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Bags and Dolls
with Deborah Ackroyd
on 07 November 2017

Deborah delighted us with tales of her bags, dolls and fairies. She started sewing at three when she was watching her mother and grandmother doing embroidery and insisted she wanted to join in. She was given a very large, almost blunt needle so that she could have a go. When she had measles and was confined to bed, she asked for some pegs and scraps of material and made a large number of peg dolls; she entertained herself by talking to them and making up stories with them. This started her doll passion which was very evident in the lovely fairies that she creates now. The story telling about her dolls continues to this day, as she creates characters as she makes them.

She first made bags inspired by a Komiko Sudo book. Many of the bags had origami type textile flowers adorning them. You could see her love of embellishment and detail. After taking us through the various bags she had made and explaining their inspiration and details of textiles used, she moved on to her display of “dolls”. Her first doll was inspired by Cirque du Soleil performers and was named Allegria. Deborah enjoys collaborating with people and often works from their ideas or works on their comments made about fairies already made. One person wanted a green man doll but not the traditional man made of leaves, bark and twigs, as Deborah thought! So she worked on a green man that suited her client’s ideas. She has made fairies to match the seasons and Summer was dressed as a vision of gold. Her Winter fairy won a WI competition with the highest score possible of twenty and was Best in Show. Not all her dolls are on the genteel side; Anarchy had black nails and little knives in her garters and the WI lady looking so demure was wearing black stockings and suspenders.

This talk was a lot of fun!


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