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Bennington, VT, 05201
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A behind-the-scenes look at the R. John Wright Dolls Design Studio in Bennington, Vermont. Written by R. John Wright, hear in his own words how the creative design process unfolds and how the world-renowned RJW dolls and animal characters are readied for production. 

R. John Wright's Top 10 Favorite Dolls

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A behind-the-scenes look at the R. John Wright Dolls Design Studio in Bennington, Vermont. Written by R. John Wright, hear in his own words how the creative design process unfolds and how the world-renowned RJW dolls and animal characters are readied for production. 

R. John Wright's Top 10 Favorite Dolls

John Wright

Who doesn't love a great top 10 list? R. John Wright compiled his very favorite dolls ever produced by R. John Wright Dolls.

R. John Wright Dolls has created over 500 individual designs since 1976 and it was pretty hard to choose 10 favorites.

In no particular order, lets see them!


1) Babes in the Woods

  "Babes in the Wood" tells the haunting story of two little children who were stolen and left in a wood, where they died. The robins covered them with leaves and sang about the poor babes in the wood. It is one of the saddest poems in all of Mother Goose's oeuvre but beautifully told. There are some indications that it was based on a true event. The R. John Wright "Babes in the Wood" is inspired by an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) in A Child's Book of Stories first published in 1926. One of America's premier illustrators, Jessie Willcox Smith's work epitomized the magic of childhood. Her lovely illustrations have formed the basis for several R. John Wright editions.

 

"Babes in the Wood" tells the haunting story of two little children who were stolen and left in a wood, where they died. The robins covered them with leaves and sang about the poor babes in the wood. It is one of the saddest poems in all of Mother Goose's oeuvre but beautifully told. There are some indications that it was based on a true event.

The R. John Wright "Babes in the Wood" is inspired by an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) in A Child's Book of Stories first published in 1926. One of America's premier illustrators, Jessie Willcox Smith's work epitomized the magic of childhood. Her lovely illustrations have formed the basis for several R. John Wright editions.

2) Captain Corey

  Name: Captain Corey Description: 18" molded felt, fully jointed Date of Release: 1982. Edition Notes: Limited Edition of 50 Dolls

 

Name: Captain Corey Description: 18" molded felt, fully jointed Date of Release: 1982. Edition Notes: Limited Edition of 50 Dolls

3) The Lavender Fairy

  The R. John Wright Flower Fairies™ made their debut at a special ticketed dinner event held during the first R. John Wright convention in 2009. This important series broke new ground both artistically and technically and marked a major departure in the construction of R. John Wright dolls. In order to closely evoke the various poses of the Flower Fairy characters as depicted in the original Cicely Mary Barker illustrations, a completely new jointing system was devised. Each fairy has a hollow sculptural torso with an internal wood mechanism to connect the limbs and head. The ball & socket joints provided a far greater degree of movement then the former rotating disc method. In addition to the jointing innovations, the scale of the fairies called for new limb molds in varied and expressive poses and incredibly tiny individually sewn and turned fingers. Techniques were also devised to produce Cicely Barker's botanically-exact flowers, leaves, and berries, in felt and fabric.

 

The R. John Wright Flower Fairies™ made their debut at a special ticketed dinner event held during the first R. John Wright convention in 2009. This important series broke new ground both artistically and technically and marked a major departure in the construction of R. John Wright dolls. In order to closely evoke the various poses of the Flower Fairy characters as depicted in the original Cicely Mary Barker illustrations, a completely new jointing system was devised. Each fairy has a hollow sculptural torso with an internal wood mechanism to connect the limbs and head. The ball & socket joints provided a far greater degree of movement then the former rotating disc method.

In addition to the jointing innovations, the scale of the fairies called for new limb molds in varied and expressive poses and incredibly tiny individually sewn and turned fingers. Techniques were also devised to produce Cicely Barker's botanically-exact flowers, leaves, and berries, in felt and fabric.

