Dolls' House World Magazine
Georgina Ritson began producing dolls for miniaturists in 2006. Her work first gained recognition with invitations to Miniatura and the Kensington Dolls House Festival in 2007. Seen in books, magazines and museums Georgina Ritson dolls have sold around the world travelling as far a field as Queensland, South Africa and New York. Over time a waiting list for Georgina’s creations began to grow.
The miniature doll making process begins with casting the figures out of porcelain slip, using production moulds. The porcelain is cleaned twice before the final kiln firing and the finished pieces are polished by hand. Remaining loyal to traditional production techniques, the dolls faces are hand painted ensuring that no two faces are the same.
Once the individual pieces of porcelain are made the doll is assembled, paying close attention to scale and proportion as this can make or break the realistic persona of a miniature character. Once the figure is assembled, the painstaking process of costuming and wigging begins, bringing the piece “to life.” At this stage each piece becomes inevitably unique.
“The costuming process begins with a period of careful research, using a variety of reference works, to ensure both realism and authenticity. Once the miniature doll’s persona is decided I can then begin selecting the correct materials to clothe him or her. I use only the finest lace and silks and am constantly on the look out for special miniature dress making fabrics.
Wig making is one of my favourite stages as it can make such a difference (just like real hair) by altering face shape to convey a particular characteristic or personality. I use man made fabrics to make the wigs and often spend hours meticulously styling and re-styling so that the hair is perfect. Finally, I craft accessories with which to add the final touches to the dolls house doll’s character; ranging from ladies fans, the essential 18th-century accessory, to the brightly flamboyant shoes of the 20th century.”
Georgina began making porcelain miniature dolls in 2006 but her interest in miniatures goes back much further: “My first dolls’ house was made by my father when I was six years old and was a source of much childhood enjoyment. Other dolls’ houses followed and I began dressing miniature dolls for my own dolls’ house in 2000. Several years later I took the plunge and purchased a kiln and moulds to begin making the entire doll from scratch.”
Art has always factored in Georgina’s life, at school she won an art scholarship and was frequently engaged in creative activities. She has tried her hand at silver smithing, print making, ceramics and enjoys painting in her spare time.
Raised in the North West of England, near the Lake District, Georgina moved to Cambridge, then London where her business was based for seven years. Georgina arrived at doll making after a few years working in publishing and reading history at Cambridge of which she has fond memories.
Georgina, with Tigger, one of her many pets!