I suppose I should have said as part of my last post, how much I enjoyed making this doll, and how much, now she is finished, I love her. I was telling my colleague, Patricia, about this at a dinner we were at last week and it struck me how difficult it is to say how much we love the things we make and how special our relationship with them can be. It is almost unthinkable to tell someone, ‘yes, I did make and I’m really proud of it because I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s beautifully designed, conceptualised and executed. I am so glad that I made it because now I get to keep it and have it. Lucky me.’ We just can’t say this. At least I can’t. We have to adopt modesty and self-effacement like we assume the drag the doll is made to explore.
But, I love this doll. I love the cut of her coat and the excess of her underwear. I love the cloth with the gesso over it and the way that it felt like high fashion which could be scaled up as I was making it.
And I love my own skill in being able to get the effects that I want. I am surprised by the results because I do not plan that much in advance, but I know how to fit trousers and turn a lapel or fake a lapel if I want to. We are not really supposed to take delight in this or celebrate our own handiness. As children we are taught not to show off or become big-headed, but I want to record how great it feels when something you have made with your own hands turns out beautifully and surprises you with your own ability to make something that you love so much. It is a rule of thumb that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient at something. I think that I have done my 10,000 hours and am ready to claim a bit of expertise and to be counter-cultural doing it!