4) GEPPETTO & PINOCCHIO

  Our association with the Walt Disney Company goes back several years and encompasses work from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Among the most sought after are the items based on Disney's masterpiece of animation art, Pinocchio. Following the success of the Snow White series, we turned our attention to Walt Disney¹s second full-length animated film - and arguably his best - "Pinocchio". Almost immediately it was clear that while the medium of felt would be wonderful for Geppetto, in the interests of fidelity, it would be essential that Pinocchio be made out of wood. This challenge was met with a historic collaboration between R. John Wright and the renowned ANRI Company in Italy - which has been in the same family for four generations specializing in beautifully carved wood creche sets, religious statues, and decorative figurines. After extensive research at the Disney Archives, the RJW model of Pinocchio was finalized in wax and the parts were sent to ANRI for replication in wood. Measuring approximately 9" tall, the RJW Pinocchio is made of Alpine maple. He is fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees for expressive posing. With carefully hand painted facial features and a hand-knotted mohair wig, he wears his trademark costume tailored of the finest all-wool felt. Every shade and detail has been extensively researched at the Disney Archives to make this the most authentic Pinocchio ever made. In only this version as a puppet, Pinocchio's eyes are painted looking straight ahead and his strings are attached to the marionette controls. The accompanying Geppetto doll - in addition to being fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips - features innovative ball and socket jointed knees to enable him to sit and stand realistically. Made entirely of all-wool felt, Geppetto has a molded felt character face with hand painted features, sculptural hands with individually sewn fingers, and feet with molded toes! His custom-made wig is meticulously hand-knotted of the finest imported mohair.

 

Our association with the Walt Disney Company goes back several years and encompasses work from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Among the most sought after are the items based on Disney's masterpiece of animation art, Pinocchio.

Following the success of the Snow White series, we turned our attention to Walt Disney¹s second full-length animated film - and arguably his best - "Pinocchio". Almost immediately it was clear that while the medium of felt would be wonderful for Geppetto, in the interests of fidelity, it would be essential that Pinocchio be made out of wood.

This challenge was met with a historic collaboration between R. John Wright and the renowned ANRI Company in Italy - which has been in the same family for four generations specializing in beautifully carved wood creche sets, religious statues, and decorative figurines. After extensive research at the Disney Archives, the RJW model of Pinocchio was finalized in wax and the parts were sent to ANRI for replication in wood.

Measuring approximately 9" tall, the RJW Pinocchio is made of Alpine maple. He is fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees for expressive posing. With carefully hand painted facial features and a hand-knotted mohair wig, he wears his trademark costume tailored of the finest all-wool felt. Every shade and detail has been extensively researched at the Disney Archives to make this the most authentic Pinocchio ever made. In only this version as a puppet, Pinocchio's eyes are painted looking straight ahead and his strings are attached to the marionette controls.

The accompanying Geppetto doll - in addition to being fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips - features innovative ball and socket jointed knees to enable him to sit and stand realistically. Made entirely of all-wool felt, Geppetto has a molded felt character face with hand painted features, sculptural hands with individually sewn fingers, and feet with molded toes! His custom-made wig is meticulously hand-knotted of the finest imported mohair.

5) Mickey Mouse

  Name: Mickey Mouse Description: All-felt, 12" tall, fully jointed, molded and hand painted features and leather nose and tail. Wearing trademark red shorts and yellow shoes. Date of Release: 2005 Edition Notes: Limited Edition: 500. Mickey Mouse was introduced at the Walt Disney World Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend and sold through "THE ART OF DISNEY" galleries at Epcot Center (Phone: (407)-560-6481); and DOWNTOWN DISNEY (Phone: (407)-828-3929)

 

Name: Mickey Mouse Description: All-felt, 12" tall, fully jointed, molded and hand painted features and leather nose and tail. Wearing trademark red shorts and yellow shoes. Date of Release: 2005 Edition Notes: Limited Edition: 500. Mickey Mouse was introduced at the Walt Disney World Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend and sold through "THE ART OF DISNEY" galleries at Epcot Center (Phone: (407)-560-6481); and DOWNTOWN DISNEY (Phone: (407)-828-3929)

6) Marcella and Raggedy Ann

  Name: Marcella & Raggedy Ann Description: Description:17" tall, fully jointed and made of all-wool felt with a mohair wig and hand-painted facial features. Outfitted in cotton gauze dress with felt applique pattern; straw hat with felt flowers and fruit; cream cotton stockings and leather slippers. Holds an all-felt 6" Raggedy Ann doll. Date of Release: 2005 Edition Notes: Limited Edition 250.

