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“Moonstruck” Featured in 2012 Somerset HOLIDAYS & Celebrations

See “Moonstruck” in the Halloween section of the new 2012 issue of Somerset HOLIDAYS & Celebrations.

Want to read more?  Here are some additional details that you won’t see in the magazine.

                       Moonstruck

This doll is an elaborate fantasy combination of a spun cotton ornament and a paper doll with crepe paper clothing, such as those produced by the Dennison Company in the early 1900’s.  Her body is spun cotton over a wire armature, with a chromolithographed paper scrap face.  Standing upon a mica dusted spun cotton moon, she is wearing a party frock comprised of layers of crepe paper and tulle, trimmed with velvet ribbon and luna moths made of embossed Dresden paper.   Over her shoulders she wears a crepe paper and tissue paper cape.  Her hat is fashioned from wool felt, accented with velvet ribbon and a crepe paper blossom.  Other details include Dresden paper bangle bracelets and shoes made of black flocking and glitter. In her hand is a crystal ball, for telling your future, and in her bag are stars to sprinkle in your eyes and amongst the heavens until you too are moonstruck…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, chromolithography came into being in early 19th century Germany at the hands of Alois Senefelder , who amazed the world and forever changed the printing industry.  Others quickly followed Senefelder in the field of color printing, including Parisian Godefroy Engelmann in the 1830’s. Soon thereafter, small color scraps – bits leftover from larger printing jobs, which were too precious to be thrown out and too valuable give away, began to be sold in Germany.   The die cut, glossy printed-paper images were bought by bakers who used them for wrapping special breads.  For example Easter breads were wrapped in paper decorated with a scrap showing a spring scene.  From the 1830’s onwards, collectors eagerly sought these tiny chromolithographs.

Color scraps, or chromos, found an enthusiastic market in nineteenth century America, where they were pasted into blank friendship books, which it was customary to pass around amongst friends and family members.  Soon special books were being made for scrap collectors, which were called scrap albums or scrapbooks!

A few words about me:

My name is Paula Walton.  I’ve been a doll maker for 26 years.  More than a decade ago I developed a fascination with the art of spun cotton ornaments.  Because there is very little information available about the way spun cotton was crafted, I taught myself the technique by studying antique ornaments.  Since then I have been gleefully creating spun cotton figures and enthusiastically teaching others to do so too.  My ornaments can be seen at my website http://www.asweetremembrance.com and here on my blog.  I also have a special online discussion site for all my spun cotton students.  I may be reached by emailing paula@asweetremembrance.com.

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