming the doll’s skirt.

The tops of the skewers were then joined with a rubber band and the beautiful half-dolls, which Colleen had already painted, were placed over the top.

Finally, learners decorated them with ribbons, flowers and beads. The learners enjoyed learning about making dolls and were very proud of their creations.

Just in time to get gift-giving ideas as Christmas is in the air!

Writer: Hilary Laracy

English language and creativity through doll making

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English Language Groups

  • 2-4 hours per week
  • Learn Kiwi English in a class
  • Learn about New Zealand culture
  • Go on day trips
  • Meet other people in your community
  • Qualified teachers
  • Fees may apply. Ask at your centre.
  • In all centres

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