 

Name: Marcella & Raggedy Ann

Description: Description:17" tall, fully jointed and made of all-wool felt with a mohair wig and hand-painted facial features. Outfitted in cotton gauze dress with felt applique pattern; straw hat with felt flowers and fruit; cream cotton stockings and leather slippers. Holds an all-felt 6" Raggedy Ann doll.

Date of Release: 2005

Edition Notes: Limited Edition 250.

7) Celestial Musician

  The third issue in the RJW Hummel® collection is the beautiful "Celestial Musician" based on an original illustration by Sister Marie Innocentia. The Celestial Musician is made entirely of the finest all-wool felt. Fully jointed with the RJW ball & socket system with internal wood mechanism, the lovely angel child stands approximately 12" tall. This is the first RJW Hummel to feature the distinctive lowered eye lids. The molded felt head has delicately hand painted features, and a wig of the finest mohair. The expressive hands have individually-sewn fingers and sculptural details. The Celestial Musician comes costumed in a classic all-felt gown with metallic star motif. The angel wings are beautifully sculpted and molded out of felt and delicately hand painted. The entire costume has been artistically shaded in subtle hues to evoke the original Hummel coloring perfectly. The little musician holds a custom-made violin and bow handcrafted out of wood at the R. John Wright Workshop. A satchel made of all-wool felt hangs on a strap from one shoulder. Every detail has been meticulously researched to capture the essence and emotion of the original Hummel® design. Each doll includes a felt-covered wooden stand with a metal rod which inserts into a leg for easy display.

 

The third issue in the RJW Hummel® collection is the beautiful "Celestial Musician" based on an original illustration by Sister Marie Innocentia.

The Celestial Musician is made entirely of the finest all-wool felt. Fully jointed with the RJW ball & socket system with internal wood mechanism, the lovely angel child stands approximately 12" tall. This is the first RJW Hummel to feature the distinctive lowered eye lids. The molded felt head has delicately hand painted features, and a wig of the finest mohair. The expressive hands have individually-sewn fingers and sculptural details.

The Celestial Musician comes costumed in a classic all-felt gown with metallic star motif. The angel wings are beautifully sculpted and molded out of felt and delicately hand painted. The entire costume has been artistically shaded in subtle hues to evoke the original Hummel coloring perfectly. The little musician holds a custom-made violin and bow handcrafted out of wood at the R. John Wright Workshop. A satchel made of all-wool felt hangs on a strap from one shoulder. Every detail has been meticulously researched to capture the essence and emotion of the original Hummel® design. Each doll includes a felt-covered wooden stand with a metal rod which inserts into a leg for easy display.

8) Brownie Scotchman

  Based on the original Palmer Cox illustrations, the Brownie Scotchman from R. John Wright Dolls is made of the finest custom-dyed all-wool felt and jointed at the neck and shoulders. He has a molded felt character face, hand painted features, a mohair wig, and incredibly tiny sculptural hands. Measuring approximately 8 1/2" tall (without his hat), the Scotchman has heavy wire inside his legs to enable him to be self-standing.

 

Based on the original Palmer Cox illustrations, the Brownie Scotchman from R. John Wright Dolls is made of the finest custom-dyed all-wool felt and jointed at the neck and shoulders. He has a molded felt character face, hand painted features, a mohair wig, and incredibly tiny sculptural hands. Measuring approximately 8 1/2" tall (without his hat), the Scotchman has heavy wire inside his legs to enable him to be self-standing.

9) Tin Man

  Faithfully based on the beloved character immortalized by Jack Haley in the 1939 film, the Tin Man has been brought to life by for the first time in the medium of molded felt. The R. John Wright Tin Man is the most faithfull recreation of this character ever produced. Standing 18 inches tall, he is an all-felt doll fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees with the RJW ball & socket jointing system with an internal wood mechanism. Beneath his costume, the Tin Man has a realistic molded felt torso and limbs. Under his gloves, his amazing sculptural felt hands have individually sewn fingers! The character face has been finely sculpted in a true likeness and skillfully molded out of felt with hand painted features and a hand-applied metallic complexion. Extensively researched for the utmost authenticity, the Tin Man's iconic costume has been precisely recreated in one-quarter scale. The suit is made just as the original was using several layers of buckram, a stiff fabric coated with glue. The buckram parts are bonded to silver paper and joined together with metal rivets to allow movement. The costume is accessorized with detailed gloves, a funnel hat (also crafted out of buckram), and a wooden replica of the original Tin Man's axe. No detail been spared to bring this beloved film character vividly to life as never before.

 

Faithfully based on the beloved character immortalized by Jack Haley in the 1939 film, the Tin Man has been brought to life by for the first time in the medium of molded felt.

The R. John Wright Tin Man is the most faithfull recreation of this character ever produced. Standing 18 inches tall, he is an all-felt doll fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees with the RJW ball & socket jointing system with an internal wood mechanism. Beneath his costume, the Tin Man has a realistic molded felt torso and limbs. Under his gloves, his amazing sculptural felt hands have individually sewn fingers! The character face has been finely sculpted in a true likeness and skillfully molded out of felt with hand painted features and a hand-applied metallic complexion.

Extensively researched for the utmost authenticity, the Tin Man's iconic costume has been precisely recreated in one-quarter scale. The suit is made just as the original was using several layers of buckram, a stiff fabric coated with glue. The buckram parts are bonded to silver paper and joined together with metal rivets to allow movement. The costume is accessorized with detailed gloves, a funnel hat (also crafted out of buckram), and a wooden replica of the original Tin Man's axe. No detail been spared to bring this beloved film character vividly to life as never before.

10) Summer

  An adorable little boy named "Summer" is the final piece in the "Four Seasons" series of toddler dolls dressed in vintage-style children's clothing. Summer is made of the finest all-wool felt. He measures a diminutive 7 1/2 inches tall which represents a new cabinet-size child doll from R. John Wright. He is fully jointed with the RJW ball & socket system with internal wood mechanism. Summer's molded felt torso and limbs are sculpturally defined and his tiny expressive hands have individually-sewn fingers. His molded felt face is delicately hand painted and the blonde wig is made of the finest mohair. Summer is costumed in a vintage-style 2-piece play suit made of finest cotton broadcloth trimmed with wool felt with genuine mother-of-pearl buttons. On his head he wears a white cotton sun hat and on his feet, hand-cobbled red leather sandals with miniature custom-made buckles. In one hand Summer holds an authentic replica of a classic "Playmates of the Clouds" Hi-Flier kite! The HI-FLIER KITE COMPANY, based in Decatur, Illinois, led the market for paper kites mid-century. This detailed miniature is constructed just like a full-size original with a wooden frame and a cotton rag tail.

 

An adorable little boy named "Summer" is the final piece in the "Four Seasons" series of toddler dolls dressed in vintage-style children's clothing.

Summer is made of the finest all-wool felt. He measures a diminutive 7 1/2 inches tall which represents a new cabinet-size child doll from R. John Wright. He is fully jointed with the RJW ball & socket system with internal wood mechanism. Summer's molded felt torso and limbs are sculpturally defined and his tiny expressive hands have individually-sewn fingers. His molded felt face is delicately hand painted and the blonde wig is made of the finest mohair.

Summer is costumed in a vintage-style 2-piece play suit made of finest cotton broadcloth trimmed with wool felt with genuine mother-of-pearl buttons. On his head he wears a white cotton sun hat and on his feet, hand-cobbled red leather sandals with miniature custom-made buckles.

In one hand Summer holds an authentic replica of a classic "Playmates of the Clouds" Hi-Flier kite! The HI-FLIER KITE COMPANY, based in Decatur, Illinois, led the market for paper kites mid-century. This detailed miniature is constructed just like a full-size original with a wooden frame and a cotton rag tail.